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Maryland beats Niagara 86-70 in NIT opener

Tuesday - 3/19/2013, 9:29pm  ET

Maryland center Alex Len, left, of Ukraine, blocks a shot attempt by Niagara guard Antoine Mason as Mason is also guarded by Maryland guard Dez Wells during the first half of a first round NIT college basketball game in College Park, Md., Tuesday, March 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

AP Sports Writer

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Nick Faust had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Maryland used a strong second half to defeat Niagara 86-70 Tuesday night in the opening round of the NIT.

Tied at halftime, the Terrapins (23-12) used a 21-2 run to take a 56-38 lead before coasting to the finish. Second-seed Maryland next hosts the winner of the Ohio-Denver game, held late Tuesday.

After sinking a free throw to begin the second half, Niagara missed nine straight field goal tries and went 1 for 16 from the floor while Maryland got seven points from Seth Allen and five from Faust during scoring sprees of 12-0 and 9-0.

Five Terrapins scored in double figures, including Allen and Logan Aronhalt with 15 apiece.

Antoine Mason led Niagara (19-14) with 24 points and Ameen Tanksley had 18. The Purple Eagles led 29-23 before halftime.

The game drew a crowd of 4,053, a season-low at Maryland.

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