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Sports

Maryland beats Virginia Tech 94-71 for 13th straight win

January 5th, 2013 7:04 pm by DAVID GINSBURG, AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- With a first-half performance that was as brilliant as it was surprising, freshman Jake Layman added his name to the vast list of contributors to the second-longest winning streak in Maryland history.


Layman scored 18 of his 20 points before halftime, and the Terrapins rolled past Virginia Tech 94-71 Saturday for their 13th consecutive victory.


Maryland's winning streak matches an identical run in 2001-02 and is one short of the school record set in 1931-32. After defeating 12 non-league opponents, Maryland opened the Atlantic Coast Conference portion of its schedule with a satisfying romp.


"We were waiting to play a big-boy team," said Terrapins freshman Seth Allen, who contributed 21 points on 8-for-12 shooting.


"It's ACC time," Layman said. "We all had to step up, and I think I was ready for it. It was a great game for us."


Starting for injured guard Nick Faust, Layman went 6 for 7 from the floor during the opening 20 minutes, including 4 for 5 from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-8 forward surpassed his previous season high of 10 points with 4:37 left in the first half.


"Today was a huge day for him," Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said.


Alex Len had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Terrapins (13-1, 1-0), who never trailed after Layman hit a 3-pointer off the opening tip.


It was the Terrapins' second-most lopsided victory over Virginia Tech, behind only a 51-16 rout in 1932.


Len, Dez Wells and Faust rank 1-2-3 in scoring for Maryland, but there's no telling who will be the star on any given night.


"I don't know who our best players are. I really don't," Turgeon said. "I think we all feel comfortable as coaches that whoever we put in, they can handle the situation."


Erick Green scored 28 for Virginia Tech, playing its first ACC game under coach James Johnson. After falling behind 53-37 at halftime, the Hokies (9-5, 0-1) never seriously threatened in losing for the fifth time in seven games.


In preparing for Maryland, Johnson knew that Layman had the potential to be a factor. Unfortunately for Virginia Tech, that is exactly what happened.


"He didn't come out of nowhere. We knew he could really shoot the basketball," Johnson said. "He was just not shooting the ball great up until this point. He did a good job coming out confident and knocking down shots early to get them going.


Virginia Tech shot 37.3 percent (25 of 67) and went 4 for 19 from 3-point range. Green was 8 for 18 from the floor, Robert Brown 4 for 15 and Jarell Eddie made only two of 12 shots.


Layman scored Maryland's first five points, then jammed in a teammate's miss to make it 13-4.


"For some reason we can't come out and smack someone in the mouth," Green said. "We get smacked in the mouth first."


Said Allen: "The first four minutes of a basketball game really shows who's going to come out victorious. We really hit them in the mouth early, and that's kind of what got us going."


It was 26-22 before Layman and Wells sandwiched 3-pointers around a Virginia Tech basket for a 32-24 lead.


After the Hokies closed to 34-31, Len made a baseline jumper, Layman drilled a pair of 3-pointers and Allen also connected from beyond the arc for a 45-31 lead.


Virginia Tech got to 58-43 early in the second half before Maryland's Logan Aronhalt hit a 3-pointer and Allen scored in the lane for a 20-point cushion. It was 69-58 with 9:55 left before the Terrapins pulled away.


Faust played only five minutes in the first half before leaving with back spasms. Turgeon hopes to have him back Wednesday, when Maryland seeks to keep its win streak alive in a home matchup with Florida State.

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