UB men’s basketball (2-15, 1-4 MAC) fell 66-77 to the Toledo Rockets (11-6, 5-0 MAC) at John F. Savage Arena on Tuesday, as the Bulls dropped to 1-4 in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play. The defeat drops the Bulls to No. 11 in the 12-team conference. UB has lost four straight since opening MAC play with a win against Central Michigan on Jan. 4.
The Bulls were able to limit Toledo in the first half and held the Rockets to just 42% on shot attempts from the field and 33% on three-point attempts. UB also kept their opponent off the free throw line, surrendering only two free throw attempts in the opening 20 minutes. In the second half, however, they couldn’t match Toledo’s offense as the Rockets pulled away with better shooting.
With eight minutes left in the first half, Toledo went up by nine points to take a 26-17 lead. UB found a response with two straight baskets in the paint, highlighted by a dunk from senior forward Sy Chatman. The Bulls closed the opening frame with five straight points, which was enough to tie the game at 33 heading into halftime.
UB weathered an early Toledo run to open the second half with three straight baskets from Chatman and senior forward Isaiah Adams, but the Rockets again responded with another run to take the lead back. The two teams traded baskets until six minutes left to play, where a jumper from Chatman cut the deficit to one point. From there, Toledo closed the game on a 15-5 run and the Bulls were unable to keep up offensively as the Rockets won by 11 points.
Adams led all scorers with 24 points. Chatman was the only other Bull in double figures, adding 16 points and five rebounds. Senior center Jonnivius Smith came close to a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds, and he led the team with two blocks.
UB’s next opponent is Ball State (9-4, 1-4 MAC) at home on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Alumni Arena, with the game being dedicated to GreatLakes CancerCare. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. and the game can be streamed on ESPN+.
Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor and can be reached at email@example.com
Henry Daley is an assistant sports editor at The Spectrum. His work has featured on other platforms such as Medium and Last Word on Sports. Outside of the newspaper, he enjoys running and watching sports (when he’s not writing about them).