TOLEDO – Toledo (4-7) struggled to put the ball in the basket on Monday afternoon and ended up on the short end of a 58-53 decision to Chicago State (4-12).
The Rockets set a school record by making all 20 of their free throws in the contest , but that wasn't enough to overcome a season-low 31.3 FG% , including a 17.6 mark (3-of-17) from three-point range.
Chicago State didn't fare much better from the field with a 34.6 FG% but heated up in the second stanza by making 50 percent of its attempts. Junior G Jamere Dismukes sparked the Cougars by scoring 17 of his 19 points in the final 20 minutes and knocked down 5-of-7 three-point field-goal attempts.
Junior G Rian Pearson, who has 1,005 points in his collegiate career, led a balanced Rocket attack with 14 points and was joined in double figures by freshman C Nathan Boothe and junior F Matt Smith with 12 points apiece. Boothe also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and helped UT enjoy a 34-32 rebounding advantage.
Toledo held a 45-38 advantage with 6:16 remaining before Dismukes knocked down back-to-back treys bring the Cougars within one. Sophomore G Julius Brown then hit two free throws, but Dismukes tied it with another trey and junior F Matt Ross hit another three with 2:26 left to give Chicago State a 50-47 lead it never relinquished.
The Cougars extended their lead to 52-47 with a pair of free throws following a Pearson miss. Boothe then scored four straight to make it a 52-51 contest with 1:12 remaining but CSU hit six straight free throws to eliminate any hopes of a Rocket comeback. The visitors nearly matched the Rockets at the charity stripe with a 91.7 FT% (11-of-12).
Toledo returns to action next week when it opens up Mid-American Conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 9 at Kent State. Tip-off time is set for 7:00 p.m.