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Toledo Comebacks Fall Short, Ball State Wins 75-63

Cold shooting Rockets couldn’t come all the way back

NCAA BASKETBALL: JAN 21 Toledo at Kent State Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Ball State Cardinals came into the game sitting at 4-4 in the conference and was in need of a win both to stay within reach of the Rockets in the West and to remain in the top 4 for the MAC tournament bye. They went on the road and faced a Toledo Rockets team that had won 7 in a row in conference play.

The Cardinals scored the first 6 points of the game and then maintained a double digit lead for most of the first half, going into the locker room with 37-27 lead.

The second half started much the same as the first, with a Tahjai Teague jumper making it 51-40 with 11 minutes and change to go. The Rockets then made it a game and were only down 6 with 9 minutes to go after a Nate Navigato trey. Ball State responded and Trey Moses bucket put the score at 63-49 and this one looked all but over.

The Rockets managed another comeback, going down 6 with a Luke Knapke layup on a nice feed from Jaelan Sanford at the 3:28 mark. The interior defense then let the Rockets down, and Ball State was able to put the game away, 75-63.

The Rockets struggled to shoot the ball and were mauled on the glass, 58-41.

Teague led the Cardinals with 21 and added 11 rebounds. Moses also managed a double double with 15 and 14 boards. Tayler Persons scored 16, grabbed 8 boards, and dished 8 dimes.

The Rockets were led in scoring and rebounding by Tre’Shaun Fletcher with 16, 10 and 6 respectively. He and Sanford combined to go 10-36 and the Toledo starters were 15-52.

The Cardinals head to Ypsilanti next, while the Rockets travel to Akron.