Rockets Notch 11th Win in Last 12 Games with 82-74 Victory over Ohio

By Published: 2/14/2018 6:34:56 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics

TOLEDO, Ohio – Toledo raced out to a 15-0 lead in the game's first five minutes en route to a wire-to-wire 82-74 victory over Mid-American Conference East Division foe Ohio. The victory was the Rockets' fourth in a row and 11th in last 12 outings and kept UT (19-7, 11-2 MAC) in a tie with Buffalo (19-7, 11-2 MAC) for the conference's best record.

Junior guard Jaelan Sanford topped the Midnight Blue and Gold's attack with 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting with senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher and junior forward Nate Navigato tallying 17 and 15 points, respectively. Sophomore guard Justin Roberts just missed out on scoring in double figures by finishing with a career-high nine points. Fletcher also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, while Navigato dished out a team-best four assists.

Graduate transfer forward Kevin Mickle paced Ohio offensively with 24 points, while freshman guard Teyvion Kirk registered a double-double with 21 points and game-high 10 rebounds.

The Bobcats registered a 37-33 advantage on the boards and outscored UT in the paint by a 36-22 margin. The Rockets made up for that disparity by tallying season highs in both free throws made (32) and free throws attempted (37).

Toledo knocked down 10 of its first 15 shots and six of nine three-point attempts but finished with a 41.2 field-goal percentage after shooting 29.2 percent in the second half. Ohio shot slightly better with a 42.9 mark but was just 5-of-17 (29.4 percent) from three-point range.

Fletcher, Navigato and freshman guard Marreon Jackson keyed the Rockets' quick start by each burying a three-pointer as Ohio missed its first seven shots from the field. Mickle then put the Bobcats on his back by scoring 11 consecutive points to cut Toledo's lead to 18-11 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the half.

UT maintained a double-digit margin for the final eight minutes of the half and extended its advantage to 37-19 following a Navigato trey with 4:48 remaining in the first half. Ohio responded to its largest deficit in the contest though with a 10-2 spurt to trail by only 10 points, 39-29, at intermission.

After the Bobcats clawed to within 43-36 following a Kirk layup less than three minutes into the second stanza, UT appeared ready to put the game out of reach. The Rockets answered with a 12-2 burst for a 55-38 lead, but another Kirk layup ignited a 9-0 run by the visitors to return the Rockets' lead back into single digits at 55-47 with 10:11 to play.

Toledo maintained a comfortable lead until sophomore guard James Gollon's layup brought Ohio within 65-59 with 3:56 remaining. Fletcher answered that basket with a jumper in the lane that just beat the shot clock. Mickle's jumper pulled the Bobcats within six on the ensuing possession, but UT closed out the game by knocking down 15 of 16 free-throw attempts.

Toledo returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 17 when it travels to Muncie, Ind. to battle Ball State (17-9, 8-5 MAC). The Cardinals posted a 90-77 win at Akron tonight and trail the Rockets by three games in the West Division standings.

Published: 2/14/2018 6:34:56 AM Custom Tag