Rockets Extend Win Streak to Three with 93-82 Road Win Over CMU

By Published: 1/13/2018 9:30:31 PM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Toledo tied its season high with 14 three-point field goals and ran its winning streak to three on Saturday evening with a wire-to-wire 93-82 road triumph over Central Michigan (12-5, 1-3 MAC) in McGuirk Arena. The victory keeps the Rockets (11-6, 3-1 MAC) in a first-place tie with Western Michigan (11-6, 3-1 MAC) in the Mid-American Conference's West Division.

"It's big to go on the road and get a win," said Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk after UT won for the fourth time in its last five games away from Savage Arena. "We played hard and showed patience in getting good shots. When you play a team like Central, you are going to get your opportunities because of their press and zone."

The trio of senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher (22 pts.), junior guard Jaelan Sanford (21 pts.) and junior forward Nate Navigato (18 pts.) paced the Rockets' attack with Sanford becoming the 45th Rocket to score 1,000 career points. Sophomore forward Willie Jackson was also a double-digit scorer with 11 and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to help UT post its sixth win in its last seven outings.

Junior guard Shawn Roundtree topped the Chippewas offensively with a game-high 29 points.

Each team posted nearly identical shooting marks as Toledo registered a 47.4 field-goal percentage with CMU just a shade lower at a 47.3 clip. UT was markedly better from behind the three-point arc, though, knocking down 14-of-32 attempts (43.8 percent) compared to the Chippewas' 7-of-19 totals (36.6 percent).

The Rockets also held a slight edge at the charity stripe over CMU, who entered the contest as the nation's top free throw shooting team at 81.8 percent. UT converted 25-of-32 attempts (78.1 percent), while the Chippewas hit 23-of-31 free throws (74.2 percent).

Toledo jumped on the hosts quickly and led 19-4 with 15:39 remaining in the first half. Two treys apiece from Fletcher and Navigato and another from freshman guard Marreon Jackson keyed the quick start and propelled the Rockets to a 45-39 halftime advantage.

CMU quickly cut Toledo's lead to two early in the second stanza, but Fletcher responded with a three-point play and junior forward Taylor Adway slammed one home for a 50-43 lead with 17:56 to play. The Chippewas kept putting the pressure on and cut their deficit to 52-51 on sophomore forward David DiLeo's layup just over two minutes later.

Back-to-back threes from Navigato and Sanford gave Toledo some breathing room with a 60-53 cushion with 14:11 remaining. Sanford followed with another three-pointer to increase UT's margin to 11, 68-57, and force the Chippewas to take a timeout at the 11:41 mark

CMU was able to reduce the Rockets' lead to five points, 83-78, with 1:46 to play after junior guard Gavin Peppers hit one of two free throws. Navigato came through on UT's next possession, though, and buried his fifth and final trey of the game with 1:18 remaining. The Rockets then hit seven of eight free throws in the final minute to secure the victory.

Toledo will play one more road contest at Ohio (8-8, 1-3 MAC) on Tuesday, Jan. 16 before returning home to face defending MAC champion Kent State (8-9, 2-2 MAC) on Saturday, Jan. 20.
Published: 1/13/2018 9:30:31 PM Custom Tag