Sophomore guard EJ Farmer came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points and senior forward Setric Millner Jr. added 19 of his own to lead No. 1 seed Toledo to a 91-75 victory over No. 8 seed Miami in quarterfinal action of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland on Thursday.
Toledo, which improved its record to 26-6, will next face the winner of the Ball State-Ohio game on Friday at 5 p.m. The contest will be televised live on the CBS Sports Network.
“I thought this was a mature win,” said Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk. “We did what we were supposed to do as the No. 1 seed playing the eight seed. Nothing more, nothing less. In the first half, we came out really focused. We shared the ball, 11 assists and three turnovers, and shot 62%. We played efficient basketball.”
“We’ve been here before,” said Millner. “It’s about putting the ball in the hoop. We came ready to play.”
Toledo scored the first five points of the contest and never trailed. The Rockets, winners of their last 16 consecutive games, shot a blistering 62.1% (18-of-29) from the field in the first half to take a 48-33 into halftime. Toledo led by as many as 20 points in the second half and was never seriously threatened.
“It was nice to have a good start,” said senior forward JT Shumate, who finished with 17 points. “When things don’t go our way, how are we going to respond? That’s the biggest thing. Being resilient.”
In addition to Millner and Farmer, Shumate (17) and RayJ Dennis (15) also scored in double digits for Toledo. The Rockets shot 58.2% for the game with Millner (8-of-11), Farmer (5-of-6) and Shumate (7-of-10) combining to make 20-27 (74.0%) of their shots.
Miami (12-20) shot 42.1% from the field and was led by Morgan Stafford’s 21 points.