Toledo, OH – In a very evenly played game the Toledo Rockets (5-4) won their third straight, 73-65 over Arkansas State (2-4). The Rockets advantage at the foul line proved to be the deciding factor. The Red Wolves shot 6-of-8 at the line, while the Rockets shot 20-of-25.
Arkansas State’s leading scorer Anthony Livingston was held to 11 points, and was limited to nine attempts from the field. Toledo’s defense made it hard for Livingstonall night. Arkansas State held a 42-37 halftime led by Cameron Golden’s 13 first half points on 5-of-8 shooting (3-of-4 behind the arc). However, Toledo’s advantage athletically took over in the second half. Julius “Juice” Brown put the game out of reach when he nailed his second three pointer in a 41 second span to increase the lead 71-65 with 1:13 to play.
Brown is a 5’10” 170 pound, senior guard from Markham, IL. He started the game slow, committing three early turnovers, however, he finished the game without committing another. Julius has above average quickness and the ability to create space. He uses this skill set to attack the rim or to beat his man off the dribble and pull up for a jumper. He is solid in transition, and can finish through contact. Julius is currently 7th in scoring in the MAC conference at 14.8 ppg. One of “Juice’s” greatest attributes in coming up big in clutch situations as he did last night. He has the ability to see the floor, last year he finished 13th in the nation with six assists per game.
J.D. Weatherspoon 6’6” 215 pound, senior forward from Columbus, Ohio, was one of the most athletic players on the floor. He did not show good discipline by picking up two fouls within the first 1:59 on the game. Coach Kowalczyk then limited his first half minutes. Weatherspoon is tenth in the MAC with 6.7 rebounds a game, and he did not disappoint, grabbing eight boards. He has elite leaping ability and a knack for finding the ball. He rebounds to the ball, meaning he can anticipate where the ball will land and get to the spot for a rebound. In addition, he attacks the rim with aggression. This allows him to shot foul shots in volume. Weatherspoon is currently second in the MAC with 49 FT attempts. At times, he looks to draw contact too often. He would increase his numbers by shooting the eight-foot pull up. He has the ability to rise over defenders, yet always uses this to attack the body of the defender. Weatherspoon runs the floor extremely well and was Toledo’s leader in dunks last year with 46.
Livingston a 6’8” 230 pound, sophomore forward from Washington D.C came into the game as the leading scorer for Arkansas State Red Wolves and the fourth highest scorer in the Sun Belt Conference at 17.3 ppg. He struggled all night to get to his spots on the floor where he wanted the ball. Many times it was Weatherspoon applying suffocating defense. Toledo played him very physically. Livingston has three point range (7-of-12 this season), but clearly wants the ball with his back to the basket. Last night Livingston had 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting and only shot two FT’s. He has an average skill set to his game and showed an elite turn around baseline jumper that will be hard to defend at any level. However, he’s not an elite athlete, therefore must play at an elite skill level.
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