DURHAM, N.C. -- It would be a stretch to call Duke a veteran team, with its one senior and seven freshmen.
The No. 3 Blue Devils (18-3, 9-1) got some quick seasoning Wednesday night when No. 23 Maryland (17-6, 6-5) shattered three of Duke's winning streaks in a 98-87 loss at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"We are all learning," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. "You guys (the media) are the ones calling us the `well-oiled machine.' We have three freshmen in our first six. I am just happy where we are at. Our kids have played great. We are not a great team. We just happened to have won nine conference games so far and lost one."
Duke had won 46 straight in Cameron Indoor Stadium since losing 81-69 to then-No. 2 Wake Forest on Jan. 11, 1997. The Blue Devils' last Atlantic Coast Conference loss was 97-73 at North Carolina on Feb. 5, 1998 -- a span of 31 games.
While dismayed by the loss, the Blue Devils realize there are many games left.
"(The season) is definitely not over," Duke's Chris Carrawell said. "They just outplayed us. We got to get back to practice. Get back focus. Just go back to the basics and get ready to practice hard and hopefully beat Georgia Tech (on Saturday)."
At the beginning of the season, Krzyzewski stressed Duke's lack of experience after three star players -- Elton Brand, Augusta's William Avery, who played at Westside High School, and Corey Maggette -- left school early last spring to enter the NBA draft.
Duke lost the first two games of the season to then-No. 13 Stanford and then-No. 1 Connecticut in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, and it appeared the rebuilding process was under way. But the Blue Devils then reeled off 18 straight wins, including four in overtime, and built a big lead in the ACC.
But Duke couldn't pull it out Wednesday night. After struggling for the lead much of the second half, the Blue Devils tied it at 83-83 on Jason Williams' layup with 3:45 to go. Then Terence Morris hit a 3 on Maryland's next possession, and the Terrapins led the rest of the way.
Maryland seemed an unlikely team to beat Duke at home because of its youth. The Terrapins, who had lost six straight to Duke, have no seniors. Maryland's starting lineup consists of one junior, three sophomores and one freshman.
"It will be interesting to see how our guys take this game because this is a different situation now and we're learning," Maryland coach Gary Williams said. "We had two, three freshmen out there sometimes. Just like Duke is a young team, we're a young team. You've got to go through every situation before you consider yourself veterans."
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