Maryland had an inauspicious start to their home opener, but rode a strong second half run to easily dispatch the visiting Abilene Christian Wildcats, 67-44.
Maryland scored 29 straight points in a incredible second half run, holding Abilene Christian scoreless for their last 25 possessions and the last 14 minutes of basketball.
Roddy Peters got his first start of his Maryland career, bumping Dez Wells to shooting guard and Jake Layman to the bench to start it out. That didn't actually mean much in terms of minutes -- Varun Ram played nearly as much as Peters or Wells, and Layman was one of the team's minutes leaders.
Maryland really struggled in the first half, turning the ball over repeatedly and showing an inability to guard the three-point line. The Terrapins trailed at halftime 30-29, and were lucky to only be down by that small of a margin, turning the ball over 12 times and giving up six three-pointers.
Dez Wells played just five minutes in the first half, and that's without any fouls committed. Ram played 12, while Peters played eight. Wells did not start in the second half, but came in the game less than 90 seconds later.
Abilene Christian shot a simply unbelievable percentage from three in the first half, but got plenty of open looks due to a factor that may be a recurring issue with the Terps. With such a big team, they're a bit slow on the defensive end, which allows quicker guards to get open on the perimeter.
The Wildcats began the game 10 of 15 from three point range, while Maryland made just one of their first 12 shots from deep. With those kind of numbers, you had to figure something would turn around, and it did -- the Abilene Christian players got tired, and Maryland's shooters found their stroke.
With 14 minutes to play, Abilene Christian led 44-38. Maryland then went on an insane run led by Jake Layman, turning the game completely around.
Maryland took the lead with a little more than 12 minutes left to play on a Jake Layman layup. It was the Terps' first lead since midway through the first half. Layman scored eight points in a row for the Terps in the stretch -- a three-pointer, a layup, and a layup with the foul -- putting Maryland up 47-44. On the next Wildcat possession, Layman got a steal that resulted in two free throws for Nick Faust. On the next possession, Layman blocked a shot and made a three-pointer on the other end. Layman hit a three on Maryland's next trip down the floor, and he scored 14 of Maryland's 16 points in that period.
Layman finished with a team-high 19 points, while Charles Mitchell had 15 points with 11 rebounds. Damonte Dodd added three blocks off the bench, while Layman and Wells tied for the team lead with three assists.