Toledo (0-2) at Northern Iowa (1-0)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, November 14, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McCleod Center (6,650) -- Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Television: None. Home Record: Toledo 0-0, Northern Iowa 0-0. Away Record:
Toledo 0-2, Northern Iowa 0-0. Neutral Record: Toledo 0-0, Northern Iowa 0-0.
Conference Record: Toledo 0-0, Northern Iowa 0-0. Series Record: First
GAMES NOTES: Toledo continues its five-game road trip to open the season when
the Rockets travel to the McCleod Center to take on the Northern Iowa
The first two stops on its season opening journey have not gone well for
Toledo. The Rockets lost to Loyola-Illinois 62-50 in the season opener, then
in were routed by Minnesota, 82-56. Toledo is hoping it is just a slow start
and not a return to the types of efforts that had the squad post 4-28 records
in consecutive seasons, before last year's 19-17 effort. The next stop on
the five-game road slate is in Fort Myers, Florida to face Samford as part of
the Battle 4 Atlantis.
A record offensive performance powered Northern Iowa in its win in the season
opener. The Panthers rolled up 103 points, which was a record at the McCleod
Center in a 53-point victory over Wartburg, a school out of the Iowa
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The easy opener belies the fact that
Northern Iowa has been one of the best mid-major programs in the last few
seasons with at least 20 wins in four straight years. Northern Iowa remains at
home to face North Dakota this Saturday.
This will mark the first meeting between these two programs.
Toledo was unable to recover from a slow start offensively against Minnesota
in its second loss of the season. The Rockets connected on only 8-of-36 shot
attempts in the first half and despite heating up to 44.0 percent in the
second half were unable to overcome a massive 48-22 disadvantage at the half.
One good sign in the game was the Rian Pearson was able to get back to scoring
at a high level. Although he took a bulk of the team's shots (17) he was able
to finished with 18 points in 31 minutes of play. Pearson really powered the
Toledo offense last season, scoring a team-high 16.4 points per game. Pearson
was also a productive rebounder last season (8.3 ppg) but has only 10 through
the first two games. Julius Brown has shown his ability to both score and
distribute in the first two games. He had a team-high 15 points in the opener
but then scored just nine points, while handing out seven assists against
Minnesota. Nathan Boothe (5.5 rpg) and Reese Holliday (5.0 rpg) are the top
rebounder for the Rockets through the first two games.
Northern Iowa was lights out on offense in its season opener, as it shot at a
blistering 65.6 percent clip overall. That included an astounding 22-for-28
effort in the second half, when the Panthers racked up 56 points.
Five different players scored in double figures, led by Deon Mitchell. The
sophomore guard started the game but played in only 14 minutes while still
managing to score 18 points and hand out six assists. Perhaps Mitchell can
step up to fill the role of go-to scorer with last year's leading scorer,
Anthony James (12.5 ppg) gone this season. Forward Jake Koch cleaned up on the
board with 13 rebounds. Seth Tuttle, a sophomore forward who really shined
last season (9.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg), is tagged as the next big thing for the
Panthers. However, he didn't need to do all that much in the season opener,
scoring seven points on 3-for-3 shooting in just 13 minutes of play. Reserves
Marvin Singleton (14 points), Matt Morrison (14) and Nate Buss (13) all saw
major minutes but are unlikely to see as much court time going forward.
Opening up the season with so many road games might prove to be a benefit
later on in the season for Toledo. However, for now it just means the Rockets
will continue to struggle.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Northern Iowa 72, Toledo 61
11/14 11:28:59 ET