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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 15, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (8,824) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Toledo 12-0, EMU 10-3. Away Record: Toledo 7-3, EMU 4-7. Neutral Record: Toledo 2-0, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: Toledo 9-2, EMU 6-5. Series Record: Toledo leads, 48-43.
GAME NOTES: The Toledo Rockets look to continue their winning ways when they pay a visit to the Convocation Center to take on the Eagles of Eastern Michigan in Mid-American Conference play.
Toledo has won three straight and nine of its last 10 games overall. The most recent of those victories came Wednesday night over Ohio in an 82-76 final. Today's contest kicks off a stretch that will see the Rockets play three of their next four on the road.
Meanwhile, Eastern Michigan is seeking a third straight victory after dropping four of its previous five outings. The Eagles are coming off Wednesday's 73-62 triumph at Ball State.
Toledo swept both meetings last season and owns a 48-43 lead in the all-time series with EMU. These teams will play each other again in the regular-season finale on March 8.
Toledo has lost only three games all season, and one of those setbacks came against Ohio in an overtime thriller in the first meeting back on Feb. 1. However, the Rockets claimed the rematch earlier this week and moved into sole possession of first place in the league standings thanks to a game-high 29 points from Rian Pearson, who was 12-of-18 from the floor. Julius Brown chipped in with 17 points, six rebounds and six assists. Nathan Boothe and Jonathan Williams rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points apiece. On the season, Pearson leads the team with 14.7 ppg to go along with 5.1 rpg. Brown and Justin Drummond (4.9 rpg) are both averaging 14.6 ppg, followed by J.D. Weatherspoon (11.6 ppg, 6.9 rpg) and Boothe (10.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg). Toledo ranks in the top-10 in the nation in scoring with 83.2 ppg.
Whereas the Rockets like to push the tempo by getting up and down the floor, EMU tries to dictate a slower pace in the half-court game. The Eagles are a defensive-minded team that has held foes to 62.8 ppg and 37.2-percent shooting from the floor. Forward Karrington Ward has started every game this season and leads the team in both scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (6.8 rpg). Also averaging double figures in the scoring column are Raven Lee (10.9 ppg) and reserve Glenn Bryant (10.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg). Lee needed only 25 minutes of floor time to record his game-high 24 points in the road win over Ball State earlier this week. Mike Talley and Daylen Harrison chipped in with 13 and 10 points, respectively. The Eagles forced 21 turnovers for the game, and they also held a key 25-8 scoring advantage at the foul line.
It will be interesting to see which team imposes its will in this matchup of high-flying offense versus stingy defense. EMU has picked up its play of late on both ends of the floor, but the Rockets are simply playing too well to pick against right now.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toledo 72, Eastern Michigan 67
02/15 10:16:29 ET
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