Nathan Boothe Scores Career-High 19 Points in UT's 73-64 Road Win Over CMU
MT. PLEASANT, MI - Freshman C Nathan Boothe scored a career-high 19 points and junior G Rian Pearson registered his 13th career double-double (18 pts., 12 reb.) to lead Toledo to a 73-64 triumph at Central Michigan (9-16, 2-10 MAC) on Saturday evening in McGuirk Arena.
The victory kept the Rockets (12-11, 8-4 MAC) in a first-place tie with Western Michigan (16-9, 8-4 MAC) in the Mid-American Conference's West Division. The Broncos posted a 66-58 home victory over Northern Illinois tonight.
Senior G Kyle Randall topped the Chippewas with 21 points, with freshman G Chris Fowler (12 pts.) and freshman F Blake Hibbitts (11 pts.) joining him in double figures.
Toledo shot 45.5 percent from the field, including 53.8 percent in the second half, while limiting the Chippewas to a 33.3 shooting mark. UT also held a 39-32 advantage on the boards and produced a positive assist/turnover ratio with 12 helpers and 11 miscues.
The Rockets' victory was their fourth straight over the Chippewas and gave UT its first win in Mt. Pleasant since 2008. UT also swept the season series vs. CMU for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign.
Boothe ignited the Rockets' quick start to the second half with his second three-point field goal of the season to snap a 33-33 tie and put UT ahead to stay. Toledo then gained some breathing room by scoring 10 straight points to take a 52-39 advantage with 9:11 to play.
The Chippewas rallied to within 53-47 on Hibbitts' trey with 6:49 remaining, but junior G Reese Holliday answered with a long-distance bomb of his own a minute later for a 56-47 lead.
Fowler knocked down two free throws at the 3:38 mark to cut UT's cushion to 58-53, but junior F Matt Smith drilled another big trey for the Rockets with 3:22 to play for a 61-53 advantage. Toledo then hit 7-of-10 free throws in the final 1:10 to secure the win.
Toledo is now idle until Saturday, Feb. 23 when it hosts Southland Conference foe McNeese State in a non-conference contest in Savage Arena.