The University of Toledo women’s basketball team went 2-0 against competition, defeating the Maine Black Bears 65-64 on Thursday and the St. Bonaventure Bonnies 58-39 on Monday. The wins improve the Rocket record to 6-1 on the season.
Against Maine, third-year guard Mikaela Boyd led the Rockets in double digit points with a season-high 18 points, along with nine rebounds, five assists and a game-best while playing 42 minutes, the most in her college career.
Fourth-year guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott added 15 points, and third-year center Kaayla McIntyre had 10 points and a team-best 10 rebounds to post her second double-double of the season.
The Black Bears came out firing and took a 28-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Black Bears knocked down 13 of their first 20 field-goal attempts to gain the advantage.
The Rockets fought back into the game by outscoring Maine 13-7 in the second quarter to cut the lead to nine points, 35-26, at the half. Boyd accounted for five of UT's 13 points on the run.
Boyd continued to take over in the second half, tallying seven of UT’s next 12 points to bring the margin down to 42-38 with 9:48 left in regulation. Boyd converted two layups and split six free throw attempts to pull Toledo within four points.
Maine boosted the lead once again to make it a double-digit affair, 52-42, with 4:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Toledo had one final run in regulation and outscored the Black Bears 12-2 over the final four-plus minutes to force overtime.
McIntyre and Boyd started the burst with consecutive baskets, followed by a trey from Bravo-Harriott to make the score 53-49 at the 1:20 mark. Santucci then made a layup, and McIntyre split two free throws to pull the Rockets within a single point, 53-52, with 9.9 seconds remaining.
Maine hit two free throws off a Rocket foul to make the score 54-52.
UT's Boyd went coast-to-coast straight to the basket, finishing the play with a layup to force extra basketball.
The teams went back and forth for the first three minutes of overtime, but the Rockets took over the game, 65-62, on a deep three-point field goal by second-year guard Sara Rokkanen from the wing with 49 seconds left.
UT ran down the shot clock on its next offensive trip and misfired on its shot. Second-year guard Mariella Santucci went through a couple Black Bears, though, and stole a pass, immediately getting fouled with three seconds remaining. Santucci missed both charity tosses to keep it a one-point difference, but Maine’s desperation shot did not convert, giving the Rockets the win.
On Saturday against St. Bonaventure, McIntyre led the Rockets with 14 points, 13 rebounds and a game-high three blocks to tally her team-best third double-double this year, followed closely by Bravo-Harriott with 13 points.
UT also received eight points from third-year guard Olivia Cunningham, seven from fourth-year guard Jada Woody and six from Rokkanen to record the win.
As a team, the Rockets shot 39.0 percent (23-of-59) from the floor, including 23.8 percent (5-of-21) from three-point land, and 43.8 percent (7-of-16) from the charity stripe.
UT dominated the glass and finished with a 50-33 rebounding advantage, triggered by McInytre's double-digit effort. Santucci, first-year forward Tanaya Beacham and Bravo-Harriott also helped the cause with five boards each as the Rockets totaled 50 rebounds for the first time this season.
The Rockets took control of the game, starting off on a 17-0 run. Bravo-Harriott and Cunningham sparked a charge over the opening seven-plus minutes, combining for 13 of the 17 points.
UT remained on fire, shooting the ball early in the second quarter, scoring eight of the first 10 points to extend its lead to 27-8 at the 6:40 mark. Bravo-Harriott was again at the front with a pair of deep field goals to put her in double figures and make it a 19-point lead.
The Rocket lead did not go below 14 points for the remainder of the opening half as UT held a 35-19 lead at the half. UT knocked down 50 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes and 4-of-6 from the free throw line to build the 16-point advantage at the half.
Toledo continued to play well in the third quarter, capitalizing on four layups from McIntyre to push the score to 47-28 after 30 minutes of competition. McIntyre dominated the interior and converted a quartet of field goals.
The Rockets return to the hardwood Wednesday, Dec. 6 when they travel to
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to take on Duquesne at 5:30 p.m. in the A.J. Palumbo Center.