Gotta feel for Toledo, yet again. This is their fifth loss which came on three points or less, fourth which didn't occur on an inbounds pass off their own scoreboard, and 8-8 overall. But a last-second shot is what did them in. Jarrod Jones got in for a layup with 0.6 seconds left to give Ball State their fourth straight win, improving to 2-0 in the MAC. Jones closed down the arena with another sturdy first team All-MAC-like performance, 22 points and eight rebounds.
And while the Rockets, with each passing game, are staring to fall back into a lull where they cannot win, the method by which they are losing is starkly different than the last two years. From 2009-11, UT was a painfully noncompetitive team. This one stays around. Every time that Ball State wanted to pull away — the furthest up they were was seven points — Toledo was able to get a stop, get a score and keep this a game throughout the end. They even tied the game up at 68-68 in the final 10 seconds thanks to a great give-n-go from Juice Brown to Reese Holliday, but with the ability to have the last shot, they deferred that to BSU, and 6.5 seconds is plenty of time to do what Jones did.
Toledo has advanced past the level of Glass Joe and are now onto Von Kaiser. They cannot finish, but in time they will.
Rian Pearson had 19 points, seven rebounds and seven steals. He could content for a first team All-MAC spot himself if he keeps doing this. Other notables: Dominique Buckley had 16 points for the Rockets. Ball State was supplemented by 18 points from Jesse Berry (5-of-7 from three) and Randy Davis, who again facilitated well with six points, five assists, three rebounds and three steals.
The Fightin' Cardinals are now 10-4 and starting to pilot itself back onto the correct path. You don't win pretty on the road. Not in the MAC, and regardless of calendar year. You just win, and Ball State did.