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Rockets to Battle Bulls on National TV on Friday Night

TOLEDO, Ohio – The Toledo men’s basketball team (12-6, 3-2 MAC) looks to notch its first three-game winning streak since November when it travels to Buffalo, N.Y. on Friday, Jan. 20 to battle the Bulls (9-9, 3-2 MAC) on national television. Tip-off time in Alumni Arena is set for 8:30 p.m. on the CBS Sports Network.

The Rockets swept their season series last year vs. Buffalo with an 86-75 home win and a 92-76 road victory. UT has won its last three meetings against the Bulls after UB had won the five previous contests.

Toledo posted a dominating wire-to-wire 90-75 victory over Ohio on Tuesday. RayJ Dennis tallied a team-high 25 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and a career-high two blocked shots. JT Shumate (21 pts., 8-of-11 FG), Dante Maddox Jr. (14 pts., 4-of-6 FG) and EJ Farmer (11 pts., 5-of-6 FG) joined Dennis in double digits and combined to shoot 17-of-23 from the field. Shumate also tied his season high with four treys.

The Rockets shot 55.6 percent, including an impressive 52.2 percent (12-of-23) from three-point range. Toledo ranks seventh nationally with a MAC-best 84.8 ppg as well as ranking 22nd with a 48.7 FG%. In league play, the Rockets are shooting a league-best 49.3%.

Individually, RayJ Dennis ranks 13th in the nation with 5.9 apg and 19th with a 2.9 A/TO ratio. JT Shumate ranks 18th nationally with a 89.8 FT% and fourth in the MAC with a team-high 18.4 ppg. He is the only player in the MAC to rank in the Top 10 in FG% (57.5/5th), 3PTFG% (43.0/6th) and FT% (89.8/3rd).

Buffalo ranks second in the MAC with 79.9 ppg, second with 8.9 spg and third with a 46.2 FG%. Sophomore Curtis Jones leads the Bulls with 15.3 ppg, while junior Zid Powell is averaging 14.1 ppg and ranks second in the MAC with 2.2 spg.

GAME INFORMATION
Date: Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.
Tip-Off: 8:30 p.m.
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Arena: Alumni Arena (7,014).
Television: CBS Sports Network. Dave Ryan will provide play-by-play for broadcast with BJ Taylor serving as analyst.
Radio: Rocket Radio Network. WSPD (1370 AM) in Toledo. Mark Beier will provide play-by-play for broadcast with Jay Lehman serving as analyst.
 
SERIES
Toledo leads 18-14. The Rockets have won three straight in the series following Buffalo’s five-game win streak from 2018-20. Toledo posted an 80-70 road win in 2021 and an 86-75 home and 92-76 road victories last year.

DEFENSIVE DEVELOPMENT
• Toledo has held three of its last four opponents under 40 percent shooting from the field after holding its opponent under that mark just twice in its first 14 contests.
• The Rockets rank fourth in league play in FG% defense (42.4) after holding Western Michigan to a 38.7 mark, Kent State to a 38.6 FG% and Northern Illinois to a 39.6 figure.
• UT’s opponents are shooting 40.1% from the field with a 33.0% from three-point range in the last four games. For the season, Toledo’s opponents have a 44.7 FG% and a 37.4 three-point FG%.
 
PROTECTING THE BALL
Toledo ranks 31st in the nation with a MAC-low 10.9 turnovers per game. The Rockets have committed 10 or fewer turnovers in nine of 18 contests.
 
ROCKETS IN THE NCAA RANKINGS
•  Toledo ranks seventh in the nation with 84.8 ppg.
•  The Rockets are also in the Top 35 in FG% (22nd/48.7), free-throws made/game (27th/15.9), A/TO ratio (30th/1.40), and fewest turnovers/game (31st/10.9).
•  RayJ Dennis ranks 13th with a career-high 5.9 apg and 19th with a 2.9 A/TO ratio.
•  JT Shumate ranks 18th with an 89.8 FT% and 42nd with a 57.5 FG%. Shumate’s streak of 19 straight free throws made ended vs. Ohio on Tuesday.
 
