Men win MAC West Division with 97-67 victory at Northern Illinois

February 28, 2018 | Athletics, News
By Steve Easton

Senior forward Tre’Shaun Fletcher registered the second triple-double in program history Tuesday evening, as Toledo cruised to a dominating 97-67 road triumph over Northern Illinois in DeKalb. The victory clinched an outright Mid-American Conference West Division title for the Rockets, who are now 21-9 overall and 13-4 in league play.

UT is locked in as the No. 2 seed in next week’s MAC Tournament and still has a chance to earn a share of the conference’s regular-season title with a victory over Eastern Michigan in Friday’s 6 p.m. regular-season finale in Savage Arena. Buffalo (22-8, 14-3 MAC) leads the Rockets by a game in the standings and will play at Bowling Green Friday at 6 p.m.

Senior Tre’Shaun Fletcher posted the second triple double in program history Feb. 27 as the Rockets beat Northern Illinois.

Fletcher finished last night’s contest with a game-high 20 points, 11 rebounds and a career-best 11 assists and committed just one turnover in 35 minutes. The Rockets’ only other triple-double was by Nathan Boothe, who tallied 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists vs. San Jose State in the 2015 Great Alaska Shootout.

Joining Fletcher in double figures were junior guard Jaelan Sanford and sophomore center Luke Knapke with 16 and 13 points, respectively.

Toledo was extremely efficient throughout the contest; the Rockets shot 57.6 percent from the field, tied its season high with 14 three-point field goals (in 29 attempts), and dished out a season-high 22 assists while committing just eight turnovers.

The Rockets’ defense was on top of their game as well, especially in the first half to help UT build a 48-27 halftime advantage. Toledo shut down the Huskies in the opening stanza, as NIU was 0 for 7 from three-point range and shot 33.3 percent overall.

“I’m extremely proud of our guys and how we played from start to finish to clinch the MAC West Division title,” Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “We followed our game plan and didn’t let up at all. The way we shared and moved the ball really was fun to watch. It was also great to see Tre’Shaun [Fletcher] finish with a triple-double. It was well-deserved because he’s such an unselfish player and plays the game the right way.”

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