Toledo defeats Kent State 70-58 in MAC opener

The Associated Press

KENT, Ohio (AP) -- Rian Pearson scored 27 points with nine rebounds as Toledo pulled away early in the second half to defeat Kent State 70-58 Wednesday night in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.

Leading 28-25 at the break, the Rockets (5-7) opened the second half with a 15-4 burst that featured back-to-back 3-pointers by Dominique Buckley.

The Golden Flashes (9-6) got within three points twice, the last time at 57-54 with 3:46 left, but Nathan Boothe answered with a three-point play. After Mark Henniger's layup made it 60-56, Julius Brown and Pearson hit two free throws apiece en route to snapping Kent State's four-game winning streak.

Pearson, who came in as the conference's top scorer (19.2 points per game) made 10 of 19 field goals and 7 of 8 free throws. Buckley added 15 points and Boothe 10, while Brown had 10 assists.

Chris Evans' 20 points led the Golden Flashes.