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Rockets Roll to 82-67 Win Over UIC; Toledo off to Best Start in Eight Years

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 11/26/2011
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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Sophomore Rian Pearson scored a career-high 27 points in UT's 82-67 win over UIC.

TOLEDO, OH - Toledo provided its fans plenty to cheer for in its home opener on Saturday evening with an impressive 82-67 victory over Horizon League foe UIC (2-3) in Savage Arena. The victory improves the Rockets' record to 4-1 on the young season and marks UT's best start since winning its first five contests in the 2003-04 campaign.

Sophomore G Rian Pearson continued a torrid start to his first season in a Midnight Blue and Gold uniform by scoring a career-high 27 points and swiping a team-best three steals. He is now averaging 19.8 ppg and 8.4 rpg and is one of four Rockets scoring in double figures.

Freshman G Julius Brown matched his season best with 17 points and was the only other UT player scoring in double digits.

Former Rocket F Hayden Humes paced the Flames with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Toledo dominated defensively from the start, jumping out to a 17-3 lead just over five minutes into the contest. The Rockets didn't let up the remainder of the half and took a 45-25 cushion into their locker room.

The closest the Flames could come in the second stanza was within 12 points in the game's final minute.

The Rockets forced UIC to commit 25 turnovers, including 14 turnovers in the first half. The Flames shot just 37.0 percent from the field - 29.4 percent in the opening stanza.

UT posted a 53.1 shooting mark on their side of the court and nearly registered as many free-throw attempts (45) as field-goal attempts (49).

Toledo returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 30 when it hosts UNC-Wilmington (0-4). Tip-off time from Savage Arena is set for 7:00 p.m.

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