Last week, the University of Toledo women’s basketball team split their matchups, beating Western Michigan 78-73 on Wednesday and losing to Buffalo 84-73 on Saturday. The results push the Rockets’ record to 15-8 overall and 6-5 in the Mid-American Conference.
Fourth-year guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott scored a game-high 24 points and was followed by four other Rockets in double figures. Bravo-Harriott shot 8-of-12 from the floor, including 2-of-6 from three-point range.
Rockets also scoring in double figures were third-year center Kaayla McIntyre with 17, third-year guard Mikaela Boyd with 14, and third-year guard Olivia Cunningham with 11.
Second-year guard Mariella Santucci also had a strong offensive performance with nine points and a season-tying best seven assists.
As a team, the Rockets shot 52.9 percent (27-of-51) from the field, including 33.3 percent (5-of-15) from beyond the arc, and a season-high 86.4 percent (19-of-22) from the free throw line.
The Rockets shot out of the gates fast, shooting 66.7 percent (8-of-12) in the first quarter to gain an early 20-16 advantage. Boyd went three for three from the field to lead the charge in the quarter, followed by Santucci with five.
UT kept up the pace in the second quarter, led by six points by Bravo-Harriott and five from Cunningham to keep a 37-31 lead going into the break. Bravo Harriott and Cunningham each converted a pair of baskets and one free throw in the quarter.
During the quarter, the Rockets shot 8-of-10 from the free throw line, while WMU was only 2-of-2.
The second half was just like the first one, as UT converted six of its first eight field-goal attempts to extend the margin to 49-38 with 5:27 left in the third. Toledo benefitted from a pair of baskets from both Bravo-Harriott and McIntyre.
The Rockets held a 59-48 advantage heading into the final quarter. UT shot 75.0 percent (9-of-12) from the floor, paced by three baskets from McIntyre.
The Broncos surged early in the fourth quarter by going on a 15-8 run to cut the lead down to 67-63 with 5:01 left in the game.
Bravo-Harriott stopped the bleeding by knocking down seven-straight points, but Western Michigan countered and closed within two, 74-72, at the 1:57 mark.
Toledo closed out the game by receiving a pair of free throws from both Boyd and Santucci. The Rockets also locked down on defense, holding the Broncos to no more field goals.
Against Buffalo, McIntyre led the Rocket offense with a career-high 30 points. She shot 12-of-17 from the floor and 6-of-13 from the free throw line.
Boyd was the other Rocket in double figures in the game, finishing with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
As a team, UT shot 44.6 percent (29-of-65) from the field, including 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from three-point range. Unfortunately, the Rockets shot conference-season low 45.5 percent (10-of-22) performance from the free throw line.
Buffalo won the game down low on the floor as they earned a 66-38 edge in points in the paint.
The Bulls jumped out early and held a 20-16 lead at the end of the quarter.
Toledo got back into the swing of things in the second quarter from back-to-back three pointers by Bravo-Harriott to take a 31-30 advantage at the 4:05 mark.
The Bulls went on15-4 run after that to gain a 45-35 lead going into the break.
UT pulled their deficit into single digits when McIntyre knocked down five straight points to cut the lead down to 70-61 with 9:25 left in regulation. The Toledo native converted a pair of baskets from close range and completed a traditional three-point play to bring the home crowd to its feet.
Toledo countered and pulled within to four points, 77-73, off consecutive jumpers from Boyd and McIntyre at the 1:07 mark,
UT returns to action Wednesday, Feb. 7 and travel to MAC East Division foe Miami University (14-8, 6-5 MAC). Game time versus the RedHawks is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Millett Hall and will stream live on ESPN3.