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Junior Nate Navigato led the visiting Rockets with 19 points, while Tre’Shaun Fletcher posted a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds. He made 7 of 10 free throws along the way, including 6 of 8 after intermission. Jaelin Sanford rounded out Toledo double-figure scoring with 15 points.
The RedHawks also . . .
With Miami Hall of Famer Wally Szczerbiak on hand and a season high crowd of over 3,500 on hand, the two teams tipped off early for a national television audience.
"That was the best crowd we've had since I've been here," Miami senior forward, who acknowledged the charged atmosphere could have affected play early. "We were all hyped up and full of energy."
Actually, neither team’s offense fared well out of the gate. Miami finally cracked double digits with a Bam Bowman bucket at 10:40 to take a 10-9 lead.
A huge problem for Miami was its perimeter shooting. The RedHawks connected on just 1 of 13 3-point attempts before intermission. Toledo wasn’t that much better from distance (4 of 13), but the visitors made 48-1 percent (13 of 27) of their shots overall. MU hit 10 of 32 for 31.3 percent.
After trailing 33-22 at the break, Miami quickly rallied when play resumed. All three of the RedHawks second half treys came during a 19-4 run that put MU in front 41-40 at the 14:00 mark.That turned out to be Miami’s only lead of the second half.
Fletcher’s and-one put UT back in front and James Gordon IV added a layup. Toledo led by as many as six before MU climbed back to within two (51-49) following a layup by McLane at 7:25.
That was as close at Miami could get, although the RedHawks were were within two once more and three points twice.
While Miami had more field goals (28 of 74 – 37.3%) than Toledo (23 of 51 – 45.1%), but the Rockets outscored MU at the line 21-7 on the night.
That accentuated another problem for Miami. Luke Knapke, a 6-11 presence in the middle blocked five shots and influenced more. "It was very difficult (in there). He's a great defender," said Ringo.
When the RedHawks perimeter game produced just 4 of 27 3-point attempts for a season low 14.8 percent, it put MU in a difficult spot. Toledo put the game away at the line.
Of his own young squad, Owens said , "This is a good team (and) we're going to continue to get better. We're young and growing."
Toledo is home against Ohio Wednesday. Miami faces another difficult test when it travels to Eastern Michigan. The Eagles defeated MU by 10 in their first meeting. Both games tip at 7 p.m.