Toledo started strong and never trailed Saturday afternoon as the Rockets remained unbeaten with an 85-66 triumph over Coppin State in Savage Arena.With the victory, UT improved to 12-0 to match the 1940-41 squad for the second-longest unbeaten start to a season in school history.
Senior guard Rian Pearson paced a balanced Rocket attack with a game-high 22 points; junior guard Julius Brown (18 points), junior guard Justin Drummond (13 points) and senior forward Matt Smith (season-high 10 points) also scored in double figures.
Toledo dominated the glass for a third straight outing with a commanding 47-25 rebounding advantage. Over its last three contests, UT has outrebounded its opponents by a 136-84 margin.
Freshman guard Jordan Lauf led the Rockets’ rebounding efforts with a season-high 10 caroms, with junior forward J.D. Weatherspoon tying a season best with nine boards.
Brown also spearheaded the Rocket offense with a game-high seven assists to help UT tally 19 helpers as a team with just 11 turnovers. Toledo shot 49.2 percent (29 of 59) from the field and limited the Eagles to a 39.7 shooting mark (23 of 58).
Senior guard Andre Armstrong came off the bench to lead the Eagles with 15 points.
Toledo took control in the latter stages of the opening stanza, ending the half on a 16-2 run for a 44-24 halftime advantage that was the Rockets’ largest lead after 20 minutes this season.
UT increased its lead to 22 points early in the second half before the Eagles rallied to within 71-58 with five minutes to play. Brown was able to restore the Rockets’ cushion back to 20 points at 82-62 though with a trey at the 2:06 mark.
Toledo has a quick turnaround as the Rockets return to action Monday, Dec. 30, with a trip to Lawrence, Kan., to battle No. 16 Kansas. Tip-off time from Allen Fieldhouse is 7 p.m. Central/8 p.m. Eastern. The game can be seen on ESPN 3.