Toledo (2-3) led by five with 4:19 left after a 3-point play by Justin Drummond. Howard responded with a three-point play of his own, they a jumper as Detroit (4-2) went on a 9-point run to tie the game at 73 with 1:38 left.
Brandan Kearney drilled a 3-pointer with 49 seconds left and Detroit made its free throws late to hold off the Titans.
Detroit used a 9-2 run in the middle of the first half - including a 3-pointer by Howard - to open an 8-point lead. Toledo called timeout at 7:20 then closed the half on a 15-6 run - including 3s by Julius Brown, Drummond and Jonathan Williams - and led 37-36 at the break.
J.D. Weatherspoon led Toledo with 20 points.