Toledo Men's Cagers Rally For 67-66 MAC Win Over NIU

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Feb. 22, 2006

Box Score

DeKalb, IL - The University of Toledo trio of Kashif Payne, Justin Ingram and Keonta Howell combined for eight three-pointers in the second-half to help the visiting Rockets rally from a 15-point deficit in the final stanza and earn the 67-66 come-from-behind Mid-American Conference victory over Northern Illinois University at the NIU Convocation Center on Tuesday night.

Payne (4 treys) and Ingram (5 treys) each scored a game-high 19 points for the Rockets, while Howell (3 treys) added 11 points. Freshman reserve Jonathan Amos scored 11 points off of the bench for UT. As a team, Toledo shot 65.0% (13-for-20) from beyond the three-point arc.

"There are a lot of possessions in a basketball game and every one is huge," NIU head coach Rob Judson said. "Games are never over. As hard as this loss is, our group has a lot of character. We will rise from this, there is a lot of Mid-American Conference basketball left."

With the victory, UT improves to 9-6 overall and 2-6 in MAC action, while the Huskies fall to 9-7 on the campaign and 4-4 in conference play.

NIU juniors James Hughes and Mike McKinney (7 assists, 6 rebounds) each scored 15 points to lead the Huskies, followed by sophomore guard Ben Rand (11 points) and senior forward Todd Peterson (10 points). As a team, NIU shot a season-best 65.0% (26-for-40) from the field. Peterson drained a pair of treys on the evening, giving him 205 for his career, tying him for the school-record with NIU assistant coach Donald Whiteside (1987-91).

The Huskies seemed to be in control early on in the second half as McKinney (6 points) keyed a 12-2 run over the first six minutes of the period to give NIU the 46-31 advantage.

 

 

UT chipped away at NIU's lead over the next 8:18 as the Huskies held a 59-48 lead following a three-pointer from freshman forward Craig Reichel (5 points) with 5:42 left in the contest.

That's when UT turned it on, knocking down four three-pointers - two from Howell - to go on a 12-3 run and cut NIU's advantage to 62-60 with 2:36 remaining. Ingram drained the fourth trey of that run, forcing Judson to call a 30-second time-out.

Upon the Huskies return to the floor, NIU was whistled for a technical foul for having six players on the court. Ingram stepped to the line, drained both of his charity tosses to even the score at 62 with 2:17 left.

With time dwindling, UT found itself forced to foul, sending NIU senior guard Cory Sims (6 points) to the line six times. The Livingston, AL, native connected on four of his six attempts, putting the Huskies ahead, 66-62 with 25 ticks left on the clock. His sixth attempt, however, went array and Ingram came down with the rebound.

Ingram brought the ball upcourt, and knocked down his fifth trey of the night, bringing the Rockets to within one point at 66-65. Immediately following the bucket, UT fouled NIU sophomore guard Ryan Paradise, sending him to the line for a one-and-one attempt.

The Naperville, IL, native missed the front end of the one-and-one, and Ingram came down with the rebound. The Rockets quickly brought the ball up the court and missed a pair of lay-ups, but the second miss was knocked out of bounds by the Huskies giving UT one more chance with 3.9 seconds left.

On the inbounds play, McKinney was whistled for a foul on Amos, putting the freshman guard to the line for the one-and-one attempt. Amos knocked down both of his attempts giving UT the 67-66 lead.

The Huskies had a chance at the buzzer, but Sims' game-winning three-point attempt just missed, giving the Rockets the victory.

NIU is back in action on Thursday evening, as the Huskies travel to Mount Pleasant, MI, for a Mid-American Conference showdown against Central Michigan at 6 p.m. (CST).

(For further information, please contact Matt Brendich) -NIU-

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