ROCKETS IN THE MAC RANKINGS
•  Toledo leads the MAC with 84.8 ppg, nearly five points better than Buffalo (78.7), and is also first in FG% (48.7), three-point FG% (38.4), A/TO ratio (1.40) and fewest turnovers/game (10.9).
•  The Rockets are also tied for first with Buffalo with 15.3 apg.
•  UT is the only school to have three players among the MAC’s Top 20 scoring leaders — JT Shumate (18.4/4th), RayJ Dennis (18.3/5th), and Setric Millner Jr. (14.3 ppg/16th).
•  Dennis leads the MAC with 5.9 apg and a 2.9 assist/turnover ratio.
•  Shumate is the only player in the MAC to rank in the Top 10 in FG% (57.5/5th), 3PTFG% (43.0%/6th) and FT% (89.8/3rd).
•  Shumate leads the MAC with 10 20-point outings and is third with 1.4 bpg.
•  Dennis is second in the MAC with nine 20-point contests.
•  Dante Maddox Jr. is fifth with a 43.9 3PTFG%.
•  Ra’Heim Moss is fourth with 1.8 spg and Millner Jr is tied for ninth with 6.1 rpg.
 
POST TOUCHES
•  RayJ Dennis has scored in double digits in every game this season (15 or more in 14 games) after ending the 2021-22 season by scoring in double digits in a career-high 14 straight games.
•  Dennis tallied a career-high 29 points, a season-best nine rebounds and six assists vs. Canisius (Dec. 10) to help him earn MAC Player of Week for a second time this season. He also scored 23 points vs. Valparaiso (Nov. 7) and UAB (Nov. 11) to earn MAC Player of Week honors. Dennis dished out a career-high 12 assists and scored 17 points vs. Oakland (Nov. 16).
•  JT Shumate leads the MAC with 10 20-point outings and has a 58.5 FG% and 52.9 three-point FG% (18-of-34) in his last eight games. He tied his career high with 33 points on 15-of-21 shooting vs. Oakland (Nov. 16) to earn MAC Player of Week honors.
•  Last year, Shumate ranked in the MAC’s Top 15 in seven categories. He was first with a 48.2 three-point FG%, second with 1.3 bpg, fourth with a 55.4 FG%, and fifth with an 82.0 FT%.
•  Setric Millner Jr. has four 20-point outings as well as three double-doubles this season. He leads UT with a career-high 6.4 rpg and ranks third in team scoring with 14.7 ppg. Last year, Millner scored a career-high 28 points at WMU (Feb. 22) and tied his career best with five triples.
•  Millner, Jr. has a 52.8 FG% and 53.3 3PTFG% in his last four contests.
•  Ra’Heim Moss scored a season-high 18 points vs. Lourdes and ranks fourth in the MAC with a team-high 1.8 spg. He led the MAC in league play with a 2.78 A/TO ratio and scored a career-high 20 points and grabbed seven boards vs. Akron (Jan. 28).
•  Dante Maddox Jr. ranks fourth on the team with 10.7 ppg and fifth in the MAC with a 43.9 3PTFG% (29-of-66). He led Toledo in scoring for the first time this year with his 18-point outing at NIU (Jan. 14) and is averaging 13.0 ppg with a 58.0 FG% (29-of-50) in his last seven games.
•  EJ Farmer tallied 11 points vs. Ohio (Jan. 17) for his fourth double-digit outing of the season. He is shooting 55.2% from the field and 43.8% (7-of-16) from three-point range.
•  AJ Edu grabbed a season-high nine rebounds and scored seven points at NIU (Jan. 14).
 
ROAD WARRIORS
     The Rockets have posted a 19-13 (.594) win-loss mark in road games since the start of the 2020-21 season. Toledo possesses a 43-33 (.566) win-loss mark on enemy courts since the start of the 2017-18 season.
 
ON THE HORIZON
     Toledo will return home next week for games vs. Eastern Michigan (4-14, 1-4 MAC) on Tuesday, Jan. 24 and Bowling Green (8-10, 2-3 MAC) on Saturday, Jan. 28.
 
 

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