Brown leads UT past Central MichiganWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A week after being named Mid-American Conference West Division Player of the Week, Juice Brown put himself in position to repeat.
Led by a career-high 29 points from Brown, the Rockets won their third-straight game in a 72-67 victory over Central Michigan on Feb. 22 in Savage Arena. Toledo also sent CMU to its 11th loss in its last 12 games.
“I think we are turning the corner,” UT head coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “One thing that we struggled with earlier in the year is when we don’t play particularly well, we didn’t know how to grind out wins and I thought tonight we did that.”
Brown hit 10-of-11 shots against the Chippewas (8-19, 3-10 MAC), including 8 of 10 free throws. The freshman has scored in double figures in the last seven games, averaging 14.9 points per game in that span.
“This is my best game throughout my college and high school career,” Brown said. “Tonight it seemed like everything was going in. It felt like everything was going in when I was shooting the ball.”
With the victory, the Rockets (14-14, 5-8 MAC) evened its record at .500 while remaining two games behind Eastern Michigan (12-16, 7-6) in the MAC West. Toledo has three games remaining, including the season finale against the Eagles on March 3.
“We have 120 minutes to that goal,” Kowalczyk said. “Don’t think our players don’t know that, but it starts with 40 minutes on Saturday. Tonight we didn’t come close to playing 40 minutes and we are not beating Western Michigan with the effort we put forth tonight.”
“We talk about it often,” Brown said. “We still think we can win the West Division but we know it’s going to take a lot, but we are still very confident we can win the West.”
Junior Curtis Dennis came off the bench and scored 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Sophomore Rian Pearson (5 of 12) had 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
The Chippewas received a career-best performance from guard Trey Zeigler, who scored 33 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Derek Jackson also chipped in with 12.
The Rockets return on their pursuit of the division crown when they take on Western Michigan (12-16, 6-7) at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 in Savage Arena.