CLEVELAND — Toledo freshman Marreon Jackson had a Mid-American Conference tournament many Rockets fans won’t soon forget.
Jackson hit a game-tying 3-pointer and the game-winning 3 moments later to lift Toledo to a win Friday against Eastern Michigan in a semifinal and a trip to its first title game since 2014.
Toledo guard Marreon Jackson was named to the Mid-American Conference's all-tournament team Saturday, along with teammate Jaelan Sanford.
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He had a career-high 26 points in the 64-63 win against the Eagles.
From nearby Garfield Heights High School, Jackson continued his hot play at the start of Saturday’s title game against Buffalo, scoring a quick five points and had eight points at halftime.
Jackson ended the game with 13 points, but it will be the semifinal heroics for which he will be remembered.
After he failed to score in the quarterfinal win against Miami, Jackson raised his level of play during the course of the next two games.
For his efforts, Jackson was named to the all-tournament team.
Jaelan Sanford, who scored 19 points in the championship game, also earned a spot on the all-tournament team. Sanford was 6-of-19 from the field in the final and 3-of-5 from the 3-point line.
Tournament Most Valuable Player honors went to Wes Clark, who scored 26 points to lead Buffalo in the final.
Buffalo’s Jeremy Harris, who scored 10 points against Toledo, was on the all-tournament team, as was Eastern Michigan’s Paul Jackson after scoring 26 points against Toledo in a semifinal.
NIT HOPES: After the game, UT coach Tod Kowalczyk said he thinks his team is worthy of an NIT bid.
“I absolutely think this is an NIT team,” Kowalczyk said. “We are a top-75 RPI team. I would like to think our league will fight, scratch and claw and do whatever they can do to get us in the tournament. We deserve it. We deserve to play in the NIT. And hopefully Tre’Shaun Fletcher will be able to play.”
KNAPKE, WILLIE JACKSON EARN START: With Fletcher out of the lineup because of a knee injury, Willie Jackson earned a start in his place. Kowalczyk also opted to have Luke Knapke start in place of normal first-string center Taylor Adway.
Knapke has come off the bench all season long, but earned the start in the most important game of the season.
Jackson finished the game with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Knapke had nine points and 11 rebounds.
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