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2016-17 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Ohio Christian Trailblazers vs. Toledo Rockets

Steve Taylor Jr.’s double-double fueled the Rockets in the 98-58 victory.

Toledo Basketball - Flags

The Toledo Rockets (7-6) ended the non-conference slate on a high note as they pounded the Ohio Christian Trailblazers (5-11) 98-58 on Thursday night. Steve Taylor Jr. nearly finished with a triple-double as he recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists on the evening while Jonathan Williams led all scorers with 20 points. UT dominated on defense with 33 defensive rebounds, 16 turnovers forced, nine steals, and five blocks.

Early in the contest, Ohio Christian kept it close as it tied UT five times in the first 10 minutes and took a 23-22 lead with 10:04 left in the half. However, a 17-0 run by the Rockets blew the game wide open as Taylor scored six in the stretch and Williams nailed a pair of treys as the Rockets took a 53-29 lead into halftime. The home team owned the paint in the first 20 minutes as it outscored OCU 28-6 in the paint and managed to turn defense into offense with 10 points off of turnovers.

The Trailblazers never threatened the lead in the second half as UT led by 43 at one point before coasting to a 98-58 win. The bench for Toledo was able to get in and be effective in the late stages of the game with 21 points in the half and 36 for the whole game. The effort on defense didn’t let up after the game was pretty much decided with 16 defensive boards and held OCU to 36.4% from the field in the half.

Having four players in scoring figures were the Rockets, as Jaelan Sanford dropped 17 on 5-10 shooting and 5-6 from the free throw line while Nate Navigato recorded 10 off the bench including three from long range. UT managed to take care of the ball in the game as well with 21 assists to nine turnovers. No idea how this will translate in MAC play, but Toledo is playing confident basketball right now and it’ll be a tough out for most of the teams in the league.

UT opens the conference portion of the schedule with a home game against Buffalo at 6 p.m. Tuesday.