COLLEGE PARK, Md. -- Melo Trimble scored 22 points, freshman Anthony Cowan added 12 and No. 25 Maryland needed a strong finish to slip past American 62-56 on Friday night.
After losing four starters from a squad that reached the Sweet 16, the Terrapins opened a new season with a lackluster performance. Coach Mark Turgeon has a 16-man roster containing nine freshmen, and he spent much of the game looking for the right combination.
American led 47-43 with 7:34 remaining before Maryland finally played to form. Trimble -- the lone returning starter -- made two baskets in the lane to spark a 7-0 run.
After Charlie Jones scored for the Eagles, L.G. Gill made two free throws and freshman Kevin Huerter buried a 3-pointer from the left side for a 55-49 lead.
AU closed to 57-54 before Trimble made a driving layup with just over a minute left.
Mark Gasperini scored 14 points for the Eagles, who finished 12-19 last season and are picked to finish in the middle of the Patriot League. On this night, however, AU gave Maryland all it could handle in a duel between Washington area teams.
Turgeon started two freshmen, Cowan and Huerter. The lone senior in the starting lineup was 6-foot-11 center Damonte Dodd, who had two fouls in his 2 minutes of playing time in the first half.
Trimble had 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting to stake the Terrapins to a 31-25 halftime lead.
Maryland led 16-11 before the Eagles got eight points from Leon Tolksdorf in a 12-2 run.
After Turgeon called a timeout, the Terps rattled off 10 straight points. Cowan started the surge with a 3-pointer, two free throws and a three-point play.
American: Playing this well against a Big Ten contender should serve as confidence boost for the Eagles when they go up against Patriot League foes.
Maryland: The youthful Terrapins got their season off to a rocky start. Turgeon got 10 players involved in the first half, putting a priority on spreading the minutes. Games like this should ultimately help him determine a rotation for the tougher games that loom ahead.
American: Another road trip against strong opposition looms for the Eagles, who face Texas A&M on Monday night.
Maryland: The Terrapins get an early season test Tuesday night against Georgetown at Verizon Center in Washington. Maryland squeezed past Hoyas 75-71 last season.