Rockets Clip Miami, 71-69, in MAC Quarterfinals

By Published: 3/9/2018 12:04:32 AM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics

Cleveland, Ohio –Junior guard Jaelen Sanford scored 21 points to lead Toledo to a 71-69 victory over Miami in quarterfinal Mid-American Conference Men's Basketball Tournament action at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland on Thursday.

Toledo (22-10) will play Eastern Michigan in semifinal action at 9:00 p.m. Friday, the third time in the last five years that the Rockets have advanced to the league semifinals. The contest vs. the Eagles can be seen live on or on a tape-delay basis on the CBS Sports Network at 1:30 a.m.

Sanford split a pair of free throws with nine seconds left and then helped force Miami's Nike Sibande into a tough three-point shot in the waning seconds that hit the side rim. Toledo secured the rebound and the win.

Sanford was one of three Rockets in double figures, as senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher and sophomore center Luke Knapke each chipped in with 16 points. Fletcher, the MAC Player of the Year, added nine rebounds and four assists.

The Rockets led by a point at the half, 30-29, and pushed the lead to 12 points, 63-51, with 6:44 to play before the RedHawks (16-17) rallied. Sibande hit a three with 26 seconds left that cut the lead to 69-66. Fletcher answered by hitting one of two free throws with 19 tickets left. Sibande hit another trey with 11 seconds left, setting the stage for the dramatic final seconds.


First Half
Toledo led at the half, 30-29, despite making just 2-of-15 shots from three-point range.
Miami jumped out to a 22-17 lead midway through the first half behind Darrian Ringo's 11 points.
Toledo regained the lead, 24-22, with a 7-0 run, capped by a baseline jumper by Taylor Adway at the 6:55 mark.
Jaelan Sanford scored nine of Toledo's first 13 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field.
Luke Knapke had eight first-half points, including a layup with 2:11 left that gave UT its 30-29 edge.

Second Half
A Knapke three-pointer and Tre'Shaun Fletcher dunk pushed Toledo's lead to 40-36 at the first media timeout, UT's largest lead in the game to that point.
Toledo made 10 of its first 13 shots as Knapke capped an 8-0 run with a three-pointer to give UT a 54-46 lead and force a Miami timeout with 11:33 left.
The Rockets extended the lead to 63-51 on a tip-in by Fletcher with 6:44 to play.
Miami rallied with a 10-2 run, capped by a three-pointer from Dalonte Brown that made it 65-61 with 2:03 left.
Toledo made 6-of-8 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.
Miami had a chance to win on its final shot but Nike Sibande's shot hit the side rim.

Toledo overcame a slow shooting start in the first half to shoot 43.5 percent for the game. The Rockets shot 14-of-36 (38.9%) in the first half, including just 2-of-15 from behind the arc. In the second half, UT shot 13-of-27 (48.1%) from the field.
The Rockets held Miami to 39.4 percent from the field.
Toledo tied a season low with nine fouls in the game, compared to 18 for Miami.
Miami outrebounded the Rockets, 42-35.
Toledo tied its season low with six turnovers and also matched its season low with four three-point field goals.
The Rockets have won 10 straight contest vs. Miami. their most in the series history. UT is also now 4-4 vs. the RedHawks in MAC Tournament action.
Published: 3/9/2018 12:04:32 AM Custom Tag