With 4.6 seconds left and the Rockets down 55-53, senior forward J.D. Weatherspoon made 1-of-2 free throws after being fouled on a dunk attempt. Weatherspoon’s miss went out of bounds off the Norse, giving the Rockets the ball with 3.2 seconds left for Brown's heroics.
“We never stopped believing we were going to win,” Toledo head coach Tod Kowalczyk said. “Our shots weren’t falling in the first half, but we kept grinding and played well defensively in the second half.”
The Rockets shot a frigid 22.2 percent (8-of-36) in the opening stanza and trailed NKU by a 37-20 margin with 17:38 remaining. Toledo limited the hosts to a 28.0 shooting mark in the second half (38.2 percent overall) to put them in position for a come-from-behind win.
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Junior center Nathan Boothe grabbed a career-high 15 boards and, coupled with Weatherspoon’s eight rebounds, helped the Rockets hold a 44-36 advantage on the glass.
“Our size advantage today was something we wanted to exploit and that’s what we did,” Kowalczyk said. “Nate and J.D. both came up big for us today.”
Williams ignited the Rockets’ second-half rally with seven straight points, including back-to-back treys, to cut NKU’s lead to 47-43 with 7:11 to play. The Norse quickly answered as White converted a four-point play for a 51-43 cushion at the 5:27 mark.
Toledo proceeded to go on an 8-0 run, though, over the next three minutes as Williams buried his third trey, Weatherspoon slammed home an alley-oop and Boothe powered his way to a three-point play.
White followed with another three-point bomb, however, to put the Rockets down 55-51 with just under 90 seconds left. A Brown layup brought UT within 55-53 at the 1:11 mark, setting the stage for his last-second heroics.
“We’re a veteran team and showed a lot of resiliency,” Kowalczyk said. “Even when Northern Kentucky hit some big shots we just kept playing and made the plays we needed.”
Toledo opens up Mid-American Conference play this week with a pair of home games: Central Michigan on Tuesday, Jan. 6 and Akron on Friday, Jan. 9. Both contests will tip off at 7:00 p.m.
(Courtesy of UT Athletics)