Rockets falter late at Cleveland State

Nate Pentecost

The University of Toledo men’s basketball team led for 39 minutes Saturday afternoon at Cleveland State, but could not stave off a last-minute comeback, falling 78-73.

Trailing by six at the half, the Vikings (6-2) tied the game four times in the second stanza before sophomore guard Charlie Lee knocked down a 3-pointer with 31 second left to give Cleveland its first lead. Sebastian Douglas sealed the win with 19 seconds to go on a steal and layup.

After a foul on Cleveland State, a scuffle resulted in a double technical before UT junior guard Reese Holliday sank a pair of free throws, cutting the deficit to 76-73 with 10 seconds remaining. Lee was fouled on the inbounds and hit two free throws, capping off a career-high 22 points.

The Rockets (2-5) held CSU’s leading scorer to two points in the first half before Lee (14.9 ppg coming into Saturday) went off for 20 points in the second. Lee was 7 of 10 from the field, hitting 4 of 6 3-pointers and dishing out seven assists.

Freshman guard Bryn Forbes was second on the team with 16 points and senior forward Tim Kamczyc added 15 for the Vikings.

Junior forward Matt Smith fronted Toledo’s offensive effort with 20 points, shooting 6 of 7 from the field and hitting 5 of 6 from the charity stripe.

Holliday and freshman center Nathan Boothe added season highs as well with 16 and 15 points respectively while the Mid-American Conference’s leading scorer, Rian Pearson (16.4 ppg coming into the contest) had 13 and a game-high six boards.

Sophomore point guard Juice Brown, who is battling illness, tied for a game-high seven assists but turned the ball over as many times and scored just four points.

 UT hits the road again Wednesday, Dec. 5 with a game at Detroit, CSU’s fellow Horizon League member. Tip-off from Calihan Hall is slated for 7 p.m.

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