Toledo Drops Overtime Thriller at Northern Iowa, 84-81
CEDAR FALLS, IA - Toledo gave host Northern Iowa all it could handle on Wednesday evening but came up just short in an 84-81 (OT) setback to the Panthers at the McLeod Center.
Sophomore G Julius Brown led the Rockets (0-3) with 23 points and was joined in double figures by senior G Dominique Buckley (19 pts.) and junior G Rian Pearson (18 pts., team-high six reb.). Buckley matched his career best with five treys and finished just two points shy of equaling the best scoring output of his collegiate career.
Toledo shot 44.9 percent for the game, including nine-of-26 (34.6 percent) from behind the three-point arc. UNI posted a 43.4 FG%, 30.0 3FG% (6-of-20) and sank 32-of-39 (82.1 percent) free-throw attempts. UT converted just 10-of-14 (71.4%) attempts from the charity stripe and was whistled for 27 fouls compared to the Panthers' total of 12.
Sophomore G Deon Mitchell paced Northern Iowa (2-0) with a career-high 27 points and also dished out a game-high five assists. Sophomore F Seth Tuttle added a double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds to help the Panthers notch a slim 39-35 advantage on the boards.
The Rockets committed just 12 turnovers, while forcing the Panthers into 15 miscues thanks to a season-high nine steals with Buckley, freshman G Josh Lemons and Pearson coming up with two thefts apiece.
UT had opportunities to win the back-and-forth affair that saw nine lead changes and 11 occasions when the score was tied at the end of regulation and overtime but couldn't convert. Brown hit a 15-foot fadeaway jumper with 44.0 seconds left to give the Rockets a 70-68 lead, but Mitchell answered right back 10 seconds later for a 70-70 tie. Toledo then held for the last shot but UNI prevented Toledo from getting a good look and junior F Reese Holliday couldn't get a three-point attempt off in time.
Tuttle opened the extra session with a three-point play and hit two free throws later to provide the Panthers a 79-75 cushion midway through the extra session. Brown kept the Rockets' hopes alive though with a three-point play for a one-point game, 79-78, with 1:40 remaining. UNI then knocked down three of four free -throw attempts to restore its four-point advantage, but Brown answered with a three-point bomb with 13 ticks left. UT then forced a five-second call on the ensuing in-bounds play, but Holliday turned it right back over when Tuttle stole his in-bounds pass and hit two more free throws. Brown's final attempt at the buzzer was well guarded and rimmed out.
Toledo will be idle until heading to Fort Myers, FL next week for a two-game tournament at Florida Gulf Coast. UT will face Samford on Wednesday, Nov. 21 (4:30 p.m.) before facing Alcorn State or the host Eagles on Thursday. Nov. 22.