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Published: Monday, 1/31/2005

Men's basketball preview: Western Michigan at Toledo

  • Time: 7 p.m.

  • Radio: 1370

  • Records: UT is 8-9, 4-4 MAC; WMU is 14-5, 7-2

  • Last games: UT beat Kent State 73-70; Western d. Central Michigan 84-39

  • Outlook: Western Michigan has the best record in the MAC and is the conference's defending champion, and the Broncos were in a foul mood Saturday when they visited Central Michigan. After getting drilled 85-60 at Miami earlier in the week, Western took out its frustrations on lowly Central, in an 84-39 rout.

    Western is led by senior guard Ben Reed, who scored 36 points in a win over Akron about a month ago. The Rockets have won six straight at Savage Hall against the Broncos, and will need the depth and balance they displayed in their most recent win over Kent State. UT got 37 points from its bench in that game.

    The Rockets also outscored Kent 50-18 in the paint. "We were able to get the ball inside which we haven't been able to do a lot," UT coach Stan Joplin said. While guards Keith Triplett, Sammy Villegas and Justin Ingram struggled from outside, Kareem Milson and Florentino Valencia found success down low, combining for 23 points and 10 rebounds.

    The game with Western Michigan gives the Rockets a chance to make up some ground in the West Division race, where they trail the Broncos by two games in the loss column.

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