TOLEDO, Ohio – Cleveland State had three players in double figures, but Toledo used a strong performance at the free throw line to hold off the Vikings in the second half and claim a 76-65 win on Wednesday night at Savage Arena.
The Vikings fell to 2-5 this year, while Toledo improved to 5-2.
Rob Edwards led CSU with 15 points and three steals, while Vinny Zollo tallied 14 points and five rebounds. Jibri Blount finished with 11 points anf our rebounds, while Demonte Flannigan scored nine points. Jeron Rogers and Andre Yates scored six points each.
Nathan Boothe and Jonathan Williams led Toledo with 17 points.
The Rockets opened up an eight point lead (18-10) midway through the opening half, but a three-pointer and layup from Zollo sliced the CSU deficit to three points (18-15). However, Toledo answered with seven straight points, capped by a Williams three-pointer, to open up a 10-point advantage (25-15) with 5:17 to play. The lead would reach 13 points at the half when Nate Navigato converted a layup just before the halftime buzzer.
Blount scored seven of CSU's first 12 points of the second half, including a layup that kept the Vikings within 11 points (46-35) at the 16:31 mark. But nine straight points from the Rockets opened up a 20-point lead (55-35) with just under 12 minutes to play.
CSU would close within 11 points (59-48) on a Jeron Rogers three-pointer, but Navigato answered with a three-pointer on the other end – Toledo's first field goal made in almost 10 minutes.
Two free throws from Yates with just over four minutes to play brought the Vikings within 10 points (66-56) with just over four minutes to play, but the Vikings could not get closer the rest of the night as the Rockets attempted 30 free throws in the second half to maintain the lead.
Toledo finished 26-of-36 at the free throw line, including 22-of-30 in the second half, and held a 36-26 advantage on the boards.
CSU finished 13-of-18 at the line.
The Vikings are back in action on Saturday (Dec. 5) when CSU hosts Kent State at 3:30 pm in the first of five CSU games at Quicken Loans Arena this year. It will be a doubleheader with the CSU women hosting Bowling Green at 1:00 pm.