Drummond was joined in double figures by senior guard Julius Brown (15 pts.), senior forward J.D. Weatherspoon (12 pts.) and junior center Nathan Boothe (10 pts.).
Boothe and Weatherspoon helped the Rockets hold a commanding 41-31 rebounding advantage by grabbing a team-high eight boards apiece. UT asserted itself on the offensive glass with a season-high 16 caroms, leading to 12 second-chance points.
The Rockets protected the ball, as well, by tying their season low with five turnovers. Brown paced UT with four assists.
“I was happy how we took care of the ball,” Toledo head coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “We also went strong to the boards against a strong rebounding team. We had some defensive lapses, which I wasn’t happy about, but it’s a good way to finish off a busy week filled with final exams and a long day of travel.”
Senior guard Kevin Hardy paced MSU with 20 points, and senior forward Desharick Guidrey added 15 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth straight double-double.
Toledo took control with a 21-5 run, which was buoyed by five three-point field goals, to end the first half after McNeese State had cut the Rockets’ lead to 26-25 at the 7:42 mark. UT led at the half, 47-30, after registering a 53.1 FG percentage.
The Cowboys (5-4) rallied and came within five points, 58-53, with 12:23 left in the contest. Freshmen guards Stuckey Mosley and Kurt Hall combined to score seven straight points to return UT’s cushion to double digits, 67-53, with just under 10 minutes to play.
“Our bench really came through for us today,” Kowalczyk said. “We weren’t playing well in the second half and they provided us a spark when we needed it.”
The Rockets return to action on Monday, Dec. 29 at No. 2 Duke. Tip-off time is 7:00 p.m. with the game being televised on ESPN2.
(Courtesy of UT Athletics/MRO Edit)