The entire Rockets’ starting lineup scored in double digits but that wasn’t enough to offset Howard’s heroics.
Joining Howard in double figures were freshman forward Paris Bass (14 pts., 10 reb.), sophomore guard Jarod Williams (13 pts.) and junior guard Anton Wilson (10 pts.)
UT shot an impressive 56.3 percent (27-of-48) from the field, but the visitors were almost as efficient at the Rockets with a 52.6 shooting mark (30-of-57). Both squads were equally effective at the charity stripe with the Titans enjoying a slight edge of 93.8 percent (15-of-16) to 85.7 percent (18-of-21).
The contest was tight in the first 10 minutes with neither team holding more than a four-point lead until Howard’s trey and layup put Detroit ahead, 30-22, with 7:21 to play in the first half.
The Rockets chipped away at their deficit though and took back the lead, 37-36, on a Williams’ three 1:36 before halftime.
Toledo held that lead to open the second stanza but the Titans quickly grabbed control thanks to an 11-3 spurt for a 49-42 lead with 15:38 to play. The Rockets eventually took a 56-55 lead four minutes later after Weatherspoon’s three-point play capped off an 8-0 run.
Howard answered back with a trey on the next possession though, and the Titans remained in front until Drummond keyed a seven-point burst to put the Rockets up 69-64 with 4:19 left. The Rockets’ senior co-captain knocked down a trey to ignite the run and converted a three-point play to end it.
UT remained in front until Bass sank four straight free throws to put the Titans ahead, 75-73, with 1:38 remaining. Williams responded with a driving layup to even the game, junior guard Brandan Kearney’s corner trey with 49 seconds left gave the visitors the lead for good.
Drummond hit a pair of free throws to make a one-point contest but Bass was perfect again at the line to give the Titans an 80-77 edge with 26 ticks on the clock. The Rockets tried to tie the score with a three, but Williams’ shot form rimmed out with six seconds to go.
Toledo returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 29 with a trip to Rochester, MI to face Oakland. Tip-off time is set for 3:00 p.m.
(Courtesy of Toledo Athletics)