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Rockets win streak hits nine with 80-62 win over CMU

By Nate Pentecost
On February 16, 2012

After an exhilarating comeback win over Bowling Green last Saturday, the Rockets avoided a letdown with a tremendous offensive output last night in Mount Pleasant.

The 80-62 blowout win over Central Michigan (13-13, 5-7 Mid-American Conference) extends Toledo's winning streak to a season-high nine games.

"It's really tough to get a win up here," said UT head coach Tricia Cullop. "If you look at our history we've had close games and to be honest that's what I was prepared for."

Toledo (17-7, 10-2) shot 53 percent (32-of-60) from the field, including 56 percent (9-of-16) from three-point range. All 11 Rockets who took the court found the scoring column.

"We came out hitting on all cylinders and I'm very proud of our team," Cullop said. "Every kid who came in was ready to play

UT held the Chippewas to 31.8 percent (21-of-66) shooting from the floor and 25 percent (5-of-20) from threepoint range.

Senior guard Haylie Linn scorched the Central for a career-high 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting, including 6-of-7 from beyond the arc.

"It's funny, at the very beginning of the game (Linn) passed up a couple shots," Cullop said. "We took her out, we talked about it, she didn't pass up another one and I'm glad.

"She really did play an outstanding game and she wasn't feeling the best today so we're really proud of her."

Junior forward Lecretia Smith recorded her second double-double against CMU this season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Andola Dortch added 16 points while teammate Yolanda Richardson grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.

Junior guard Brandie Baker led Central with 13 points, shooting 9-of-12 from the free throw line but just 2-of-11 from the field.

Sophomore forward Taylor Johnson scored the first seven points for the home team, helping the Chippewas establish a 10-7 lead in the early going.

Sparked by six points apiece from Linn and Dortch, the Rockets went on a 16-5 run to take a 23-15 advantage near the midway point of the first half.

UT would not relinquish the lead the remainder of the game.

"We're trying to chase down one of those (MAC Tournament) buys," Cullop said. "If you can get the buys in the tournament that's huge. But we're not out of the clear. We've got a lot of games to go to do that."

The next of those games will be at Savage Arena this Saturday, against Western Michigan.

The game is set to be televised on Sports Time Ohio with tip-off scheduled for noon.

Saturday's showdown with the Broncos marks UT's fourth-annual "Rockets For the Cure." The game will benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northwest Ohio. The team encourages those in attendance to wear pink in support of cancer research.

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