Saturday, January 18, 2020 at 2:00pm EST
Written by Chris Kubala
A pair of MAC schools from the Buckeye State take the floor in search of a conference victory in this crossover matchup. The Toledo Rockets are on the road as they travel to face the Akron Zips Saturday afternoon. Toledo was dropped 74-67 at home by Central Michigan in their last contest Tuesday night. Akron cruised to a 72-49 win over Northern lllinois on the road Tuesday night in their last game. The Rockets lead the all-time series between the teams and have won the last three meetings, that includes a 63-52 win at home on February 5, 2019.
Toledo Rockets Looking to Get Back on TrackToledo has been two different teams this season. The Rockets started the year 8-2 with their lone losses a two-point defeat at Valparaiso and a two-point overtime loss at Notre Dame. Toledo has a lack of great wins in that stretch as the best opponent they dropped in that stretch was Marshall, who they downed twice. Since that point in time, the Rockets have seen things crash back to earth. Toledo has dropped five of their last six and their lone win in the stretch was a triumph over Western Michigan at home. The Rockets are only 1-3 in the MAC after losing to Central Michigan at home Tuesday.
The Rockets are 93rd in the nation in scoring offense by putting up 75.7 points per contest this season. Toledo is tied for 51st in rebounding by collecting 40 rebounds per contest while the team is 55th by dishing out 15.6 assists per game. The Rockets are in the middle of the pack defensively as they are 154th in scoring defense by allowing 68.1 points per game. Marreon Jackson leads the team with 17.2 points plus 6.2 assists per game this season. Luke Knapke chips in 15.2 points plus 8.1 boards per contest while Spencer Littleson adds 11.4 points a night. Keshaun Saunders puts up eight points per game this season. Willie Jackson (11.5 points, 12.5 rebounds) and Dylan Alderson are capable secondary scoring options in the Rockets’ rotation. Toledo is shooting 43.1 percent from the field as a team on the season. The Rockets are knocking down 9.2 three-pointers a game while hitting 36.5 percent from beyond the arc. Toledo is average at the free throw line, hitting 71.7 percent from the charity stripe on the season.
The Rockets are a mixed bag when you get down to the numbers according to KenPom.com this season. Toledo is 40th in the nation in three-point shooting but stands just 255th in two-point percentage (46.8 percent) this season. The Rockets are 96th in offensive rebounding percentage (30.6 percent) but they are 328th in block percentage (11.7 percent) and 281st in steal percentage (10.3 percent) this season. Toledo is 50th in the nation as far as getting points from three-point shooting as 36.9 percent of their points come from beyond the arc. The Rockets are a below average team in tempo, ranking 227th in the nation in pace with 68 possessions per game.
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