Rockets extend record for consecutive losses
The Rockets lost a school-record 15th-consecutive game last night in a 55-47 loss at Miami , extending the original record of 10. Gene Cross continued his winless record on the road in his two seasons as head coach for UT, running his record to 0-27.
Toledo (3-22, 0-11 Mid-American Conference) held a 21-18 lead at halftime but turned the ball over nine times and shot just 40 percent from the field (8-of-20) in the second half. Miami (11-13, 8-3 MAC) shot nearly 70 percent from the floor after the break en route to a 37-point half.
"We had the same mentality we had the last two games, and we took that on the road and played a solid offensive half," Cross said. "We couldn't get ourselves over the hump. Mentally, we just have to have a mind set that ‘you know what this is our game to win' and not ‘lets play not to lose.'"
Junior forward Justin Anyijong had a game-high 16 points and nine rebounds while sophomore guard Larry Bastfield recorded a season-high 10 points. Freshman guard Jake Barnett leads UT with 13.6 points per game but scored only seven points in the contest with his first field goal coming with 5:46 remaining in the game. Freshman forward Jordan Dressler added six points and five rebounds.
"We just have to continue to have the production out of [Larry] and Justin and continue to get it out of Jordan as well," Cross said. "Hopefully we can spread it around a little bit more, but they each have to be on the defensive end and we have to tough it out and we have to get stops."
Toledo had an early 12-7 advantage after Anyijong scored eight points in the first seven minutes of play, including two triples. The 6-10 junior continued his hot shooting throughout the half, scoring 13 of the team's 21 points to lead 21-18 at the break.
Bastfield drove the lane and hit a floating lay-up to keep Toledo up by three at 30-27 with 13:43 left. Miami responded with a 12-2 run to put the Rockets in a 39-32 hole with 7:52 remaining. UT battled back with a 5-0 run to bring the game within two at 43-41 following a three pointer from Barnett and a lay-up from Bastfield, but Miami kept Toledo from taking the lead by quickly scoring two unanswered baskets to lead 47-41.
After a pair of free throws and a layup from Barnett, UT was down just three points with two minutes remaining. Miami again answered, hitting a three pointer from Nick Winbush to put the game out of reach with just 1:26 left at 51-45.
Senior guard Kenny Hayes led a balanced RedHawk attack with 14 points. Juniors Antonio Ballard and Nick Winbush and added 13 and 10 points, respectively. Sophomore Julian Mavunga had a team-high eight boards and also added 12 points.
The Rockets travel to take on MAC West Division leading Central Michigan (11-11, 6-4) on Sunday, Feb. 14 in Mount Pleasant, Mich. at 4:30 p.m.
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