CLEVELAND (AP)RayJ Dennis scored 28 points as top-seeded Toledo advanced to the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship with its 17th straight win, 82-75 over Ohio on Friday night.
The Rockets (27-6), who haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 1980, matched the school record for wins in a season set by the 2013-14 squad.
Now, they can end their long NCAA drought by beating the Akron-Kent State semifinal winner in Saturday’s title game for the MAC’s automatic bid.
Dante Maddox Jr. added 20 points for Toledo, which is 0-5 in MAC title games since winning it 43 years ago.
Jaylin Hunter made seven 3-pointers and scored 27 and Devon Baker added 17 for fifth-seeded Ohio (19-13), which stayed close and pulled within 76-72 after AJ Brown made three free throws with 55.3 seconds left.
But Toledo, which lost in the semis last year to Akron, was able to hang on despite missing four free throws in the final 51 seconds.
The MAC’s player of the year, Davis set the tone from the outset for Toledo, which entered the tournament as the nation’s second-highest scoring team at 85.9 points per game.
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