In a battle pitting the Mid-American Conference's best offensive and defensive units, it was defense that prevailed on Saturday afternoon as Eastern Michigan handed Toledo a 65-44 setback at the Convocation Center. The defeat dropped the Rockets' record to 21-4 overall and 9-3 in league, while the Eagles improved to 15-10 overall and 7-5 in the MAC.
Junior Julius Brown and freshman Jonathan Williams paced the Rockets with 13 points apiece and were the only UT players to score in double figures. It was the first time this year Toledo didn't have at least three individuals tally double-digit point totals.
Junior forward Karrington Ward and junior guard Mike Talley topped the Eagles with 13 points apiece, while senior center Da'Shonte Riley made his presence felt defensively with seven blocked shots.
In addition to being held to its lowest scoring output of the season, UT was limited to a season-low 25.9 field-goal percentage and 28.0 percent (7-of-25) from three-point range by EMU. The Eagles shot 46.0 percent from the field and knocked down 4-of-11 (36.4 percent) long-distance attempts.
Eastern Michigan also controlled the boards, 43-30, including a 25-10 advantage in the second half.
After falling behind 12-7 in the game's early stages, Toledo held the Eagles without a point for over seven minutes. UT couldn't capitalize as much as it would have liked, though, as the Midnight Blue and Gold only scored nine points during that stretch for a 16-12 advantage with a little over eight minutes before halftime.
The Eagles ended their drought with an 8-0 spurt and ended up with a 26-22 cushion at intermission.
Both teams struggled out of the gate offensively to start the second half with the only points in the first 4:37 coming on two free throws each from Drummond and EMU senior forward Daylen Harrison.
Ward knocked down a three-pointer to give the Eagles their first double-digit lead, 35-24, with 13:50 to play.
The closest Toledo came the rest of the contest was seven points on two occasions, 44-37 and 47-40, following treys from Brown with 7:30 and 4:54 remaining, respectively.
The Rockets return to action on Thursday, Feb. 20 with a matchup against arch-rival Bowling Green. Tip-off time is set for 9:00 p.m. with the contest being televised on ESPNU.