The Toledo Rockets took care of business in Kalamazoo on Saturday with a 97-87 win over the Western Michigan Broncos. Juice Brown led the Rockets with 19 points and was impossible to stop as the game clock approached all zeroes. J.D. Weatherspoon added 17 while dunking the crowd into silence.
The high scorer of the game was WMU's Thomas Wilder who scored a career-high 34 points in the loss. David Brown did his part, scoring 29. But what could perhaps hurt what had potential to be a pretty memorable Saturday for these teams is the foul count: 47 in total. The second half opened with seven whistles, and that was all before the under-12 timeout. In fact, it was before the half had featured five minutes of actual play.
The trend continued to the end and appeared to affect the psyche of the Western Michigan Broncos more than the Toledo Rockets. The Rockets had a little something to do with that frustration as they led for almost the entirety of the contest.
Both teams shot efficiently from the field. Toledo shot at an unreal 60 percent from the floor, dwarfing WMU's also efficient 49 percent. Wilder was the leader in efficiency (for players attempting more than five shots. Kurt Hall was 3-3 for Toledo) at 10-12 from the field while also going 11-11 at the charity stripe.
David Brown shot 50 percent from the three-point line, netting five in the game. Juice Brown didn't attempt a large volume of three point shots, but made three of them including a late three-pointer while being closely guarded by Wilder.
WMU experienced a bevy of foul trouble, being forced to play the early portion of the second half without both Wilder and Connar Tava. Tava left the floor and returned to the bench within the first two minutes of the second half with his third foul. While both teams had almost equivalent foul totals, the Rockets were able to keep their starters out of trouble with Justin Drummond being the high man with only three on the game.
Too Much Toledo
The officiating mishaps largely affected how the game was played, but that's to take nothing away from the Toledo Rockets which scored 55 points in the second half. As stated earlier, Juice Brown was unstoppable when it counted. Brown, with the WMU crowd crawling back into the game, streaked down the sideline on an out of bounds play and ran past everyone for a layup, removing the proverbial wind from the Broncos' sails.
Weatherspoon was a handful as always, dishing out some highlight reel dunks (though AJ Avery had a nice flush as well). All of the Rockets' starters found themselves with double-digit points on Saturday afternoon as they collectively made life difficult for the Broncos.
WMU Travels Tuesday to Muncie to take on Ball State at 7, while Toledo is set to take on a pesky NIU team at home on Tuesday also at 7.
|Points||T. Wilder (34)||J. Brown (19)|
|Rebounds||D. Lamont (5)||J. Drummond (6)|
|Assists||A. Richie (3)||J. Brown (6)|
|Blocks||D. Lamont (1)||3 tied (1)|
|Steals||2 Tied (2)||3 tied (1)|