COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Robert Carter had 17 points and eight rebounds to help the No. 2 Maryland men's basketball team beat Cleveland State 80-63 on Saturday night.
Jared Nickens added 16 points, and freshman Diamond Stone had a season-high 15 points for Maryland (6-0), set for a showdown with No. 9 North Carolina in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday night.
Demonte Flannigan scored 11 of his 20 points in the first half, and Rob Edwards added 14 points for Cleveland State (2-4), which was 3 of 12 (25 percent) from 3-point range. Vinny Zollo went 5 of 7 from the field and had 11 points for the Vikings.
Maryland led by just four at the break and took control by increasing the pressure to open the second half. A dunk by Stone capped an 8-0 run and the Terrapins led 45-33 with 17:06 left.
From there, the Terps used their size and depth to wear down the Vikings, who could not get closer than nine points the rest of the way. Nickens and Jake Layman hit 3-pointers and Maryland opened a 64-49 lead with 7:43 remaining.
The 6-foot-7 Flannagan picked up his fourth foul with just under 10 minutes left, hampering the Vikings at both ends of the court. A putback by Nickens and a pair of free throws boosted Terrapins' margin to 70-53 with 5:18 left and they were never threatened the rest of the way.
Maryland was 15 of 18 from the free-throw line and had a 27-22 rebounding edge.
Maryland had a tough time shaking a scrappy Cleveland State squad in the opening half and a jumper by Kenny Carpenter gave the Vikings their first lead, 25-24, with 8:03 left in the period. Nickens responded with three straight 3-pointers that helped the Terps take a 37-33 lead at halftime.
Maryland shot 14 of 23 (60.9 percent) in the opening half.
“Offensively I was really pleased tonight. We took care of the ball a little bit better and we only had 10 turnovers," head coach Mark Turgeon said. "We’re getting a lot of open shots. We grade contested shots and open shots and in the last couple games we’ve gotten 29 and 26 open shots. That’s hard to do. And we got a lot of open looks again today.
"Give Cleveland State credit. They made a lot of shots tonight and they just kept coming at us and shot a high percentage. I thought second half we were better defensively.”
The Terrapins won their 29th consecutive game at home against an unranked team and Maryland extended its winning streak in November to 16 games, having not lost since Nov. 17, 2013, against Oregon State (90-83).