Toledo (11-10) at Buffalo (9-15)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 13, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Arena (6,100) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. Home Record: Toledo 6-2, Buffalo 6-4. Away Record: Toledo 4-8, Buffalo 3-8. Neutral Record: Toledo 1-0, Buffalo 0-3. Conference Record: Toledo 7-3, Buffalo 4-6. Series Record: Toledo leads, 11-6.
GAME NOTES: The Toledo Rockets take aim at their sixth win in a row as they visit Alumni Arena for Mid-American Conference action against the Buffalo Bulls.
Toledo's winning streak had finally put it into a first-place tie in the MAC West Division standings with Western Michigan, as both schools are now 7-3 in league action. Rian Pearson came off the bench for the first time this season to pour in 29 points and grab 14 rebounds, which made the difference in the team's 60-52 victory over Eastern Michigan on Saturday. Dominique Buckley chimed in with 13 points in the decision as the Rockets held off a feisty Eagles' unit. Toledo struggled to find its shooting touch against the Eagles' stifling 2-3 zone defense, finishing the game with a MAC season-low 34.6 shooting mark. The Rockets made up for it though by limiting the Eagles to a MAC opponent-worst field goal percentage (0.339) and 19 turnovers, matching the most by any opponent this season.
Pearson is leading the MAC in scoring with 18.6 ppg and also the team in rebounding with 6.5 rpg. Julius Brown is 10th in the league with 13.4 ppg and third with 5.6 assists per contest. Matt Smith and Buckley have both been chiming in offensively, producing over nine points per outing apiece. The Rockets have shown the ability to fill it up all season long as they come in with the fourth highest scoring offense in the MAC at 68.3 ppg, but they are third to last with 68.7 points allowed per tilt.
The Bulls enter with an 9-15 overall record and 4-6 standing in the MAC after defeating Northern Illinois, 59-54, at home on Saturday. Javon McCrea paced Buffalo with 16 points, while Auraum Nuiriankh grabbed 10 rebounds. UB is 6-4 at home on the season after completing winning its last three games in Alumni Arena.
Despite Buffalo's lackadaisical display throughout the season, McCrea has been a consistent bright spot with 17.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per tilt. McCrea has seven double-doubles this season, already surpassing his season totals of both his freshman and sophomore seasons. Will Regan is the second leading scorer with 10.3 ppg. Tony Watson has averaged 11.8 points over the last five games and has drained 14 three-pointers during that span. The Bulls are shooting just 57.3 percent from the free-throw line over the last three games (39-of-68).
Buffalo has what it takes to end the Rockets' streak if McCrea continues his strong play. Toledo's one dimensional style is only effective when Pearson is on his game. The Bulls will provide a challenge as they have very little pressure on them to win while the Rockets are in a must-win situation to keep pace with WMU.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 67, Toledo 64
02/13 10:32:28 ET