Sophomore forward Nate Navigato . . .
Toledo (12-12, 5-6 MAC) also received a balanced effort on the boards en route to a commanding 38-29 advantage on the glass. Redshirt freshman center Luke Knapke tied his season high with nine rebounds, while Lauf and Taylor each grabbed eight caroms.
UT shot 52.8 percent from the field, including a scorching 64.3 percent in the second half, and tied its season high with 23 assists on 28 field goals. The Midnight Blue and Gold also buried 10-of-20 three-point field goal attempts, with Lauf and Navigato each draining three treys.
Sanford paced the Rockets with six assists and committed zero turnovers in 36 minutes, while Williams and Knapke tallied five and four helpers, respectively.
The Rockets held EMU’s leading scorer, senior guard Willie Mangum IV, to 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Senior guard Ty Toney was the Eagles’ only other double-digit scorer with a team-high 13 points.
Eastern Michigan (13-11, 5-6 MAC) shot 39.1 percent from the field and 20.0 percent (3-of-15) from three-point range en route to its third straight defeat.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair in the early going with seven lead changes in the opening 12 minutes. The Rockets couldn’t extend their lead to more than three points, though, until a Navigato layup with 2:41 to play in the first half gave UT a 26-22 advantage. Neither team would score the remainder of the opening stanza, allowing Toledo to take a four-point margin to the locker room.
The Rockets maintained a single-digit advantage until back-to-back layups from Taylor and Williams put UT in front by 13 points, 48-35, with 11:32 to play. The closest the Eagles could come the remainder of the contest was 54-47 following back-to-back buckets from Toney.
Toledo quickly responded though with a Knapke layup and back-to-back treys from Lauf and Navigato for an 8-0 spurt that put the game away.
The Rockets return to action on Saturday, Feb. 11 with a matinee game vs. Kent State (13-11, 5-6 MAC). Tip-off time is set for 2:00 p.m. Eastern Michigan hosts Akron Friday (7 p.m. ET).
(Courtesy of UT Athletics)