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Published: Sunday, 1/20/2013

Rockets go cold in 2nd half against Ohio, now 6-9 overall

BLADE STAFF

ATHENS, Ohio — The University of Toledo men’s basketball team suffered a 76-67 loss to Ohio University at the Convocation Center on Saturday.

Matt Smith finished with 16 points to lead three players in double figures for the Rockets, who fell to 6-9 and 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference.

Rian Pearson had 14 points while Dominique Buckley added 13 for the Rockets.

Ohio got a game-high 24 points from Reggie Keely and had three others score in double digits to improve to 13-5 and 4-0 MAC.

Walter Offutt scored 14 while both Ivo Baltic and Ricardo Johnson had 13 for the Bobcats.

Ohio led through most of the first half, but its lead was never greater than five points and there were seven ties.

With the score at 30 late in the period, Smith’s 3-pointer at the 4:12 mark helped the Rockets move into a 36-33 lead at halftime.

But UT, which made 57.7 percent of its shots from the floor in the first half, couldn’t maintain that torrid shooting pace, connecting on just 37.9 percent from the field in the second half.

And the Bobcats, who shot 46.7 percent from the field in the first half, got hot in the second period and made 56.5 percent from the floor.

OU scored the first eight points of the second half in a 2:18 span to lead 41-36 and never trailed again.

But Toledo never fell behind by more than seven points until the final five minutes, when Ohio made seven of its last eight free throws to close out the win.

The Rockets will return home to host Akron, the other East Division team that is 4-0 in MAC play, Wednesday at Savage Arena starting at 7 p.m.



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