In a game of scoring runs, Jonathan Williams had the most important of them all.
After an 8-0 Miami run tied the RedHawks and Rockets at 65 with 1:11 to play, the Toledo guard scored the game's final five points to give the Rockets a 70-65 win Tuesday at the Savage Center in Toledo.
Williams recorded three made free throws and an exclamation-point dunk at the buzzer in the game's final minute, giving him 18 points and 10 rebounds (both game highs) in Toledo's second straight win. Julius Brown and J.D. Weatherspoon chipped in 13 points each in support, with all of Brown's 13 coming in the second half.
While Miami (7-13, 2-5 MAC) gave the Rockets (12-8, 4-3 MAC) a scare, it marked the RedHawks' fifth straight loss to Toledo. Eric Washington led the charge for Miami with 16 points, closely followed by Logan McLane's 14 and 10 points from Willie Moore off the bench. Despite hanging around all game and finding a position to go ahead late, Miami led just once in the second half and found itself trailing for much of the contest.
Miami opened with the game's first five points, but the Rockets soon had a lead of their own in a first half that was mostly a close contest. The hosts began to pull away toward the end of the frame, however, boosted by some high-flying dunks and offensive boards by Weatherspoon, earning a 34-27 lead at the break.
Weatherspoon shot 5-of-6 and led all scorers at halftime with 11 points, followed by Washington's nine. While its leading scorer Brown did not score on two shots in the first half, Toledo's lead could best be attributed to 56 percent shooting in the first half, a number that eventually cooled down to 49 percent over the game's balance.
The Rockets climbed to a double-digit lead early into the second half before the RedHawks went on a run of their own to tie things at 44-all with 14 minutes to play. From there, Toledo opened another seven-point lead, but once more Miami hung around, eventually taking its only lead of the second half at 55-54 on a Washington basket and-one with just under seven minutes to play.
Brown then led Toledo on an 11-2 run over the next five minutes, going from a scoreless first frame to near the top of the scoresheet with his 13-point output in the second half.
The see-saw act continued as Miami pulled even with an 8-0 run of its own, knotting the contest at 65-all with 1:11 to play. Williams gave the Rockets a one-point lead with the front half of two shots at just under a minute, and a Nathan Boothe rebound of a missed Geovonie McKnight jumper left Toledo with possession and another set of Williams free throws.
Williams hit both of those, giving the home team a 68-65 advantage with 30 seconds left, and Miami was unable to add another basket before Williams threw down a fast-break dunk at the buzzer to give Toledo the 70-65 victory.
The Rockets will hit the road Saturday to battle Northern Illinois, while Miami will next welcome Ball State to Oxford Saturday.