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Toledo drops MAC opener at Buffalo

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Toledo's Tre'Shaun Fletcher, shown in a game earlier this season, scored 27 points in the Rockets' loss at Buffalo

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AMHERST, N.Y. — University of Toledo senior Tre’Shaun Fletcher scored 27 points but battled foul trouble all night, as the Rockets fell to Buffalo 104-94 on Tuesday night at Alumni Arena.

Fletcher was 10-of-14 from the field and 6-of-10 at the free-throw line, adding one 3-pointer. With about eight minutes remaining in the first half, Fletcher picked up his second foul and didn’t return until after halftime.

Then with about 10 minutes left in the game, he picked up his fourth foul.

Junior guard Jaelan Sanford added 18 points for Toledo (8-6, 0-1 MAC), including three 3s, and sophomore Willie Jackson added 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench.

CJ Massinburg led Buffalo (9-5, 1-0 MAC) with 27 points, while Wes Clark added 25 points, Nick Perkins scored 24 points off the bench and Davonta Jordan chipped in with 15 points.

A three-point play from Willie Jackson tied the game at 37 with just less than four minutes left in the first half, but Buffalo closed the half on a 10-4 run to take a 47-41 lead into halftime.

Clark and Jayvon Graves hit 3s and Nick Perkins added four free throws as part of the Bulls run to close out the half.

With Fletcher saddled with foul trouble, Willie Jackson came off the bench for 10 first-half points.

Clark scored 11 first-half points, as the Bulls led by as many as eight.

To start the second half, Sanford hit a jump shot to cut the Bulls lead to 47-43, but Buffalo scored the next eight points and opened up a 55-43 lead after a Massinburg jumper, a Clark layup and two layups by Jordan.

Toledo worked all the way back within one point on two separate occasions, after Sanford hit a 3 that cut it to 68-67 with 11:23 left and again when a Fletcher layup made it 70-69 with 10:42 left.

Fletcher then picked up his fourth foul and Buffalo answered with a six quick points. Toledo would cut the lead to 80-78 after a Taylor Adway three-point play, but that was the closest the Rockets would get as Buffalo salted away the win with some late free throws.

Both teams shot well from the field, as Toledo shot 54.1 percent and Buffalo was 53.8 percent. The Rockets were 10-of-20 on 3s, while the Bulls made 7-of-20 from outside.

Toledo struggled to take care of the ball with 16 turnovers, and was just 18-of-30 from the free-throw line compared with Buffalo hitting 27-of-31 from the line.

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