Freshman C Nathan Boothe hit a three-point field goal at the buzzer to give Toledo a 65-64 Mid-American Conference victory over Miami on Wednesday evening in Savage Arena. It was his first three-point field goal in five attempts this season.
The victory extended the Rockets' win streak to a season-high four games and kept UT (10-10, 6-3 MAC) a game behind West Division frontrunner Western Michigan (15-7, 7-2 MAC). The Broncos posted an 82-76 home victory tonight over Kent State.
Sophomore G Julius Brown topped the Rockets' offensively with 18 points and eight assists. He was joined in double figures by junior G Rian Pearson (16 pts.) and Boothe (13 pts., team-high six reb).
Freshman G Reggie Johnson was one of four RedHawks to score in double figures and appeared to hit the game-winning basket on a put-back with 3.3 seconds remaining.
Miami called timeout immediately after Johnson's basket, and Toledo then passed the ball into the front court and called another timeout with 2.8 seconds left. UT then caught a break when Miami's Quinten Rollins stole the in-bounds pass but then was whistled for travelling to set up Boothe's buzzer-beater.
Toledo played an efficient offensive game, shooting 51.1 percent from the field and committing just 10 turnovers. Miami was as nearly effective as the Rockets though with its 46.8 FG% and 12 turnovers.
The RedHawks also enjoyed a 29-25 rebounding advantage and knocked down 15-of-18 free throws compared to UT's 10-of-13 performance at the charity stripe.
Toledo took control of the contest early when Brown capped off a 19-2 run with eight straight points to give UT a 35-26 advantage with 3:30 remaining in the first half. That was Toledo's last points of the stanza though as Miami scored six straight to make it a 35-32 game at intermission.
The Rockets maintained a comfortable advantage in the second half's early stages and freshman G Josh Lemons' jumper gave UT its biggest lead of the evening, 49-39. with 12:58 to play. Miami then went on a spurt of its own, outscoring Toledo 14-2 over the next six minutes to take a 53-51 advantage.
Junior G Allen Roberts' trey extended the visitors' lead to 62-58 with 3:40 remaining, but junior F Matt Smith answered with a three-point bomb at the 2:26 mark to bring the Rockets within a point.
Brown converted one of two free throws to even the score at 62-62 with 1:03 to play. Both teams then turned the ball over on their ensuing possessions to set the stage for a dramatic finish.
Toledo returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 9 when it hosts Eastern Michigan (11-11, 4-4 MAC). Tip-off time from Savage Arena is 7:00 p.m.
Courtesy: Toledo Athletics