The Bowling Green State University men's basketball team defeated the University of Toledo, 85-83, in front of a full capacity crowd of 5,000 fans at Stroh Center on Saturday (Feb. 8) afternoon. Redshirt-junior guard Justin Turner hit a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Falcons to victory.
Bowling Green remains in first place all alone in the Mid-American Conference. The Falcons are now 9-2 in league play, and 18-6 overall on the campaign. With its win at Toledo on Jan. 25, Bowling Green has earned multiple victories over Toledo in the same year for the first time since 1999.
Turner led the Falcons with 21 points, five assists and five rebounds. Junior forward Daeqwon Plowden (13 points) and redshirt-sophomore forward Matiss Kulackovskis (12 points) each finished in double figures for the Orange and Brown. All nine players that appeared in the game for BGSU scored at least five points each.
The team announced earlier in the day Dylan Frye has left the program, saying "We wish him the best"
"That game had everything in a rivalry game that a fan would want," Head Coach Tod Kowalcyk said. "We played unbelievable in the second half on both ends of the floor. Give Justin Turner credit. He's one of the best players in this league and made some big plays. Our guys played our tails off today. Bowling Green is a very good team, but I thought today we deserved to win."
Junior Marreon Jackson paced the Rockets with a game-high 31 points and scored Toledo's last five points to knot the score at 83-83. Senior Luke Knapke scored 23 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. He also hit two big treys down the stretch to help Toledo rally from a 77-72 deficit with 2:30 remaining.
Toledo outshot the Falcons by a slim 49.1-48.4 margin and held a slight advantage from three-point range. The Rockets knocked down 11-of-22 shots behind the arc, while Bowling Green was 9-of-22.
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Toledo started strong and jumped out to an 11-5 lead three minutes into the game thanks to five points apiece from Marreon Jackson and Luke Knapke.
• Bowling Green rallied to eventually knot the score at 17-17, but Luke Maranka's trey put the Rockets back in front with 11:30 remaining in the half.
• Neither team led by more than three points until a 12-2 Falcon spurt put the Rockets down 39-28 at the 4:56 mark.
• Toledo had a chance to reduce its deficit to 43-38 at the half, but Spencer Littleson's trey rimmed out.
• The Rockets pounded the ball inside after halftime and trimmed the Falcons' lead to 45-41 on a pair of Knapke free throws two minutes after the break.
• Knapke buried a trey over three minutes later to bring Toledo within 49-46, but Bowling Green answered with a 6-1 spurt to give the Falcons a 59-49 lead with 12:26 left.
• Spencer Littleson's three-pointer and a Willie Jackson dunk closed the gap to 62-59 and forced the Falcons to take timeout with just under 10 minutes remaining.
• Toledo then made it a one-point game, 67-66, with 6:41 left on Marreon Jackson's jumper in the lane.
• Bowling Green gained some breathing room with three straight baskets for a 73-66 cushion at the 4:56 mark.
• Toledo followed shortly after by hitting three straight treys, two from Knapke and one from Marreon Jackson, to even the score at 81-81 with 49.0 ticks on the clock.
• Matiss Kulackovskis put BG back in front with a tip-in with 25.6 seconds left, but Marreon Jackson hit two free throws to tie it at 83-83 with 14.7 seconds to play.
• Turner won the game with a pair of free throws with 1.2 seconds showing.