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Rockets get to overtime again, but fall

12/04/2016, 12:56am EST
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Toledo falls to 3-5 in 1-point loss to Green Bay


UT’s Jonathan Williams goes to the basket against Green Bay during the Rockets’ loss at Savage Arena on Saturday night. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH

For the fourth time this season, the University of Toledo men’s basketball team needed overtime to decide a game, this time falling to Green Bay 78-77 on Saturday at Savage Arena.

Green Bay’s Khalil Small made one of two free throws with 6.2 seconds left in overtime to give the Phoenix the 78-77 lead.

After Small missed the second free throw, UT’s Steve Taylor, Jr., dribbled the ball downcourt looking for an opening but was unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer.

IN PICTURES: Toledo falls in overtime

“The last possession we didn’t have a timeout,” UT coach Tod Kowalczyk said.

“Had they made the second free throw, Jonathan [Williams] was going to sprint from free-throw line to free-throw line. Jordan Lauf did a good job of setting up the play. He knew what I wanted. Steve is good in those situations, but I just don’t think our guys on the floor gave him the correct space to make a play.”

After a long road trip, Toledo (3-5) returned to game action at Savage Arena on Saturday after faring 2-3 on the road over a five-game away stretch. This is the fourth loss in the past five games for Toledo as the Rockets were unable to earn a win with Kowalczyk facing his former team.

Taylor paced Toledo with 22 points and 10 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. Jonathan Williams had 20 points, and Jaelan Sanford scored 13.

Charles Cooper led Green Bay (4-4) with 18 points, Kerem Kanter scored 17, and Trevor Anderson scored 14.

In overtime, Toledo led 76-73 after Nate Navigato made a basket with 1:31 left.

Green Bay's Trevor Anderson hit two free throws and then, after a UT turnover, Small hit a 15-foot jumper to give the Phoenix a 77-76 with 44 seconds left.

Nate Navigato hit one of two free throws with 27.1 seconds left to tie the score at 77, setting up the free throw by Small and the final attempt by Taylor.

“Down the stretch, we just made too many mistakes,” Williams said.

“We can’t trade baskets with a team that scores as well as Green Bay. I think our effort was there, it was just mistakes down the stretch.”

Toledo led 64-60 with 3:21 left in regulation, but Green Bay cut the lead to 64-62 after Sanford was stripped and Charles Cooper converted a fast break layup.

On the next possession, Sanford was fouled and made one of two free throws to make the score 65-62.

After Lucas Antunez missed a 3-point attempt, he was called for a blocking foul on the other end. Small made two free throws to make the score 65-64 UT with 26.2 seconds left. Jordan Lauf was fouled and missed the first, but made the second for a 66-64 UT lead with 16 seconds left.

After a timeout, Kerem Kanter made a hook shot in the lane to tie the game 66-66 with 5.3 seconds left.

The Rockets couldn't answer as the game headed to overtime.

In the second half and overtime, the game featured seven ties and 15 lead changes as the teams battled back-and-forth.

The Rockets never trailed in the first half and took a 36-26 lead after two free throws by Williams with 43 seconds left in the half.

But Green Bay scored the final four points of the half and the Rockets took a 36-30 lead into halftime.

“We didn’t close the half out the right way,” Kowalczyk said.

“That’s a big emphasis that we have in practice and we just didn’t do it.”

Contact Brian Buckey at: bbuckey@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.

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Tag(s): College  Toledo