DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — When the lead got away from No. 5 Duke, Chelsea Gray snatched it right back and helped her team keep it.
Gray scored a career-high 28 points, including seven in a row during a critical stretch of the Blue Devils' 71-56 victory over seventh-ranked Maryland on Monday night.
Tricia Liston had 17 points off the bench while Gray's big run came after the Blue Devils (22-1, 12-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) trailed for the only time.
I "just love to see her elevate her game," coach Joanne P. McCallie said. "To be able to do the things that she did on the floor, given the attention she was drawing, was phenomenal."
Alyssa Thomas had 14 points and 12 rebounds. But the Terrapins (19-4, 10-2) could overcome neither 24 turnovers nor a miserable night for the ACC's leading scorer, Tianna Hawkins, and had their league-best nine-game winning streak snapped.
Freshman Chloe Pavelich's 3 with about 10:45 left gave Maryland its only lead at 44-42.
Three possessions later, Gray took charge — and kept Duke alone atop the league standings.
She put Duke back on top with a 3, followed that with two free throws and capped her personal 7-0 run with a layup from Alexis Jones that made it 49-44 with 7½ minutes to go.
"She gave us a nice little psychological boost," McCallie said. "It wasn't surprising, though. We've all seen this of Chelsea. It was like, 'Yeah.' She's a great player, and it was great to see her have those moments and take advantage of them."
After Elizabeth Williams followed with a layup, Gray added two more free throws to put the Blue Devils up 55-46 with 5:52 left.
Maryland briefly cut it to five before Williams and Gray hit layups. Coach Brenda Frese was given two technical fouls and tossed during a media timeout with 3:51 left — she said she was sticking up for her players because they were in danger of being injured — and Gray hit the four free throws that followed to give Duke its largest lead to that point, 63-50.
Gray, who made more free throws (13) than Maryland attempted (11), surpassed her previous career high of 25 points set last season against North Carolina State.