COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) — Maryland played suffocating defense, never trailed in a lopsided victory and extended its winning streak to nine — its longest run since winning the national championship in 2002.

So why did Mark Turgeon scold his players and wear a sour expression after the Terrapins beat Monmouth 71-38 Wednesday night?

Perhaps it was because the Terrapins (9-1) had a miserable first half and finished with a season-high 23 turnovers.

Maryland outscored the Hawks 40-17 after halftime, but before that point the Terrapins simply did not play up to their capabilities in building a shaky 31-21 lead.

"We got outplayed in the first half," Turgeon conceded. "They outhustled us. They played harder. They played tougher. Probably the worst half of basketball one of my teams has played, maybe ever. I was really disappointed."

The expectations for Maryland have risen dramatically in Turgeon's second year at the school, so much so that a 33-point win is no longer satisfying if the team doesn't perform well.

"Coach knows we can get a lot better," said Nick Faust, who scored 16 points. "We're just trying to move forward. We'll take that game and try to get better in practice."

Alex Len had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Dez Wells contributed 10 points. The last time the Terrapins won as many as nine in a row was when they peeled off 13 consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference victories from January to March in 2002. The current run has come entirely against non-league foes.

That could explain why the players lost their focus against Monmouth.

"These games make you better, but we're definitely are looking forward to ACC play," Faust said.

It was Monmouth's third straight lopsided defeat. The Hawks (5-6) were coming off a 19-point home loss to Navy and a 52-point setback at Syracuse.

"This is an opportunity for our kids to do something that a lot of college basketball players will never get to do — play the University of Maryland on their campus," Monmouth coach King Rice said. "My guys will remember this for a long time. It's good for our guys to go in and battle."

Khalil Brown led the Hawks with 10 points. Monmouth made only 14 baskets and converted a dismal 21 percent of its shots from the floor.

After Monmouth closed to 31-23 early in the second half, the Terrapins used a 17-4 run to pull away. Faust opened the spree with a 3-pointer and Len contributed eight points, including two dunks and a follow-shot.

"Coach talked to us at halftime, we took his advice and tried to make changes in our play," Len said. "I feel like we were a lot stronger with the ball in the second half."

The Terrapins shot 62 percent in the first half but led by only 10 points because they committed 14 turnovers — including four apiece by Faust and Seth Allen. Monmouth took 17 more shots and held a 10-1 advantage in offensive rebounds, but leading scorer Andrew Nicholas went 0 for 7 from the field and did not make a basket the entire game.

Maryland made its first seven shots in taking a 15-5 lead. Len scored on a hook in the lane and off an alley-oop pass from Faust, James Padgett made a layup and a three-point play and Wells capped the surge with successive layups.

Maybe it came too easy, because the Terrapins began to get careless on both ends of the court. Not only did Maryland miss six of its next eight shots, but the Terrapins had 10 turnovers in the opening 14 minutes and let the Hawks close to 20-16.

Faust then tipped in a miss shot, was fouled and converted the three-point play to spark an 11-5 run.

"We just weren't mentally into the game," Turgeon said. "The second half was better."

Unfortunately for the Terrapins, highly touted freshmen Shaquille Cleare and Charles Mitchell did not contribute much in either half. Cleare finished with two points and Mitchell was held scoreless.

"Our freshmen weren't very good," Turgeon said. "They've got to get a lot better for us to get where we want to this year."