Toledo Can't Get Untracked in 79-56 Setback at WMU
KALAMAZOO, MI - Western Michigan led from start to finish on Wednesday evening in University Arena as the Rockets came up on the short end of a 79-56 defeat to the host Broncos. Despite the defeat, Toledo (6-8, 2-1 MAC) still remained first place in the Mid-American Conference's West Division. Each of the remaining five teams in the West possess 1-2 league marks.
Sophomore G Julius Brown was the only Rocket to score in double figures, finishing with a game-high 16 points. Junior G Rian Pearson was limited to eight points, the first time he has not reached double figures since UT's season opener at Loyola (IL).
Junior G David Brown and freshman F Darius Paul paced the Broncos (9-7, 1-2 MAC) with 15 points apiece, while junior C Shayne Whittington tallied 12 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots, three steals and three assists.
Toledo shot just 36.8 percent from the field and was dominated on the glass by a 44-26 margin. WMU converted nearly half of its shots (49.2 percent) with David Brown burying five of the hosts' eight three-point field goals.
Both teams started slowly with the game tied at 2-2 after three minutes. A 9-2 WMU spurt over the next three minutes put the Rockets down 11-4, and the closest Toledo could come the remainder of the contest was six points.
Brown's back-to-back treys provided Western Michigan its first double digit advantage, 19-7, midway through the half and forced Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk to call timeout. UT appeared ready to make a run when Pearson nailed a jumper and freshman G Josh Lemons converted a three-point play to cut WMU's lead to 27-17 five minutes before halftime. Lemons was injured on the ensuing possession though and didn't return.
Toledo then scored the first four points of the second half on a Boothe layup and a Pearson jumper to climb within 34-23, but the Broncos wouldn't let their advantage get any smaller.
The Rockets return to action with a trip to Athens, OH to battle defending MAC Tournament champion Ohio (12-5, 3-0 MAC). Tip-off time from The Convo is set for 6:00 p.m. with the game being televised by SportsTime Ohio.