TOLEDO, Ohio -- Sophomore guard Jonathan Williams led the way with a game-high 18 points, including the tilt’s final five, as the Toledo Rockets pulled out a 70-65 win over visiting Miami Wednesday at Savage Arena.
The RedHawks trailed 34-27 at the half and by 10 points twice early in the second period before rallying. A 13-3 run allowed MU to pull even with the hosts at 44-all following three free throws by Willie Moore at 15:05.
Senior guard Julius Brown, who went scoreless before intermission, came alive later in the second stanza. Starting midway through the period, Brown accounted for 11-straight Toledo points. When Chris Bryant tallied on a layup to tie things at 57-all, Brown scored the next six points in an 8-0 Rocket burst. Four of Brown’s points came at the line. Overall, he hit 7-of-8 from the stripe on the way to 13 points for the evening.
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Williams hit the first of two free throws with 59 ticks left to again put Toledo in front. After Geovonie McKnight missed a shot at the other end, Williams was fouled again. This time he made both tosses, putting UT up 68-65 with 30 seconds left.
Logan McLane missed a layup with 21 seconds remaining, but Washington got the rebound and fired up a three with 10 ticks left. The shot was short, bouncing off the front of the rim. Jordan Lauf pulled down the carom and got it ahead to Williams, who dunked to finish Toledo’s second home win in four days. The Rockets, now 12-8, 4-3 MAC edged rival Bowling Green, 71-67 Saturday.
Miami, meanwhile, fell short in its attempt for a second straight road win after defeating Northern Illinois Saturday for its first road victory of the season. The RedHawks drop to 7-13 overall (2-5 MAC).
Washington paced MU scoring with 16 points. He was followed by forward Logan McClain with 14 markers. It was the second straight double-figure performance for McClain, who recorded seven rebounds in both games and is showing signs of progress in his freshman season. Moore was also in double figures, netting 10 points, including six (6-of-7) at the line. He also picked up three of Miami’s nine steals on the night.
Toledo put four players in double figures. Joining Williams (18) and Brown (13) were senior forward J.D. Weatherspoon (13) and 6-9, junior center Nathan Boothe (10). The latter two did much of their damage in the first half as Toledo outscored MU 20-14 in the paint. Booth tallied six and Weatherspoon 11 before intermission. Williams, meanwhile, owned seven points and Brown was scoreless at the halfway mark.
Miami broke out in front early, but when Williams scored on a reverse layup at 13:59, the game was tied at 9-9. His three from the left side two possessions gave UT the lead and the Rockets built their advantage to seven by halftime.
Toledo connected on 56.6 percent (15-of-27) from the field during the first period, while Miami was at 45.8 percent (11-of-24).
The RedHawks had a slight advantage in the second half, hitting 13-of-26 (50%) to 11-of-26 (42.3%) for Toledo. Both teams got to the free throw line more in the second stanza. Miami made 10-of-13 at the stripe; UT was good on 12-of-15.
Toledo returns to MAC West action Saturday when it travels to Northern Illinois (8 p.m. ET). Miami starts a two-game home stand against Ball State Saturday. The matchup is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET and is the second half of a double header including the women’s team. Former Miami head coach Charlie Coles’ number will be retired as part of the activities.