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Toledo uses big start to beat Ohio

Rockets score first 15 points, hold on in 2nd half

TOLEDO Ohio showed much better than the first time around against Toledo but a second-half comeback came up short in an 82-74 loss Tuesday night at Savage Arena.

The Bobcats were blown out less than a month ago in their worst Mid-American Conference home loss in program history with a 91-57 loss to the Rockets.

This game seemed to have the same trajectory for a while, with Toledo (19-7, 11-2 MAC) scoring the first 15 points and taking a 37-19 lead with less than five minutes left in the second half, but Ohio (10-15, 3-10 MAC) battled back to as close as six in the second half.

After scoring just 8 points in the last three games, Kevin Mickle had 24 points with six rebounds, while Teyvion Kirk posted a double-double of 21 points and 10 rebounds. James Gollon had 11 points.

Jaelan Sanford paced the Rockets with 21 points, Tre-Shaun Fletcher scored 17 points, and Nate Navigato contributed 15 points.

Toledo scored 15 points in the first five minutes to take a commanding early lead.

"They came out and pressured us, and we didn't attack well," Ohio coach Saul Phillips said. "Once again, they came out absolutely blazing. Take away that stretch, and you've got yourself a really interesting ballgame."

Ohio came back with nine straight, but the Rockets stretched the lead to 18 with 4:48 remaining in the half. The Bobcats closed the half on a 10-2 run to get within 10 at halftime.

Gollon scored a fast break layup with 3:56 to go to make it a 65-59 game, and a short jumper by Mickle answered a Toledo bucket to make it a six-point game again, but Ohio got no closer.

The Rockets cooled from 51.9 percent shooting in the first half to 29.2 percent in the second half, while the Bobcats improved from 37.9 to 47.1, but they were not sharp from the outside, finishing 5 of 17.

Ohio returns home to face rival Miami at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at The Convo.

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