Rockets Return from Three-Week Hiatus with Convincing 74-55 Win over UIC
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo returned from a three-week break to register a 74-55 home win on Saturday afternoon over UIC (9-4). The win was the Rockets' second straight victory and provide UT some momentum heading into its 1:00 p.m. New Year's Eve matchup vs. Chicago State in Savage Arena.
Junior G Rian Pearson led UT with 24 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. He also tied his career high with five assists and added a team-high three steals.
Junior F Reese Holliday added 16 points for the Rockets and sank a career-high four three-point field goals. Also scoring in double figures was freshman C Nathan Boothe with 10 points to go along with seven rebounds and a career-high four blocks.
Junior F Matt Smith, who tied Pearson for team-high rebounding honors, just missed a double-double with nine points and a career-best 10 boards.
Senior G Daniel Barnes led the Flames with 18 points, including a 6-of-10 effort from three-point range.
Toledo shot just 40.3 percent in the contest but limited UIC to an opponent season-low 33.3 mark. UT also registered a season-high 18 assists and committed a season-low seven turnovers in the contest. The Rockets also held a significant 48-38 advantage on the glass, including a season-high 17 offensive rebounds.
Holliday sparked the Rockets early in the contest with three treys en route to 11 first-half points. UT held a 37-20 advantage late in the first half, but a 10-2 Flames' surge to end the stanza reduced Rockets' lead to single digits, 39-30, at halftime.
Toledo put the game away after the visitors crept to within 47-40 with 15:05 left in the second half. The Rockets responded with an 18-5 burst to push their lead to 20, 65-45, with 5:55 left to play.