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Final: Toledo 71, UB 69

The University of Toledo got a driving layup by guard Jonathan Williams with 1.4 seconds to go to score a 71-69 victory over the University at Buffalo Tuesday night.

UB led almost the entire game – from five minutes into the first half until Williams’ driving basket.

Toledo rallied from a 10-point deficit with 8:07 to go to win as the UB offense sputtered down the stretch.

UB ran into depth problems late in the game due to foul trouble. Three Bulls – Blake Hamilton, David Kadiri and Ikenna Smart – all had four fouls with nine minutes to go in the game.

The Bulls were outscored, 12-2, over the final four minutes.

Freshman forward Nick Perkins led the Bulls with a career-high 17 points. Freshman guard CJ Massinburg had 12. Senior guard Jarryn Skeete and Hamilton had 10. But Hamilton was scoreless in the second half.

Toledo got 15 from Williams and 11 from star center Nathan Boothe, the leading scorer in the MAC. He was averaging 19.5 a game.

Records: UB fell to 14-10 overall and 7-4 in the Mid-American Conference. Toledo improved to 15-9 and 6-5.

Suspended: Star point guard Lamonte Bearden has been suspended from the team, UB revealed before the game. The suspension is being termed indefinite, according to UB. Indications The News has received is the sanction is likely to last several games.

UB also will be down a second player for the near future. Backup freshman forward Nikola Rakicevic returned to his native Serbia due to the death of his mother.

Bearden, a 6-foot-3 sophomore from Wisconsin, leads the UB team in scoring at 13.5 points a game. He also leads the team in assists and steals. He’s averaging 28.8 minutes a game. Bearden ranks 13th in the Mid-American Conference in scoring, ninth in assists and third in steals. He was a member of the MAC all-freshman team last season.

The suspension puts more pressure on Skeete and Massinburg to share the point-guard duties. Skeete is averaging 8.7 points and 29 minutes a game, and Massinburg is averaging 9.7 points and 24.7 minutes.

UB held a moment of silence for Jasmina Rakicevic before the start of the game. Rakicevic has averaged 1.9 points and 10.4 minutes in MAC games.

First half: UB took a 37-28 lead into intermission. The Bulls held Toledo to 33 percent shooting in the first half. Boothe was limited to five points and Williams had just three.

UB shot 51.9 percent in the first 20 minutes. Hamilton had 10 points and five assists. The Bulls hit 6 of 11 three-pointers.

Ex-UB commit: Toledo is getting good play from freshman forward Nate Navigato, who originally committed to UB but then re-opened his recruitment last spring after Bobby Hurley left for Arizona State. The 6-8 Navigato, a second-team all-state pick in Illinois last season, is averaging 20 minutes and 8.0 points a game. He has made 44 three-pointers, tied for 14th in the MAC.

Ranking: UB entered the game ranked 84th in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index. Toledo was 150th. The Bulls ranked No. 1 in the MAC in rebounding and No. 1 in field-goal percentage defense, holding foes to 41.6 percent shooting. Toledo was picked to finish second in the MAC West. UB was picked for fourth in the MAC East.

Losses: Like UB, Toledo suffered key losses from last year’s team. The Rockets graduated All-MAC performers Juice Brown, Justin Drummond and J.D. Weatherspoon. Toledo won 21 games last year and 27 the year before.

In the house: Attendance was about 3,500.

Up next: UB plays host to Ohio University at 7 p.m. Friday. The game will be televised on ESPNU.

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