TOLEDO, OH – (UB Press Release) Toledo guard Julius Brown sunk a jumper as time expired on Wednesday night, leading the Rockets to a 67-65 win over Buffalo, in front of 4,595 fans at Savage Arena. The Bulls had led by as many as 13 in the opening half, but the Rockets were able to get back into the game, due in part to a noticeable discrepancy at the free throw line, 24-6. The loss is UB's first in conference play as it falls to 8-5 on the season and 2-1 in conference play. Toledo improved to 14-2 on the season and 2-1 in conference. The Rockets remained perfect at home, but tonight was its smallest margin of victory in a game at Savage Arena.
The Bulls held an early seven-point lead in the second half, but after a quick Toledo run, neither team led by more than two possessions for the remainder of the night. The Bulls fought off three two-point deficits over the final minute of play, including a layup from freshman Shannon Evans with just 2.7 seconds left to tie the game up at 65-65. Following a Rocket timeout, Toledo threw the ball the length of the court and into the hands of Nathan Boothe, who found Brown for the game-winning jumper.
UB had its opportunities in the second half, leading 58-57 with 4:16 left. Neither team found the scoring column for nearly two minutes, but then Toledo regained the lead as UB senior Javon McCrea was unable to hold on to a defensive rebound as a Rocket defender caught him in the eye. Toledo's Jordan Lauf was able to lay it in for the easy two and Toledo either led or the game was tied for the remainder of the contest.
The Bulls got out to a hot start as they opened up a 13-point lead in the first half. Senior Joshua Freelove, who played his freshman season at Toledo, scored 11 first-half points. UB held on to a 12-10 lead when they went on a 14-3 run, capped off on a fast-break dunk from junior Xavier Ford. The Rockets were able to cut into the lead after back-to-back three pointers from Brown. UB regained a nine-point lead, but Toledo, which went to the line 10 times in the opening half, hit eight of them to keep the deficit manageable.
McCrea finished with his seventh double-double of the year finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots. Freelove added 16 points, shooting 4-for-6 from behind the arc. Junior Will Regan added nine points and eight rebounds, while Oldham finished with eight points and four assists. He played just 25 minutes due to foul trouble. Sophomore Justin Moss had six rebounds in seven minutes of action.
The Bulls return home this weekend when they host Kent State at Alumni Arena. The game will tip off at 6:00 pm