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Pearson has 21 points, 11 boards as Toledo surges ahead of McNeese State for 79-66 win

Rian Pearson registered his third double-double in his last four games with 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead Toledo past McNeese State 79-66 Saturday in nonconference play.

The Rockets (13-11), of the Mid-American Conference, have won two straight and seven of their last eight games.

Leading 17-16, the Rockets surged ahead with a 16-4 spurt that began with four 3-pointers, two by Matt Smith.

Toledo took its biggest lead, at 66-42, before the Cowboys (11-14) closed the gap to 11 with 4:26 left. Pearson converted a three-point play and a layup to end the threat.

Smith and Reese Holliday added 13 points apiece for the Rockets, while Dominique Buckley and Julius Brown scored 10 apiece. Brown also tied his career high with 11 assists to register his third career double-double.

Jeremie Mitchell's 18 points led McNeese State, of the Southland Conference, which saw its two-game winning streak end.