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Shooting struggles sink men's hoops at Toledo

Iowa City, Iowa, senior Devontae Lane drives into his Kent State opponent Tuesday, Jan. 12, in McGuirk Arena.

For the fourth time in its last five games CMU's men’s basketball team suffered a Mid-American Conference loss.

The Chippewas kicked off their four-game road trip with an 89-72 loss to Toledo on Tuesday in Savage Arena.

CMU (6-8, 2-5 MAC) shot 38.7 percent from the floor and 4-of-25 from beyond the arc despite outrebounding the Rockets 46-40.

Head coach Keno Davis said the Chippewas were physically tough enough to compete against the Rockets. Mental toughness, however, still needs to improve.

“The mental side is something you can only get through experience, and we’re getting experience every single time we’re on the court,” Davis said. “I told this team that I have high expectations for them the last 10 games of where we can be, especially when we get healthy.”

CMU has now lost six of the last seven matchups against Toledo (12-4, 7-1) and now trails the all-time series 40-65.

The Chippewas appeared to keep up with the leaders of the MAC for the game’s opening 13 minutes. A 14-2 run put Toledo ahead 36-25, but CMU cut the lead to nine at the break. 

While shooting 3-of-15 from deep and 39 percent from the floor in the games opening 20 minutes, the Rockets managed to make 3-of-16 shots from beyond the arc. Toledo leads the MAC in 3-points shooting at 40 percent. 

CMU would pull within seven points after a pair of free throws from senior guard Travon Broadway Jr. with 17:50 to go but failed to build momentum for remainder of the game. 

Toledo finished the games final 20 minutes making 16-of-29 shots from the floor and 6-of-13 from long range to hand the Chippewas their fifth MAC loss of the season and trailed the Rockets for 37:56.

Broadway finished with a career and game-best 27 points. The senior from Miami has scored at least 20 points for the third straight game and for the fifth time this season.

“I think what you’re seeing from his is a lot of experience he got from last year,” Davis said. “It’s amazing how much one year can help someone turn a corner and fill a stat sheet.”

“Hopefully, some of the juniors we have this year, who will actually be with us for another two years, can make those kinds of strides.”

Meikkel Murray finished with season-highs in points (20) and rebounds (1) for his first career double-double while Muhammad earned 13 points and 10 boards for his second double-double in the last three games and of the 2020-21 campaign.

Toledo guard Ryan Rollins finished with a team-high 25 points and seven rebounds. All five starters for the Rockets finished with double figure scoring totals.

CMU clashes with Akron at 6 p.m. Thursday inside Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio. The Zips picked up a road win over, Bowling Green 69-57, in Stroh Center.