If imitation truly is the sincerest form of flattery, then Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk gave former Valparaiso coach Homer Drew the ultimate compliment Wednesday night.
Kowalczyk drew up a game-winning play eerily similar to the one Drew famously designed for his son Bryce in the first round of the 1998 NCAA tournament.
With 2.4 seconds remaining and Toledo tied with Buffalo, inbounder Matt Smith threw a three-quarters-court baseball pass to Nathan Boothe along the sideline. Boothe quickly dished to a streaking Julius “Juice” Brown, whose pull-up 18-foot jumper as time expired gave the Rockets the 67-65 victory.
Brown's game-winning shot capped a Toledo comeback from a 13-point first-half deficit. The Rockets (14-2, 2-1) now take a two-game win streak into Saturday's matchup with MAC East-leading Akron, a game that has been billed as a possible conference title game preview.