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Rockets Pull Away for 86-77 Road Win Over Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Junior RayJ Dennis tallied 21 points and seven assists and senior Setric Millner Jr. contributed 20 points and six boards to help the Toledo men’s basketball team pull away down the stretch for an 86-77 Mid-American Conference victory at Buffalo. The victory moves Toledo to 13-6, 4-2 in MAC play. 

“This was a big win for us, and our defense came up huge in the final five minutes,” Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “Buffalo is a tough place to win, and they had only one loss at home this season. RayJ came up with a some very big plays down the stretch, and Seth was huge for us too.”

Senior JT Shumate and sophomore Dante Maddox Jr. also scored in double digits for the Rockets with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Shumate also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and a career-high four steals, while Maddox did all of his scoring in the second half. Sophomore Andre Lorentsson contributed a career-high eight points and was a perfect 2-of-2 from three-point range.

LaQuill Hardnett topped Buffalo (9-10, 3-3 MAC) with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Toledo returns home next week for two home games. The Rockets will host Eastern Michigan on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a matchup vs. arch-rival Bowling Green on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 2:00 p.m.

FIRST HALF

  • Neither team led by more than three points until the Rockets took a 20-15 lead at the 14:12 mark on an AJ Edu free throw.
  • After Buffalo knotted the score at 22-22 just over three minutes later, Toledo went on a 6-0 run with baskets from Setric Millner Jr., Ra’Heim Moss and RayJ Dennis to take a six-point lead.
  • Andre Lorentsson’s triple extended UT’s lead to 37-29 five minutes before the half, but the Bulls responded with 10-4 spurt to cut Toledo’s lead to 41-39 1:34 before halftime.
  • Toledo closed out the half with five straight points on another Lorentsson trey and a Dennis layup at the buzzer for a 46-39 advantage.

SECOND HALF

  • Buffalo came out strong to start the half, scoring the first seven points to even the score at 46-46.
  • The Bulls took the first lead since early in the first half when LaQuill Hardnett’s three-point play gave the hosts a 63-62 lead with 11:23 remaining.
  • Millner and Dante Maddox hit baskets on the Rockets’ next two possessions to give Toledo the lead for good.
  • Back-to-back buckets from Dennis and Millner then extended Toledo’s lead to 72-67 with eight minutes remaining.
  • Isaiah Adams drilled a three-pointer to bring Buffalo within 72-70 a minute later.
  • A Ra’Heim Moss three-pointer and Shumate slam increased UT’s lead to 77-70 and that margin didn’t fall below five the rest of the way.
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