Senior guard Jonathan Williams paced . . .
Lauf and Taylor each registered double-doubles with a career-high 13 and 10 rebounds, respectively, to help the Rockets dominate the glass by a 36-25 margin. UT limited the Ramblers to just three offensive rebounds and two second-chance points.
Junior forward Aundre Jackson topped Loyola offensively with 22 points.
Toledo shot 50.9 percent from the field and 40.0 percent (6-of-15) from three-point range, while Loyola posted a 46.4 field goal percentage and 45.0 3-point percentage (9-of-20). UT enjoyed a slight edge at the charity stripe, knocking down 14-of-19 of its attempts compared to the Ramblers’ 9-of-12 totals.
The Rockets seized control early in the first half after the lead changed hands seven times in the opening four minutes. Toledo put together a 19-0 run over a span of 8:20 to take a 27-11 lead with 7:45 to play in the first half. The Ramblers managed to climb back within as few as seven points, 31-24, but a Williams’ layup late in the opening stanza gave the Midnight Blue and Gold a 41-30 cushion at intermission.
Loyola rallied to within 49-44 just over five minutes into the second half, but a Sanford layup followed by two more Williams’ lay-ins restored UT’s double-digit lead to 55-44 with 12:50 left. Back-to-back treys from the Ramblers’ Milton Doyle and Clayton Custer cut the visitors’ deficit to 60-56 with 5:45 remaining, but Williams answered with a three-pointer of his for a 65-58 Toledo lead.
The closest Loyola came the rest of the way was two points on two different occasions. With UT leading 67-65, Taylor grabbed an offensive board and converted a put-back with 2:07 left. Doyle then answered with a layup of his own before Sanford set up Williams for his decisive trey in the final minute.
The Rockets will now take a short holiday break before returning to action on Friday, Dec. 30 against Ohio Christian. Tip-off time from Savage Arena is set for 7:00 p.m.
(Courtesy of UT Athletics)