TOLEDO– Toledo sent a season-high 6,361 fans home happy on Saturday evening with a 75-62 triumph over arch-rival Bowling Green in its Third-Annual Tie One On game in Savage Arena. The Rockets dominated the glass by a 37-25 margin and were a near-perfect 26-of-27 from the charity stripe to end a three-game losing streak as well as a four-game skid in its series with the Falcons.
Senior G Dominique Buckley paced Toledo (7-10, 3-3 MAC) with a season-high 20 points, including a 4-of-6 performance from three-point range. He was joined in double figures by a junior G Rian Pearson (14 pts., team-high nine reb.), sophomore G Julius Brown (14 pts., team-high seven asst.) and freshman C Nathan Boothe (10 pts., 6 reb., team-high two blocks).
UT registered a 46.8 FG%, including an impressive 56.0 percent in the second half. The Falcons shot 42.4 percent from the field, including 5-of-20 from behind the three-point arc. The Rockets enjoyed a significant advantage at the free-throw line with its 96.3 percentage (26-of-27) compared to BGSU's 7-of-10 totals. Toledo now has a 78.6 FT% for the season to rank among the top five teams nationally.
Senior G Jordon Crawford paced Bowling Green (7-12, 2-4 MAC) with 20 points and seven assists, but UT's strong defensive effort forced him into an 8-of-22 shooting night from the field.
Toledo took the lead for good in the contest, 20-18, on a pair of Pearson free throws with 5:23 remaining in the first half. Junior F Matt Smith's dunk with 18 seconds remaining in the opening stanza gave UT a 28-22 halftime cushion.
Freshman G Josh Lemons' layup 5:30 into the second half capped off a 6-0 spurt and put UT in front by a 40-28 margin and forced the Falcons to call timeout. The visitors responded with a six-point streak of their own to climb back into the game, but Buckley' deep trey put UT's lead back into double digits, 47-36 with 11 minutes to play.
Bowling Green made one last charge, cutting Toledo's lead to 54-48 with 7:09 remaining but junior F Reese Holliday's trey and back-to-back Brown jumpers gave the Rockets a 61-49 advantage with just over four minutes left. UT then iced the game by making 12-of-13 free throws in the final 1:30.
Toledo now will hit the road next week for a pair of road games at Ball State (8-10, 2-4 MAC) on Wednesday, Jan. 30 and Northern Illinois (4-14, 2-4 MAC) on Saturday, Feb. 2.