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2016-2017 Men’s Basketball Recap: Toledo breaks Loyola-Chicago 74-70

Rockets break Ramblers five game win streak

Toledo Rockets guard Jonathan Williams (1) finishes with a nice finger roll
Toledo Athletics

The Toledo Rockets (6-6) won their second game in a row as they fended off the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers (10-3) 74-70 at Savage Arena in Ohio on Tuesday night. Toledo dominated in the first half taking a 41-30 lead. The Ramblers responded in the second half by shooting 52% and coming within two points of the lead with under two minutes left. Unfortunately for the Ramblers, Jonathan Williams had other plans as he drained a three-pointer with 42 seconds left to secure the win for the Rockets.

Jonathan Williams was yet again the difference maker for the Rockets. Williams scored 24 points in the win, dropping three from beyond the arc and shooting 59 percent from the field. The senior has now scored 20 or more points in his last five games. The Rockets out rebounded the Ramblers 36-25 thanks in big part to Steve Taylor Jr. and Jordan Lauf. Taylor posted a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Lauf dropped 11 points alongside 13 boards. Toledo starters combined for 148 minutes, as they only had three players come off the bench.

NCAA Basketball: Missouri Valley Conference Tournament-Loyola vs Northern Iowa
Loyola-Chicago Ramblers guard Milton Doyle (35) drives to the hoop
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers really struggled in the first half to get any scoring going. They finally got the lid off the bucket in they second half, but by then it was too late. Aundre Jackson led the way for the Ramblers, scoring 22 points and shooting a sharp 60 percent from the field. Jackson has led the way for the Ramblers all season long, averaging a team-high 16.3 points per game. Other contributors for the Ramblers were Ingram with 14 points, Custer with 13 points and Milton Doyle with 11. Ramblers could have used some more production from their bench as they contributed only 8 of the 70 points. Loyola-Chicago still sits on top of the Missouri Valley Conference, but are only one game ahead of the deadly Wichita State Shockers.

The Rockets kept turnovers at bay against Loyola and they will have to continue to do so if they want to win more games. The Rockets average a whopping 15.6 turnovers per game, which put them at 299th in the nation. The Rockets will take on the NAIA Ohio Christian Trailblazers on December 30th before inter-conference play starts. This would be the time for the Rockets to start heating up if they want to make moves in the MAC West come January.