- Associated Press - Saturday, December 8, 2012

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Bothered by the zone defense and slow motion offense put forth by South Carolina State on Saturday, Maryland struggled on offense but performed well enough to take a hard-earned 61-46 win over the Bulldogs.

Alex Len was the only Maryland player to score in double figures, notching 13 points to lead a balanced scoring attack by the Terrapins in a game in which they shot just 37.3 percent (19 of 51) against the Bulldogs’ zone defense.

“I think we had trouble playing against their zone. They just tried to slow us up and get us bored on defense,” said Len, who had three dunks and two layups among his five baskets. “We have to always remained disciplined.”

Maryland (8-1) won its eighth straight game since a season-opening loss to defending national champion Kentucky. The last time the Terrapins won eight games in a row was the 2006-2007 season, when they opened with eight straight wins.

As the Terrapins won their second consecutive game against a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference team, it was also the second straight game that all 14 Maryland players got in the game, 10 of them scoring.

Shaquille Cleare added eight points and eight rebounds for the Terrapins, who also got eight points from Dez Wells.

The Terrapins had 16 assists on 19 baskets and now have dished out 154 assists on 225 baskets during their eight-game winning streak. They also were 18 of 22 from the free throw line and outrebounded the Bulldogs 39-30.

“It wasn’t really a game you could get into very easily,” said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon. “We made free throws, 18 of 22, and our field-goal percentage defense was really good again . Besides that, it wasn’t really a fun game to be a part of, to be honest.”

The Terrapins outscored South Carolina State 28-6 in the paint and 17-0 on second-chance points.

“By the end of the game we figured out how to play against (the zone), so it was a good game,” Len said.

At times, Maryland seemed bothered and bored by the Bulldogs’ slow-down tactics.

“We didn’t make shots that we have been making,” Turgeon said. “We missed layups too. We will run into it again and we will be better because of it the next time a team comes in and does it to us.”

Maryland had just 11 turnovers, its lowest total of the season.

“That was the first time this season we played against an offense like that. I think we played well,” added Wells, who played 21 minutes off the bench. “We executed our offense well and played hard defensively. We outrebounded them and cut down on our turnovers from last game.”

Louie Adams led South Carolina State (4-5) with 15 points, scoring 12 in the second half. Khalif Toombs added 12 points, all on 3-point baskets.

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