Falcons beat the Rockets, 85-79

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TOLEDO - Junior Marreon Jackson and senior Luke Knapke combined for 50 points on Saturday evening, but that wasn't enough for Toledo in an 85-79 setback to Bowling Green in front a sold-out crowd of 7,268 fans Savage Arena. Tonight's attendance was the third-largest ever in the facility since its renovation in 2008.

"Tonight was a high-level college basketball game," Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk said. "Bowling Green made some really tough contested shots at winning time. I thought we competed and defended well, but every time we made a run they had an answer."

Jackson topped the Rocket attack with 27 points and also dished out six assists, while Knapke tallied 23 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots for Toledo (11-9, 3-4 MAC). Senior Willie Jackson nearly registered a double-double with nine points and 10 boards.

Senior Dylan Frye paced the Falcons (15-5, 6-1 MAC) with 22 points. Junior Justin Turner contributed 20 points, and sophomore Daeqwon Plowden registered a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Bowling Green registered a 47.5 FG% and shot 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) from three-point range, slightly better than the Rockets' shooting marks of 41.0 percent from the field and 10-of-28 behind the three-point arc. Toledo was 19-of-23 (82.6 percent) from the free-throw line compared to the Falcons' 18-of-26 totals.

Toledo committed a season-low four turnovers in the contest but could never get over the hump in the second half. The Falcons held a 37-33 halftime lead, but Toledo rallied to even the score at 42-42 with 14:19 remaining.

Bowling Green didn't let the Rockets grab a lead though and hit several big shots to take a 10-point lead. Toledo had two chances to make it a one-possession game trailing 66-61 with 5:15 left but committed a turnover and missed a three-pointer.

The Falcons took advantage by taking a 77-67 lead, but Toledo didn't give up. The Rockets closed to within 81-78 with 14 seconds left but couldn't come any closer.

Toledo will be back in action on Tuesday, Jan. 28 when it hosts Kent State (14-6, 4-3 MAC). Tip-off time in Savage Arena is set for 7:00 p.m.

HOW IT HAPPENED

FIRST HALF
• Justin Turner hit a three-pointer to give the Falcons a 12-6 lead just over four minutes into the game.
• Toledo responded with an 8-0 burst over a five-minute span to take its first lead, 14-12, following a Spencer Littleson three-pointer.
• Another Littleson trey provided the Rockets a 19-18 lead with 6:45 remaining in the half.
• The Falcons took a 30-24 advantage following two Dylan Frye free throws three minutes later, but a Marreon Jackson trey cut Toledo's deficit to 30-29 at the 2:16 mark. The three-point field made Jackson the 48th Rocket in program history to surpass the 1,000-point plateau.
• Keshaun Saunders gave the Rockets their last lead, 33-32, 50 seconds before halftime but the Falcons ended the half with five straight points including a three-pointer at the buzzer from Davin Zeigler.

SECOND HALF
• After Luke Knapke and Caleb Fields traded three-pointers to start the half, Toledo knotted the score at 42-42 on a Knapke layup with 14:19 remaining.
• Frye responded with three-pointers on Bowling Green's next two possessions, and Turner then tallied six straight points to put Toledo down 54-46 with just under 11 minutes to play.
• Daeqwon Plowden's three-pointer pushed the Falcons' lead to 66-56, but a Littleson three-pointer and two Marreon Jackson free throws cut the Rocket deficit in half with 5:33 to play.
• Toledo registered stops on Bowling Green's next two possessions but couldn't capitalize.
• Turner's three-pointer gave the Falcons a 76-67 lead with 1:32 left.
• Toledo was able to climb within three but Bowling Green hit eight straight free throws in the final 30 seconds.



 
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