Persons scores 26, Ball State beats Toledo 81-80

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) – Tayler Person tied his season high with 26 points and had eight assists, Francis Kiapway hit two late free throws and Ball State held off Toledo for an 81-80 win on Tuesday night to take sole possession of first place in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference.

Franko House had 19 points and nine rebounds, Tahjai Teague scored 16 and Trey Moses added eight points with 11 rebounds for Ball State (15-7, 6-3), which has won three in a row and six of its last seven.

Teague scored five points during a 9-0 run that made it 68-63 with 8:17 left and the Cardinals led the rest of the way. Persons made a layup to put Ball State up by nine with 2:23 to go, but Nate Navigato and Luke Knapke hit back-to-back 3-pointers before Steve Taylor Jr.’s free throw cut Toledo’s deficit to 79-77 with 14 seconds remaining. Kiapway’s free throws seven seconds later made it a four-point lead and Jaelan Sanford’s 3 with two seconds left capped the scoring.

Taylor had 23 points and 17 rebounds, Knapke scored 17 and Sanford added 15 points for Toledo (11-11, 4-5), which has lost three of its last four.

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