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Published: Sunday, 2/3/2013

Toledo men victorious for third straight game; get first win at NIU since 2007


DeKALB, Ill. — The University of Toledo men’s basketball team won its third-straight game Saturday after a gritty effort propelled the Rockets to a 69-64 victory against Northern Illinois.

It was UT’s first victory in DeKalb since 2007, as well as its third Mid-American Conference road win in five outings.

“If there’s a definition of a ‘grind-out’ win, this game was certainly it,” coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “We had too many turnovers and our shots weren’t falling, but we played hard and won the rebounding battle [33-30].

"Winning on the road isn’t easy, but we came up with big plays when we needed to.”

Julius Brown led the Rockets (9-10, 5-3 MAC) with 20 points with Matt Smith (14) and Rian Pearson (12) joining him in double figures.

Pearson added a team-high eight rebounds.

Toledo, which will host Miami and Eastern Michigan next week, shot 45.2 percent from the field and limited the Huskies (5-15, 3-5) to 38.5 percent shooting.

The Rockets hit 4 of 15 attempts (26.7 percent) from 3-point range and committed 17 turnovers.

It was the most miscues for Toledo since having 18 at Detroit on Dec. 5.

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