Toledo hands Chippewas third straight loss in MAC

Published 7:28 am Thursday, March 4, 2004

By Staff
The University of Toledo handed Central Michigan University its third straight loss in Mid-American Conference men's basketball Wednesday night by the score of 84-76.
The setback dropped the Chippewas' record to 1-16 in conference action and 5-23 for the season while UT finishes the regular season with a 12-6 mark in the MAC and 18-9 overall.
CMU closes its portion of the regular season at home on Saturday against Ball State at 2 p.m. Tourney action begins next Monday with the Maroon and Gold slated to go on the road to a yet-to-be-named foe.
The Chippewas led by three points with 4:34 to play in the first half, 31-28, before the Rockets battled back to take a 39-36 halftime lead. UT extended its lead to as many as 12 points in the second half late in the contest, 84-72.
Senior center Gerrit Brigitha, a Niles High School graduate, paced CMU with 25 points followed by sophomore Kevin Nelson with 19, freshman David Hoskins 15 and freshman Sefton Barrett 11.
The Rockets countered with four men in twin figures, as well. Keith Triplett led with 25 while Sammy Villegas added 16 (all in the second half), Justin Ingram bagged 14 and A. J. Shellabarger 10.
Poor free throw shooting hurt the Chippewa chances of upsetting UT. CMU made just 28-of-44 from the charity stripe for 63.6 percent. The Rockets shot 15 less free throws but made only eight less on 20-of-29.
Toledo sank baskets from the floor at an incredible 62.5 percent on 30-of-48 compared to CMU's 22-of-57 for 38.6 percent. UT hit 15-of-22 in the first half for 68.2 percent.
UT also held a 37-29 edge in rebounding behind eight from Triplett. Hoskins topped the Chippewas with six. The Rockets also turned the ball over more times, 22-16.