COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland coach Mark Turgeon kept shuffling his players on the floor, tapping into a seemingly endless supply in an effort to take the wind out of Morehead State.
The ploy worked.
Nick Faust scored 12 points, Alex Len had 11, and the Terrapins pulled away to a 67-45 victory on Monday night.
The Terrapins (1-1) seemed to lack the same enthusiasm they showed in a narrow season-opening loss to defending NCAA champion Kentucky. But Maryland still had enough talent, height and depth to beat the cold-shooting Eagles (1-1).
“The hardest thing for me tonight was trying to figure out how to get guys in the game,” Turgeon said.
Ten different players scored for the Terrapins. James Padgett had nine points, Dez Wells and Shaquille Cleare had eight apiece and Jake Layman added seven. Len led Maryland with 24 minutes.
Calling his depth “a luxury,” Turgeon said, “We wore them down. It was evident. They came out with a lot of energy to start the second half. We sustained it, then wore them down.”
After letting a 16-point halftime lead dwindle to 10 with 13 minutes left, Maryland used an 11-1 run to pull away. Len started the surge with a drive, Padgett followed with successive layups and Seth Allen scored on a breakaway before Logan Aronhalt hit a 3-pointer from the right side.
The Terrapins finished with a 40-32 rebounding advantage and outscored Morehead State 17-6 at the foul line.
Milton Chavis scored 10 for Morehead State. The Eagles, of the Ohio Valley Conference, shot 32 percent from the floor, went 1 for 14 from beyond the arc and led only once — at 3-2.
“This was ugly,” coach Sean Woods said. “I felt good going into the game, but when you can’t make shots in an environment like this, it’s to make it up. You’ve got to be able to make shots and shoot a good percentage to beat a team like this.”
After playing in front of a sellout crowd in New York on Friday, Maryland opened the home portion of its schedule in a half-empty arena against a team it was supposed to dominate.
“I don’t know if it was the same intensity,” Padgett said, “but we came out strong with the mentality that we would play hard and not play down to the competition.”
Maryland went 16 for 22 at the foul line and limited Morehead State to 28 percent shooting — 1 for 10 from 3-point range — in taking a 35-19 halftime lead. For the Terrapins, it marked a dramatic change from their first-half performance against Kentucky, when they trailed 49-36 after allowing the Wildcats to shoot 58 percent.
In this one, the Eagles missed 15 of their first 17 shots and scored only seven points in the first 10 minutes. Still, Maryland led by only 18-11 before Faust made two free throws and Dez Wells scored on a drive to spark a 10-2 run that made it 28-13.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)