Last week, the University of Toledo women’s basketball team lost against Kent State University on Wednesday, 62-55, then won against Bowling Green State University on Saturday, 77-67. The results move the Rockets’ record to 14-7 overall and 5-4 in Mid-American Conference play.
UT v. Kent State
Against Kent State, the free throw line proved to be an important factor in the game. Kent State converted 30-of-38 (78.9 percent) at the line, while UT shot 12-of-18 (66.7 percent).
“This one hurts,” UT head coach Tricia Cullop said. “It hurts because it’s at home, and it hurts because I feel like we are a lot better team than the way we played tonight. I thought Kent State outplayed us tonight, and that is something I hate to see, especially at home, but they did. We didn’t have an answer for Jordan Korinek inside. I’m kind of at a loss for words because I want us to play a lot harder than we did tonight.”
Third-year guard Mikaela Boyd led UT with 19 points and a game-high 13 boards to post her fifth double-double over the last seven games. Boyd also recorded a game-best five assists and tied for the game high in steals, with three.
Third-year center Kaayla McIntyre contributed eight points, 10 rebounds, a game-high three blocks and also had three steals.
As a team, the Rockets were held to 31.7 percent (19-of-60) from the field, including 21.7 percent (5-of-23) from beyond the arc.
“When we aren’t making shots, we just need to get stops,” Boyd said. “Tonight we weren’t doing that, and that made it 10 times worse, I thought. Even if our offensive isn’t going, we just need to be able to get defensive stops because our stops lead to transition.”
The Rockets started off the game slow, missing 13 of the first 17 shots from the field and, as a result, trailed 14-8 after the first quarter. In the first 10 minutes, Boyd converted on three of her four field-goal attempts.
Things didn’t get better in the second quarter as KSU extended the lead into double figures, 24-14, at the 5:43 mark. The Rockets missed on six of their first eight shots to allow the Golden Flashes to expand the deficit to double digits.
UT finished strong, ending the half on a 9-1 run to close the lead to 27-25. Boyd led the late charge with five of the nine points.
The Rockets cut the margin down to a single basket midway through the third, 33-31, before KSU went on an 8-4 run to set the score at 41-35 at the end of the quarter.
Toledo kept fighting, closing to within three points five different times in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Fourth-year guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and McIntyre each scored six points in the final quarter.
UT v. Bowling Green
Against Bowling Green, Bravo-Harriott tied a school record with eight three-pointers and finished with a season-high 27 points.
Bravo-Harriott went 8-of-14 from beyond the arc to become the fourth player in program history with eight triples in a game.
“I personally said, ‘Just shoot it,’” said Bravo-Harriott when asked about her previous shooting struggles. “If you’re wide open, just shoot it.”
UT also was helped out by 17 points from third-year guard Olivia Cunningham, 16 from Boyd and 10 by McIntyre to boost the Rockets to their fifth straight win over their arch-rivals.
Boyd was a key contributor again, grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds and leading the contest with six assists and one block to earn her seventh double-double over the last nine games.
As a team, Toledo shot 50.0 percent (27-of-54) from the field, including 45.8 percent (11-of-24) from three-point range, and 70.6 percent (12-of-17) from the free-throw line.
Bravo-Harriott started hot from long range, knocking down four three-point field goals and totaling 15 points to help the Rockets jump out to a 29-15 lead.
BG countered by scoring nine of the next 11 points to cut the lead down to 31-24. Four different Falcons tallied points to prompt the Rockets to stop the action.
UT settled down, bolstered by six late points by Cunningham, to take a 37-33 lead into the break.
Bowling Green kept fighting in the third quarter, going on a 13-4 run to take the lead at 46-41 with 1:59 left in the quarter.
The Rockets stayed calm and Bravo-Harriott buried the sixth of her eight triples to ignite a game-sealing 15-0 run. Bravo-Harriott, held scoreless since the first quarter, added another three-pointer during the stretch to turn a five-point deficit into a 10-point advantage, 56-46, with 7:33 left in the game
Toledo returns to the court Wednesday, Jan. 31 when it travels to Western Michigan (12-9, 5-4 MAC). Game time versus the Broncos is scheduled for 7 p.m. in University Arena and will stream live on ESPN3.