The UB men’s basketball team (9-7) lost to Toledo (18-6) 80-70 in a well-fought game Friday night.
UB came out playing suffocating defense, leading for 14 minutes in the first half, but their largest lead was only 21-12.
The Rockets ended the half on a 13-2 run and went into the break leading 40-32. UB responded with their own 14-0 run within the first few minutes of the second half regaining the lead 54-48.
The Bulls dominated the glass, out-rebounding Toledo 25-8 on the offensive boards.
Despite the strong performance on the glass, the Bulls had problems getting it going offensively, shooting 38% from the field.
The Bulls made their presence known in the paint, scoring 50 of their 70 points down low. Despite the paint dominance, UB couldn’t get shots to fall from beyond the arc, shooting 2-14 from three-point range.
Toledo senior guard Marreon Jackson hit the go-ahead three-point shot to give the Rockets a 64-61 lead with 4:14 left.
UB junior forward Jeenathan Williams recorded a dominant double-double, scoring 19 points and snagging 10 rebounds.
The Rochester native gave props to Toledo on their performance but has his eyes set on a potential rematch.
“That was a good game, they got the best of us tonight,” Williams said. ”But God willing, we will see them again and we’ll do what we do.”
UB’s guards Ronaldo Segu and Jayvon Graves struggled to score. The Bulls backcourt shot a combined 8-33 from the field, including 1-12 from downtown.
Jackson torched the Bulls all night, scoring a game-high 20 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out six assists. The Cleveland native also swiped four steals.
Freshman guard Ryan Rollins had it going from downtown for the Rockets, shooting an efficient 4-5. He finished the game with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists.
It has been a season like no other, with cancellations and postponements hiding around every corner. But head coach Jim Whitesell believes the team can still seek improvement down the final stretch of the season.
“I think we can get a lot better, I really do,” Whitesell said. “You don’t like being interrupted because you get a little bit of game rhythm for your guys. Nothing gives you that edge other than you got to get on the floor and put the uniform on to play.”
The Bulls return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 23, as they travel to play Northern Illinois (2-12).
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