Toledo’s defense was playing well and Cleveland State’s offense was struggling immensely. Until that point in the game where, ya know, your team is down double digits and you need to start throwing up threes to even have a smidge of a chance of coming back. CSU made four straight shots with under a minute left in the game to cut Toledo’s once 18-point lead in the second half to just three with nine seconds left in the game. After Johnathan Williams hit a pair of free throws, CSU scurried down the court, and Trey Lewis tried to hoist a three pointer up with four seconds left, but Toledo’s Justin Drummond basically stole the ball right out of Lewis’ hand as he took the shot. Lewis was forced to foul, and Toledo held on to win the contest 59-54.
Toledo held Cleveland State to just 21% shooting in the first half, including just 2-for-14 from three, taking a 28-15 advantage into the break. Leading the charge was J.D. Weatherspoon, who had 10 points in the first half to go along with his game-high 5 rebounds by this point. Toledo took control early, never trailing in the opening half and kept it above an eight point advantage after Juice Brown knocked down a three with 12:37 to go. While it seemed Toledo had control of the game throughout the entire first half, CSU made it seem closer than it was, by collecting 11 offensive rebounds. Unfortunately for the Vikings, they could not get anything going on offense, being held to a season low 15 points in the half (they scored 22 against Louisville). Trey Lewis led the Vikings in scoring for the half with six. All seven of his shots were three pointers, connecting on two.
In the second half, Toledo held a double digit lead until there was just 59 seconds left. CSU cut the lead to nine points with just under a minute to play. It had looked like Toledo was going to finish off the Viking easily, but CSU had other ideas. They came within just three of the Rockets for the first time since the 15:32 mark in the first half. Leading scorers for the Vikings were Trey Lewis, with a game high 21, followed by Charlie Lee, Marlin Mason, and Anton Grady with 9, 8, and 7 respectively. Leading the Rockets was Weatherspoon with 16. He also added a game high seven rebounds. Followed closely by Justin Drummond who finished with 14. Jonathan Williams added 11 points helped by hitting three of five from deep.
While the Rockets got offensively out rebounded for the fifth time in just seven games, the free throw disparity helped them vastly. While Toledo only shot 69% from the line, on 16 of 24 attempts, CSU was only 2-for-4. Majorly contributing to the loss.
Toledo’s next game will be at home on Saturday against Chicago St. at 2pm.