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HomeSportsUT
Published: Monday, 1/18/2010

Road losses - 23 in row - haunting UT

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

MUNCIE, Ind. - The hits, lumps and bruises just keep coming for the University of Toledo men's basketball team.

The Rockets (3-14, 0-3 Mid-American Conference) dropped their seventh straight game in a 71-43 rout at Ball State yesterday in front of 3,295 at Worthen Arena.

It proved to be an all-around rough day to be a Rocket when the UT women fell 73-69 to the Cardinals in the second half of the doubleheader here.

UT's 43 points were a season-low, and it was the seventh consecutive contest the Rockets failed to surpass the 60-point barrier. It was also the second time in three games they fell short of the 50-point plateau.

Adding to the doom and gloom, UT extended its road losing streak to 23 games and has yet to win as the visitor under second-year coach Gene Cross.

"This one hurts," said freshman guard Jake Barnett, who led UT with 12 points. "I think the thing that we have to learn is not to accept losing. This continues to hurt me as a player and us as a team, and we can't get content with that."

Ball State (7-8, 1-2) entered the game averaging 43 points per game in conference play, but nearly scored that many points in the first half (40) and finished with its third highest scoring total of the season.

The Cardinals never trailed, jumping out to an 8-2 lead and going on a 26-8 surge midway through the first half to lead by as many as 22 with 3:06 to play before intermission.

"We didn't come out with a lot of intensity," said freshman guard Malcolm Griffin, who also had 12 points for the Rockets. "They just outplayed us, outrebounded us, and just played tougher than us, like they wanted it more. That's what it seemed like. I know we wanted it, but they showed it on the court."

At the 6:17 mark of the first half, UT was down by 18, was shooting a measly 18 percent from the field and had scored just one point in the last six-plus minutes.

"In the MAC, scouting reports are key to winning, and they knew every play we called," Griffin said. "They were really prepared. They knew that I liked to drive, so they sagged off of me so I couldn't go to the hole and get easy lay-ups. I didn't even get to the line tonight."

Freshman guard and Muncie Central product Jauwan Scaife drained six of eight 3-point attempts in front of his hometown crowd to lead Ball State with a season-high 20 points.

Senior forward Terrence Watson added 17 points and 11 rebounds, as the Cardinals outrebounded the Rockets 39-31. They also forced UT into posting an equal number of turnovers (16) and field goals (16).

"Not many positives today," Cross said. "They came out and made shots and defended us very well. We didn't make shots and it was because of their good defense. When you turn the ball over, you don't defend and you don't rebound, you don't win many basketball games."



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