A-State (2-4) tied the score at 65-65 after Cameron Golden made a pair of free throws with just over two minutes remaining in the contest, but the Rockets (5-4) earned the lead on a Julius Brown three-pointer on the next possession. Golden missed a three-point attempt on A-State's next possession and Brown connected on another shot beyond the arc to give Toledo a 71-65 edge with 1:13 showing on the clock. The Red Wolves couldn't get another shot to fall and two free throws from Jonathan Williams set the final score at 73-65.
“You have to play 40 minutes in this kind of environment with a nice crowd in a nice arena, but we had some lapses in the second half,” A-State men's basketball coach John Brady said. “We had some good looks late, but just missed them after we were making them early. Our team got better thought and against a good Toledo team. They won 27 games last year and have four starters back. Our overall effectiveness and the way we executed was better, but not where we need to be.”
Golden led all scorers with 18 points, while the Red Wolves had their first game with four players in double digits with Nouhoum Bocoum (13), Sean Gardner (12), and Anthony Livingston (11) all providing solid scoring efforts. Gardner grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and PJ Hardwick dished out five assists. A-State outshot Toledo 43.1 percent to 41.1 percent for the game, but A-State shot just 31 percent in the second half compared to 55.2 percent in the first. Toledo made 20-25 free throw attempts, while A-State only managed to make 6-8 shots from the charity stripe.
Toledo managed to score the game's opening basket, but five straight points from Golden put the Red Wolves on top and gave the team a lead it wouldn't relinquish the rest of the half. A-State extended its lead to 14 at 40-26 on a Gardner three-pointer, but the Rockets ended the half on an 11-2 run to cut their deficit to five points at 42-37.
Daijon Macklien put A-State on top 51-45 with a three-pointer early in the second half, but Toledo went on an 11-0 run to take a 56-51 advantage with just under 12 minutes remaining in the contest. A-State fought back with a 7-2 run to tie the game at 58-58 on a Bocoum layup, but Toledo responded to earn a 65-60 edge with just over four minutes remaining on the clock. Gardner connected on a three with 3:38 left before Golden tied the contest with 2:11 on the clock.
A-State ends a three-game road swing with a trip to Starkville, Miss., to take on Mississippi State Wednesday, Dec. 17 at 6 p.m. in an SEC Network televised contest. Fans can keep up with the action by following @AStateGameDay on Twitter. For the latest news and updates on A-State men's basketball, follow the Red Wolves on Twitter (@AStateMB) and head coach John Brady (@JohnBrady_Coach).