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Jackson, Knapke lead Toledo past Ohio 83-74

Preston's 27 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds not enough

ATHENS – Marreon Jackson and Luke Knapke combined for 51 points to lead Toledo to an 83-74 victory against Ohio on Tuesday night at The Convo.

Jackson scored 29 points with seven assists, and Knapke finished with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists. Dylan Alderson added 11 points, and Keshaun Sanders added 10 points off the bench for the Rockets, who shot 48.3%, including 8 of 20 from long range.

Jason Preston led the Bobcats (10-9, 2-4 Mid-American Conference) with 27 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, but he did not get much help. Ben Roderick had 11 points off the bench, and Ben Vander Plas finished with nine points in 24 foul-plagued minutes.

Toledo (11-8, 3-3 MAC) raced out to an early 10-point lead at 16-6, but Ohio answered back and tied the game at 23 on a Preston layup with 6:21 left in the first half. Later, a Roderick 3-pointer gave the Bobcats a 26-25 lead. The Rockets, however, finished the half on a 10-2 run to take a 35-28 advantage into the break.

From there, Ohio got only as close as 35-32 with the first two baskets of the second half. Toledo slowly extended its lead, pushing it back to double digits at 51-41 on a Knapke basket with 12:04 remaining. Knapke’s three-point play with 8:28 remaining made it 62-46, and Luke Maranka fouled with another Toledo basket.

The Bobcats got it back down to single digits on a Mason McMurray bucket with 3:02 remaining and got as close as eight at 77-69 on a McMurray 3-pointer with just under a minute to go. McMurray finished with seven points, all in the final 3:02.

Jordan Dartis scored eight points on 2-of-11 shooting, which included making just one of six 3-pointers. The Bobcats as a team shot just 38.9%, making 8 of 26 3-pointers (30.8%).

Willie Jackson just missed a double-double for Toledo, finishing with nine points and 14 rebounds. Sylvester Ogbonda had 11 rebounds for Ohio but scored only four points on 1-of-7 shooting. Lunden McDay was scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting.

The bench play of Roderick, McMurray and Miles Brown, who had a career-high six points, was a bright spot for Ohio, who was without Connor Murrell for the second game in a row after an injury caused him to miss the first 13 games of the year.

The Bobcats host Akron at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at The Convo.

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