Toledo beats Eastern Michigan 78-67 to advance

Toledo's Julius Brown, left, and Eastern Michigan's Brandon Nazione (4) battle for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in the third round of the Mid-American Conference tournament Thursday, March 12, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Nathan Boothe scored 20 points, J.D. Weatherspoon added 13 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and No. 4 Toledo beat Eastern Michigan 78-67 Thursday to advance to Friday’s semifinal against top-seeded Central Michigan in the Mid-American Conference tournament.

Julius Brown scored 17, Justin Drummond had 11 and the Rockets (20-12) ended No. 8 seed Eastern Michigan’s four-game winning streak while notching a 20-win season for the second straight year.

A three-point play by Boothe sparked a 10-3 run which gave Toledo an 18-11 lead and the Rockets went into halftime up 38-28.

Boothe scored the Rockets’ first five points and blocked a shot to open the second half before Toledo scored seven straight to lead 52-40 with 11:22 left. Weatherspoon had back-to-back dunks, then made two free throws and Toledo led by 18 points with 4:41 left. The Eagles scored three straight 3-pointers to pull within 78-67 with 17 seconds left.

Raven Lee scored 16 and Karrington Ward and Mike Talley added 12 apiece for Eastern Michigan (21-13).

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