Both teams struggled offensively, but Maryland came away with an easy win at home against South Carolina State Saturday afternoon. The final score was 61-46, but a slow-paced game and stalling tactics from the Bulldogs made the game appear much closer than it was.
The Terps and Pe'Shon Howard got off to a great start. The point guard, getting the start after limited time against Eastern Shore, opened the game up with a three-pointer and two assists, along with two great passes inside that were not converted.
Both Howard and Seth Allen controlled the offense well, providing cutting passes and more than a few alley oops. However, the Terps struggled to convert at times, and shot 37.3% from the floor.
Logan Aronhalt and Charles Mitchell, both getting their first starts of the season, came out of the gate a little flustered. Aronhalt was blocked on his first shot attempt and missed his second, while Mitchell had two turnovers in the first few minutes.
About five minutes into the half, Allen and Dezmine Wells came in to the game, and their athleticism was felt immediately. Allen forced a turnover, and on the return end connected with Wells with an alley-oop. On the next possession, he provided a fantastic look to Alex Len inside for an assist.
Maryland did not play that well defensively, but fortunately for them South Carolina State could not capitalize, especially on the inside. The Bulldogs made just 17 field goals on the game (on 53 attempts), and seven of them were from three-point range.
Len led the way for the Terps with 13 points, but Maryland had a very balanced scoring attack. Wells and Shaquille Cleare each scored eight, Aronhalt had seven, and Howard and Nick Faust each scored six.
Maryland was able to hit their free throws, making 18 of 22 attempts, but their repeated failures from the floor kept this game closer than it should have been. Notable were Jake Layman (zero of six) and Nick Faust (three of eleven), who had two of the three highest shot totals on the game for Maryland.
The Terps dominated on the inside, outrebounding the Bulldogs 38 to 24. The big men shot well, making nine of fifteen shots, but Maryland continued to try and take the game outside. They made only five of 21 three-point attempts on the afternoon.
Maryland moves to 8-1, and faces Monmouth on Wednesday.