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MAC Men’s Basketball Preview: Bowling Green Falcons vs. Toledo Rockets

Rockets try to avoid their third-straight conference loss in a game against their biggest rivals.

Toledo Rockets guard Jonathan Williams (1) lays one in
Toledo Athletics

The Bowling Green Falcons (7-10) will come into Savage Arena on Tuesday night to take on the Toledo Rockets (9-8). Both MAC teams have lost their last two conference games. Toledo will try to make a surge in the MAC West from the 4th spot, while Bowling Green looks to improve on their basement team standing in the MAC East.

The Rockets will turn to their top scorer Jonathan Williams, like they have all year. Williams has averaged a killer 24 points per game in Toledo’s last five games. Williams is an elite scorer with an unbelievable thrashing ability. The Falcons will have to keep him in check to compete in this contest.

Another powerful force for Toledo is Steve Taylor Jr., who leads the team in rebounds with 11.9 per game. The transfer from Marquette dominates the boards for the Rockets, and someone who has had a positive impact on the team ever since he joined.

One problem with Toledo’s season has been their turnovers. They average a large 13.6 turnovers per game, which is ranked 196th in the country. Toledo needs to figure out their turnover struggles to make a push in the MAC.

Bowling Green has lacked on the offensive end all season long. They average only 72.9 points per game, which does not bode well for them, especially considering Toledo is a team that is gifted offensively.

Bowling Green’s top scorer is Zack Denny, who averages 12.2 points per game. The Falcons need to find an offensive spark from Denny, or anyone who is willing to take on that role. Bowling Green has lost their last two contests by at least 15 and have not managed to score over 55 points in either of those games.

Bowling Green has struggled on the defensive end as well. They have allowed 77.4 points per game in their last five games, and have taken some hard losses, especially of late. Toledo is heavily favored in this one, so Bowling Green will have to prove people wrong with stout defense and strong offense, two things which haven’t necessarily happened in unison for the Falcons this season.

This game could a lot closer than a lot of people expect from an intangible standpoint. Both teams will come out firing from all cylinders, as the Battle for I-75 is a rivalry with a long tradition across all sports. With the Rockets and Falcons looking to quickly change their respective fortunes in divisional races with a conference win, it should be a tense environment that serves up a good game.

The game can be watched on regional sports channels such as the Buckeye Sports Network and Spectrum Sports Network or nationally on ESPN3, with blackouts in the Toledo/BG markets at 7 p.m. EST.