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Jackson leads Toledo past N. Illinois 69-55 in MAC West

DEKALB, Ill. -- Marreon Jackson scored 16 points, opened the game with the first of his four 3-pointers and Toledo led all the way Saturday, defeating Northern Illinois 69-55 in the battle for first place in the Western Division of the Mid-American Conference.

Nate Navigato scored 14 with a trio of 3s and Chris Darrington scored 11, also making three from distance as the Rockets (18-5, 6-3) shot 13 of 30 from behind the 3-point arc.

Dante Thorpe scored 19 to lead Northern Illinois (12-10, 5-4) and Eugene German added 15. German pulled the Huskies to within 47-46 with 9:50 remaining but Toledo sprinted ahead on an 18-4 run over the next six-plus minutes to lead 65-48 with 3:27 to go.

Navigato scored 11 of his points in the run as the Rockets made 6 of 10 shots, holding NIU to 2 of 12, including 0 for 4 from distance.

The Rockets shot 52 percent in the second half and drained their first five 3s after the break.