COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland coach Mark Turgeon had just finished watching the Terrapins roll to their most lopsided victory of the season, and he could barely contain his excitement.
“That’s a really good win for us,” Turgeon said after Maryland beat Albany (N.Y.) 83-72 on Wednesday night. “The difference was — and I haven’t said it much this year — we had more depth than their team.”
Terrell Stoglin scored 22 points, Alex Len added 14 in his college debut, and Turgeon made good use of his expanded bench to guide Maryland to its fifth straight victory.
With Len in the middle and guard Pe’Shon Howard playing his second game since returning from a broken leg, Turgeon coached the team precisely the way he wanted. Five players scored in double figures and nine players received at least 12 minutes.
“We’re just a whole different team right now,” Turgeon said. “It was fun to coach. Nick (Faust) shoots two air balls when you got six scholarship guys, it’s like, `Hey, you’re all right, buddy.’ He shoots two air balls when you’ve got nine, it’s, `Quit shooting the ball.’ It’s a big difference.”
Stoglin made a career-high six 3-pointers and Len, a 7’1″ Ukraine native, contributed five dunks and eight rebounds. Len missed the first 10 games of the season as a penalty for having previously signed with a pro team overseas.
Len finished 6 for 9 from the floor in 27 minutes.
“We just picked the wrong time to play them,” Albany coach Will Brown said. “The big fella makes a world of a difference. He alters shots, he blocks shots, he’s a bailout guy offensively. They just throw the ball up in the air and he’ll go get it. He obviously makes them an even more physical and a better rebounding team as well.”
With Len leading the way, the Terrapins finished with a 48-28 rebounding advantage.
Maryland (8-3) trailed 52-50 before layups by Faust and James Padgett sparked a 13-0 run that made it 63-52 with 10:27 left.
After Albany closed to 72-69, Len scored on a follow-dunk to all but assure the Terrapins of their longest winning streak since a seven-game run at the end of the 2009-10 season.
Padgett finished with 13 points and had seven rebounds, but Len was the difference-maker.
“He might be a lottery pick one day, just with his frame and skill level,” Brown said.
Gerardo Suero scored 22 for Albany (7-6) and Luke Devlin had 16.
The Danes are 0-5 all-time against teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Albany finished with only five turnovers but missed 44 shots from the floor.
“When you play a team like Maryland,” Brown said, “you have very little room for error.”
Len started and made an alley-oop dunk in the opening minute, then added a baseline jumper to give the Terrapins an early 9-4 lead. Although he was charged with goaltending on both ends of the court and had four turnovers in the first half, the lanky center provided the Terrapins with an inside presence that had been missing prior to his arrival.
Maryland’s previous four wins were by a total of 19 points. It was the Terrapins’ first victory by double digits.
“It was real fun because we had more options,” Stoglin said. “The pressure was pretty much taken off of me. With everybody in their right positions, we’re going to be good this year.”
Albany scored the first seven points of the second half to take its first lead of the game, 46-44. After that, neither team led by more than two points until Maryland’s big run.
The Danes got to 74-71 before Padgett made a free throw, Sean Mosley added a three-point play and Faust capped the spree with a layup to make it 80-71 with two minutes to go.
The Terrapins got 14 first-half points from Stoglin and 10 from Len (on 5 for 5 shooting) in taking a 44-39 lead at the break.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)