COLLEGE PARK - For most of their non-conference schedule, the Maryland Terrapins have made it look easy. They've feasted on the likes of Morehead State, UMES and Monmouth. For most of Friday, it looked like another uncompetitive one, but in the game's last 12 minutes, Stony Brook woke Maryland up.
In the end, the Terrapins held on, but it was a lot harder than they anticipated in their 76-69 win over the Seawolves before 10,721 at Comcast Center.
With students away on break and another in a series of lackluster opponents, the lack of energy in the arena was evident.
Maryland won its 10th straight after a defeat to Kentucky in the opener. After the Terrapins (10-1) opened a 22-10 lead with just over seven minutes gone, there was little doubt they'd have their longest winning streak since a 13-gamer in the magical 2001-02 season.
With games against Delaware State and IUPUI left before Maryland's penultimate ACC season begins here against Virginia Tech on Jan. 5, it's a good bet that streak will be 12, the third longest in school history.
"I think we need a break," a relieved coach Mark Turgeon said.
After 11 games and final exams, Turgeon will give his team four days off before their next game on Dec. 29.
Turgeon had been extolling the strengths of Stony Brook (8-3), which is favored to win the America East and played well against UConn last month.
"We beat a really good team. I think you guys can see that now I'm not full of it," Turgeon said.
The Terps shot 64 percent in the first half, leading 45-32 at the break. Maryland came out quickly to begin the second half and built a 56-36 lead a little over two minutes into the half.
"I thought the game got physical, and we didn't handle it very well," Turgeon said. "I always felt like we were going to pull away and win by double figures."
Stony Brook, which had a four-game winning streak broken, scored 11 straight to draw within 56-47 with 13:41 left. After Maryland quickly responded and the lead was back to 15, the Seawolves clawed back and actually got to within 71-69 with 34 seconds to play.
Alex Len and Dez Wells led the Terps with 19. No one else scored in double figures.
"It's always good to be challenged," Wells said. "Every game is not going to be a blowout and every game is not going to be close. If we have a good steady diet of being challenged and some easy games in there, there's nothing wrong with that."
Pe'Shon Howard played solidly at the point with a season-high eight points, seven assists and just two turnovers.
"Coach told me if I'm open, shoot it. Everybody's been yelling at me. The media's been yelling, fans have been yelling. People I've never seen before have been yelling. I think my teachers told me a few times to shoot it when I'm open," Howard said.
Howard said Maryland didn't relax when they got the big lead.
"We kept saying: 'Don't let up. Don't let up.' They're just a tougher team. We didn't get some calls. We also didn't play through some things. They wanted to come out and show they could rebound with us," Howard said.
After their opening loss to Kentucky, just two of the first nine wins were by fewer than 10 points.
"I think we needed a close game to see how we handled it," Turgeon said. "It was good to have one."
NOTES: Junior F John Auslander underwent surgery for a fractured left tibia on Friday. He's out for the season. ... The Terps had 11 turnovers equaling their season low. Stony Brook had four, equaling a low for a Maryland opponent. ... Maryland shot 50 percent from the 3-point line.