Toledo Men's Basketball Rallies From 19-Point Deficit to Edge Texas Southern, 71-69

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Toledo (4-3) rallied from 19 points down on Saturday evening to keep its perfect record in Savage Arena intact with a come-from-behind 71-69 victory over Texas Southern (0-8).

Four Rockets scored in double figures with junior forward Nate Navigato leading the way with 17 points. He finished the evening 5-of-9 from behind the three-point arc with four of his three-pointers coming in the second half.

Joining Navigato in double digits was senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher, who notched his fourth double-double of the season with 16 points and a team-high 10 boards. Freshman guard Marreon Jackson also contributed a season-high 14 points, while sophomore center Luke Knapke tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.

The backcourt tandem of graduate student Donte' Clark (27 pts.) and sophomore Demontrae Jefferson (25 pts.) paced the Tigers' attack by combining for 52 points.

A strong second-half defensive effort enabled the Rockets to make their big comeback. UT limited TSU to a 24.1 shooting mark in the final 20 minutes after the visitors shot 50.0 percent and converted 6-of-11 three-point shots in the opening stanza.

Toledo registered a 43.1 shooting mark and knocked down 10 of its 27 three-point shots (37.0 percent), marking the fourth straight outing the Rockets have reached double digits in three-point field goals made.

UT also forced the Tigers to commit an opponent season-high 18 turnovers, a total that led to a 20-11 scoring advantage as a result of miscues.

The Rockets faced a double-figure deficit less than six minutes into the contest after a Jefferson jumper gave TSU a 13-3 cushion. Texas Southern then expanded its lead to 39-20 with 4:05 to play in the first half following a 12-2 spurt. UT closed the half with a 10-3 run to reduce its deficit to 42-30 at intermission.

Toledo started the second half strong and took its first lead, 47-46, with 12:18 remaining after Navigato capped off an 11-0 run with a pair of three-pointers.

The lead then changed hands nine times the rest of the way until Fletcher's jumper put the Rockets ahead to stay, 66-64, with 1:13 remaining. Following a Jefferson miss, Knapke broke free for a layup to put UT ahead 68-64 with 21 seconds left. Jefferson answered with a three-pointer three seconds later, but Navigato responded by calmly sinking two free throws to put UT up 70-67 with 15.3 ticks on the clock.

Jefferson then hit a pair of free throws with 9.3 seconds left to cut the Rockets' lead to one. Jackson was fouled one second later and connected on one of two free throws for the final points of the game.

TSU sophomore guard Brian Carey was able to get a three-point shot off at the buzzer but it was short.

Toledo returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 6 with a trip to the Motor City to face Horizon League foe Detroit Mercy (4-3). The Titans will play at UCLA tomorrow night before hosting the Rockets at Calihan Hall.