Rockets Hold Off Miami to Post Fifth Straight Road Win, 73-67

By Published: 2/10/2018 8:32:26 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics

OXFORD, Ohio – Toledo extended its road winning streak to five games on Friday evening with a hard-fought 73-67 victory over Mid-American Conference East Division foe Miami (13-12, 6-6 MAC) in Millett Hall. The Rockets improved their overall record to 18-7 overall and 10-2 in league play en route to winning their 10th game in 11 outings. UT's 10-2 MAC record is its best conference start since the 2006-07 campaign when it finished with a 14-2 win-loss mark.

Junior forward Nate Navigato paced three Rockets in double figures with 19 points in addition to collecting six rebounds. Senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher registered his team-best 11th double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while junior guard Jaelan Sanford tallied 15 points and was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.

Toledo shot 45.1 percent from the field and converted 21-of-28 (75.0 percent) of its free-throw attempts to give UT its ninth-straight victory over Miami. That made up for the Rockets' 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) showing from three-point range, a shade below UT's season average of a MAC-best 10.0 treys per game and 40.6 three-point FG%.

The Midnight Blue and Gold clamped down on Miami's offense and held the RedHawks to a 37.8 shooting mark, including a miniscule 14.8 percent (4-of-27) from three-point range. Sophomore center Luke Knapke played a big part in UT's defensive effort with a career-high five blocked shots to go along with seven points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes.

Junior guard Darrian Ringo topped the RedHawks with 16 points on eight-of-19 shooting. He entered the contest ranked fourth nationally with 7.6 apg but was limited to just two assists this evening.

The game's first 14 minutes was a back-and-forth affair that featured nine lead changes and three occasions when the score was tied. Toledo surged to a 24-18 advantage thanks to a six-point run sparked by freshman guard Marreon Jackson's three-point field goal and a Sanford layup. After the RedHawks reduced UT's lead to four at the 3:40 mark, the Rockets closed out the half with a 9-2 spurt for a 33-22 halftime advantage.

That double-digit cushion was short-lived as Miami scored 11 straight points early in the second stanza to take a 41-40 lead with 14:00 remaining. Fletcher had an answer though as he came through with a three-point play on the ensuing possession to put the Rockets ahead to stay.

Toledo's lead dipped to two points on just two occasions the remainder of the contest, the last time coming at 58-56 following freshman guard Nike Sibande's three free throws with 4:19 to play.

Sanford responded with a pull-up jumper on the Rockets' next trip up the court to make it a two-possession game. That was UT's last field goal of the night as it converted 13-of-16 free-throw attempts down the stretch.

Toledo returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7:00 p.m. when it hosts Ohio (10-13, 3-8) in its final matchup against a MAC East Division foe. The Bobcats will play at Western Michigan tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. before heading to the Glass City.
Published: 2/10/2018 8:32:26 AM Custom Tag