Rockets lose at CMU in conference openerWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The UT men’s basketball team lost the Mid-American Conference opener 85-69 at Central Michigan on Jan. 7.
Sophomore guard Rian Pearson scored a game-highs of 20 points and eight rebounds for Toledo (8-7, 0-1 MAC) along with five assists.
“Rian played very well tonight and brought a lot of energy to the court,” Toledo head coach Tod Kowalczyk said.
Junior guard Curtis Dennis was right behind Pearson with 19 points and a block in 28 minutes off the bench. Sophomore forwards Reese Holliday and Delino Dear also scored in double digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Chippewas (6-8, 1-0) were led by guard Trey Zeigler with 19 points, four rebounds and four assists as three of his teammates also scored in double figures.
Toledo allowed CMU to shoot 55.6 percent from the field (30 of 54) including 8 of 17 from three-point range.
Central Michigan started the game on a 9-2 run and built to a 30-14 lead with 6:38 left in the first half. The Rockets responded with 12 unanswered points to the lead to six. Mbaigoto Olivier made a layup with one second remaining to give the Chippewas a 46-36 lead at halftime.
“Our turnovers killed us in the first half and led to several easy baskets for CMU,” Kowalczyk said. “Once we settled in I thought we did fine offensively. We just couldn’t get the stops we needed to complete a comeback.”
Pearson grabbed his own rebound to hit a jumper on the opening possession of the second half to cut the lead to eight, but that was as close as the Rockets could get.
Toledo hosts Ball State (9-4, 1-0) at 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, and the game will be televised on SportsTime Ohio.