Terps run win streak to 12 with win over IUPUI

COLLEGE PARK - Maryland started the new year a little slow for coach Mark Turgeon's liking by struggling to find its rhythm while IUPUI, the visitors from Indiana, tried to snap the Terrapins' 11-game winning streak.

The school with the long name didn't hold up against a quicker, deeper Terps squad, however, as Maryland pulled away and won 81-63 in front of 8,971 at Comcast Center on Tuesday.

It did take a little time, though.

"We weren't ready to play, they were," Turgeon said. "Our effort was a little bit better in the second half, and then we continued to share the ball. ... We did what we had to do."

Turgeon inserted a new lineup early in the first half, when IUPUI led by 11 points and Maryland got careless with the ball. As has been the case many times this season, the reserves ignited the Terps (12-1) and when the second half began they took control for good.

It led to the Terrapins' 12th consecutive victory - the longest streak since the national championship team won 13 straight in 2002 - and their best record entering ACC play since the 1998-99 season.

Depth led the way once more. Eight players scored at least seven points, led by sophomore guard Seth Allen's 13 and senior guard Logan Aronhalt's 10.

Five players racked up more than 14 minutes coming off the bench, which kept the Terps fresh while IUPUI, which stands for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, went cold after a hot start and shot 44 percent and 9 for 23 from the 3-point line.

The conference schedule begins Saturday at home against Virginia Tech. Where the Terps are at this stage seems to be a tough question to answer.

"Before tonight, I thought we were in pretty good shape," said Aronhalt, who drained three 3-pointers Tuesday. "We were up and down. We know we have to pick it up on both ends, offensively and defensively."

Maryland opened the second half with an inside presence thanks to freshman forward Shaquille Cleare's six consecutive points in the paint. A turnaround jumper form Cleare, followed by a 3-pointer from junior guard Pe'Shon Howard on the next possession, put the Terps up 59-43 just inside 12 minutes to play.

The bench efforts from players such as Cleare and Allen helped sooth some of Maryland's not-so-pleasing performances in the eyes of Turgeon, chief among them sophomores Nick Faust and Alex Len.

Faust had five points and five turnovers in 24 minutes; Len scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds in 18 minutes, but Turgeon said his big man hasn't played well of late.

"Quite frankly I'm not going to call a play for him if he's not going to play well," Turgeon said. "They doubled him some ... I'm not concerned about it."

The Terrapins used a 14-0 scoring run to grab their first lead of the game, with 7:56 to play in the half, while IUPUI missed six shots in a row. But the Jaguars relied on the 3-pointer to stay close - they sank 6 of 13 from behind the arc.

Four players finished in double figures for IUPUI, with guard Sean Esposito scoring 16 and forward Lyonell Gaines adding 14.

The Jaguars raced out to a 14-3 lead thanks to a pair of 3-pointers and Maryland's lack of an offense. The Terps missed four of their first five shots and committed three turnovers before Turgeon called a 30-second timeout with 14:35 remaining in the first half.

The Jaguars made six of their first 10 shots, with junior forward Donovan Gibbs netting seven points in the early stages.

But Maryland outscored IUPUI 40-29 in the second half and grabbed the momentum it wanted heading into Saturday's conference opener against Virginia Tech.

"I'm happy about that," said Terps sophomore Dez Wells, who scored nine points. "We're going to playing against really, really good talent, and we'll see how good we match up against those guys."