Maryland-North Carolina Central recap: Faust, strong second half boosts Terps over Eagles, 70-56

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The Terps close out their non-conference schedule with a win

It wasn't always pretty, but Maryland basketball got the job done in its final non-conference game and final game of 2013.

In a game that appeared a bit concerning ahead of time with with ACC play set to begin Saturday and Maryland's struggles this season, the Terps used 19 points by Nick Faust and a strong second half to put away the NC Central Eagles 70-56.

It was a tale of two halves for Maryland, as both teams struggled offensively out of the gate with neither team scoring until over three minutes in. Mark Turgeon's team had a difficult time cracking a zone defense yet again, but the Eagles weren't faring well on offense either, making just 27 percent of their first-half attempts. NC Central star Jeremy Ingram, who came into the game ranked third in the nation in scoring, managed just six first-half points and finished with 11 on a pitiful 4-for-19 shooting.

Another concern was the Terps 11 turnovers in the first half, with the offense not looking as fluid as it did in Seth Allen's return versus Tulsa despite leading by eight at the break. But Mark Turgeon opted to give his point guard the start in the second half and Allen immediately responded, hitting two quick threes for his first points of the game and picking the Terps up where they left off after a 14-4 run closed the first half.

A pretty dish in the lane from Allen to Jonathan Graham -- who got his first career start and continued his gritty play -- put the Terps up 16 with 13 minutes to play, and while NC Central tried to get back in the game Maryland never let up on the gas pedal, frequently leading by as many as 20 as they cruised to the comfortable win. Nick Faust had a strong, balanced day for the second game in a row, and really came alive in the second half as he led the way with 19 points and nine rebounds.

Dez Wells had a quiet second half after scoring 10 in the first, but his first-half effort was one of Maryland's lone bright spots early on. Jake Layman finished with eight points on just four shots and Evan Smotrcyz and Roddy Peters each added seven.

The Terps will now prepare for ACC play, which begins at home versus Georgia Tech on Saturday.

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