BGSU's Chris Knight takes the ball to the hoop yesterday, as the Rockets' Jerrah Young defends.
BOWLING GREEN - Forty, 38, 36, 34, 29.
Those are the minutes played by University of Toledo's starters in yesterday's 69-58 loss at Bowling Green State University.
"I wanted to take out some of those guys but I couldn't afford to," UT coach Stan Joplin said. "They just have to suck it up and go with the flow."
It has been that way all season for the ultrathin Rockets, whose depth has been hindered by suspensions and enrollment issues. Just two reserves saw action yesterday for a combined 23 minutes. Corey Bingham, who accounted for 21 of those minutes, scored all three of UT's bench points.
Fatigue was noticeable in the latter part of the second half when UT became sluggish on defense and impatient offensively. The Rockets attempted 25 3-pointers, which can be attributed to facing BG's zone defense, but perhaps also to exhaustion.
"I would have liked to take five to 10 less," Joplin said. "I thought we settled too quickly. When you get tired a lot of times you like to take the path of least resistance, and that's usually a jump shot."
Likewise, only two BG reserves got into the game. They however were effective. Brian Moten and Otis Polk outscored Bingham 21-3 and combined to play 48 minutes.
Polk played six more minutes than starter Marc Larson and finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocked shots. Moten scored 9 points.
"You can only start five guys but that doesn't mean guys like Moten and Polk aren't as valuable to you as the five guys who start," BG coach Louis Orr said. "Really, it's as if we have seven starters because we need those guys to play well for us to be a good team. They are as valuable or more as the guys that start the game."
ROUGH DAY: UT's Tyrone Kent finished with 15 points, 5 assists, and 2 blocks. But he also produced some unattractive statistics. Kent, the Mid-American Conference's leading scorer, connected on just five of 20 attempts from the field, including three of 12 from long range, and was held scoreless in the first half.
"When you ask somebody to play the point-guard position that hasn't played it, we're asking him to do too much," Joplin said. "I think he takes a break sometimes on offense and on defense when he stands straight up. I thought he had shots right away, and he could have taken them but he put them on the floor and gave the defense time to react."
Twice late in the game Kent tried to take out his frustration with a dunk, but neither attempt worked in his favor.
The first try was a difficult one as Kent exploded in the key in front of a wall of defenders before his arm crashed down on the back of the rim. Shortly thereafter Kent was alone when he missed a dunk for no apparent reason before falling to the floor.
HOMEBOY: BG freshman Joe Jakubowski attended St. John's Jesuit but had no rooting interest in the BG-UT rivalry growing up. Jakubowski has started all 14 of BG's games since senior Ryne Hamblet was kicked off the team in mid-December. He finished with seven points - slightly higher than his season average - and made a 3-pointer for the game's first points.
"I've been around it my whole life and I'm a little familiar with it," Jakubowski said of the I-75 rivalry. "I know it's really intense and has a long history, so I was excited to be part of it."
HOUSE THAT ROARS: The attendance for yesterday's game was 2,356, which is easily BG's largest home crowd of the season. The previous high was 1,608 when the Falcons beat Miami on Jan. 23.
"It was good to hear the house roaring, it was good to see a lot of people in the seats," Orr said.