Toledo (11-13) at Bowling Green (12-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 11th, 4:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stroh Center (4,700) -- Bowling Green, Ohio. Television: BCSN. Home Record: Toledo 6-7, Bowling Green 8-3. Away Record: Toledo 3-5, Bowling Green 4-8. Neutral Record: Toledo 2-1, Bowling Green 0-0. Conference Record: Toledo 3-7, Bowling Green 6-4. Series Record: Toledo leads, 83-78.
GAMES NOTES: The Toledo Rockets kick off a three-game road trip by traveling to the Stroh Center for a Mid-American Conference bout with the Bowling Green Falcons.
This is the 162nd all-time meeting between these in-state rivals. Toledo holds the advantage with an 83-78 mark against Bowling Green although the Falcons have won three straight.
Toledo pulled an upset win over Ohio its last time out to snap a three-game losing streak. The victory was only the third in MAC play for the Rockets this season and puts them just a game up on Central Michigan and Northern Illinois, who are both last in the MAC West Division. Next up on the trip is a matchup with Ball State.
Bowling Green has won three straight entering play and in doing so pushed its conference record to 6-4. Unfortunately the mark is better than just Miami- Ohio in the highly competitive East Division. The Falcons will also be on the road in their next outing to face Ohio.
Toledo shot 43.1 percent from the floor which was better than the 38.9 percent from Ohio in the Rocket's win on Wednesday. The Bobcats managed to stay in the game by outscoring the Rockets 24-6 from three point range and led 73-72 with 1:35 remaining. Curtis Dennis answered with a old fashioned three-point play on Toledo's next time down the floor and the Rockets held on to win 77-73.
Rian Pearson continued his stellar season for the Rockets in the win pouring in 18 points and bringing down 16 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. The game pushed the sophomore over Miami-Ohio's Julian Mavunga as the conferences leading scorer putting in 17.4 points per game while also placing third in rebounding (8.4 rpg). Julius Brown (11.3 pg, 5.0 apg) scored 14 points but was limited in the passing game as the conference's fourth leading assist man was limited to just two in the win. Dennis (11.4 ppg) had 15 points as well for the Rockets snapping a two-game streak out of double figures for the junior guard. Dominique Buckley (10.2 ppg) had only two points but has generally been a solid perimeter shooter for the Rockets this season. With the benefit of four players averaging in double figures, Toledo has had one of the conferences better offenses putting in 71.0 points per game this season while shrinking on defense by surrendering 67.8.
Bowling Green posted a 61-54 win on the road over Ball State on Wednesday for its third straight win. In yet another strong defensive effort Bowling Green forced 18 Ball State turnovers which was the difference as both teams shot similarly with the Falcons at 46.2 percent and the Cardinals at 45.1 percent.
Defense has been key for Bowling Green which despite shooting 46.1 percent as a team this season, second in the conference, only scores 67.1 points per game. The Falcons counter that with a defense that allows 63.3 points per game. Bowling Green's defense has amped it up in recent weeks holding its opponents to less than 60 points in four straight games including two games in which the opposing team had less than 50. Junior forward A'uston Calhoun is the teams leading scorer (13.6 ppg) and was in top form against Ball State by dropping in 27 points which was just two short of a season-high. Senior forward Scott Thomas (11.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) pairs with Calhoun for the formidable frontline of the Falcons although Thomas was held to just five points against Ball State. Jordon Crawford (10.9 ppg, 4.9 apg) and Dee Brown (9.9 ppg) flank Thomas and Calhoun in the backcourt.
Although Toledo has been a solid offensive team this season, the Rockets will have a tough go of it against Bowling Green's defense. Expect the Falcons to clamp down on Pearson and push the Rockets around inside on their way to a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 68, Toledo 61
02/11 10:56:13 ET