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2017 MAC Men’s Basketball Recap: Bowling Green Falcons vs. Toledo Rockets

The Rockets blast through the Falcons on Tuesday night

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The Toledo Rockets (10-8) took down the Bowling Green Falcons (7-11) 85-73 on Tuesday night in Toledo, Ohio. With this win, the Rockets broke their two game losing streak and have extended Bowling Green’s losing streak to three. Toledo was in charge for almost the entire game. The Rockets were up 43-32 at the break thanks to a 13-0 run to end the half. The Rockets continued to dominate throughout the second half, taking their biggest lead 66-44 with just over nine minutes left in the game. An interesting stat in this one, Bowling Green had 20 more shot attempts than Toledo, but the Rockets made 19 more trips to the free throw line than the Falcons.

The Rockets were led by a sophomore Nate Navigato. Navigato scored a career-high 22 points, and shot an incredible 6-for-8 from beyond the arc. The two star recruit out of Geneva, Illinois came into this game averaging just 8.1 points per game, so this performance really turned some heads. Other notables for the Rockets were Jonathan Williams who added 20 points, and Steve Taylor Jr. who recorded his 14th double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Jonathan Williams and Steve Taylor Jr. have been Toledo’s leaders this season. In this one against Bowling Green, the two stars were not excellent. Williams was a mere 1-for-8 from beyond the arc, which adds to his disappointing percentage for this year at 37%. The big 240 pound forward in Steve Taylor Jr. came up empty from the charity stripe, missing all eight of his attempts. These stats are telling for the Rockets moving forward. Even when their star players are having an iffy night other players in their lineup find their stroke and step up, like Navigato did.

Bowling Green Falcons guard Zack Denny (4) pulls up for a triple
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Nothing was clicking for Bowling Green in this one. The Falcons shot 42.5% from the field and made just three triples on 19 attempts. Their top scorer was Demajeo Wiggins with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Zack Denny, arguably Bowling Green’s best player, was quiet in the loss. Denny scored 12 points going 0-for-5 from beyond the arc. The Falcons had 14 turnovers that Toledo turned into points almost every time. The Rockets are an explosive offensive team that the Falcons could not keep up with for 40 minutes.

The Toledo Rockets will take on the 9-9 Kent State Golden Flashes in their next contest on Saturday January 21st. Like Toledo, the Golden Flashes sit in 4th in their respective division, so this should be a tightly contested matchup. The Rockets surge for the top spot in the MAC West started against Bowling Green, they will have to be as dominant, if not more, against Kent State come Saturday.