Toledo, OH – The Toledo Rockets (8-6) topped Akron (10-4) by a score of 84-67 and are now 6-2 at Savage Arena. The Rockets won their first MAC game of the season (1-1). The first half was back and forth with eight lead changes. The wing players from both teams showed elite athleticism.
Akron’s Deji Ibitayo’s (6’4” 200 pound senior guard) quickness was on display as he harassed the Toledo guards. Jonathan Williams (6’4”, 195 pound sophomore guard) showed his speed and jumping ability during his attacks to the rim. Halftime ended on a thrilling remake of Duke’s Christian Laettner’s shot against Kentucky (1992), a full court pass that led to a turnaround jumper as time expired. The only difference was Toledo’s J.D Weatherspoon’s shot was a three giving the Rockets a 37-34 lead. Kwan Cheatham was injured midway through first half and did not return.
The Rockets pulled away when Akron’s Nyles Evens fouled out while committing a technical foul after making his team leading 13th point. The score was 66-57 at the point, and the final score was 84-67. This game was seen on ESPNU.
Toledo came into the game 3rd in the conference in shooting percentage at 45.7 percent. They did not disappoint, shooting a red hot 56.3 percent for the game. Leading this effort was Jonathon Williams (6’4”, 195 pound sophomore guard). Williams shot 5-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. He added in six rebounds and 15 points. Williams plays offensive in attack mode. He is by nature a slasher, who likes to attack the rim. His outside shooting is inconsistent at times (2-of-4 FT’s) but he showed that while in rhythm, he has three point range. Williams plays the game smart and takes good shots. His handles are only average. This causes him to turn the ball over at times (4 T/O). Williams is hard to miss watching Toledo play. He is very active off the ball. In addition, his turns the floor over quickly. Defensively, his athleticism is on display. He is able to press the ball, while slipping through ball screens. He is a high energy player who rebounds to the ball well for a guard.
Julius Brown is a 5’10” 170 pound, senior guard from Markham, IL. He is another Toledo Rocket who shoots the ball well. For the season Julius is shooting 47.8 percent. In addition, Julius has improved his 3-point shot from a career 34 percent to 46.7 percent this year. He is shooting 87 percent from the line. Julius is also selective with his shots. He takes high percentage open looks at the basket, and does not force anything. He is seems to have a “feel” for the game. When his team needs a basket he takes over, if he sees a teammate needs a pick me up, he can penetrate and kick the ball, creating an open look for the player.
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