Rockets Basketball gears up for tournament play

March 12, 2019

The UT men’s and women’s basketball team will compete in the 2019 Mid-American Conference Tournament starting Wednesday, March 13 for the women and Thursday, March 14 for the men. 

The men come into the tourney having a second overall seed and a MAC West Division crown. They face off against seventh seed Northern Illinois at 6:30 p.m., March 13. 

The women come in as the sixth seed and will battle third seed Miami of Ohio at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.

On the men’s side, this contest is the third of the season between the Rockets and Huskies, with UT sweeping the season series by scores of 69-55 and 57-54. The men’s team is riding a five game winning streak into the tournament.

Some head-to-head stats against NIU, the Rockets lead the MAC in defensive rebounds per game with 29.3, while NIU is last with 9.3 offensive rebounds per game.

The Rockets also hold an edge over the Huskies in three-point field goal percentage with UT shooting 37.8 percent, a MAC best. NIU ranks fourth in the conference, shooting 35.4 from the three-point line.

Four Rockets received All-MAC honors on Monday with fourth-years Jaelan Sanford and Nate Navigato earning first-team and honorable mention recognition respectively. 

Second-year Marreon Jackson was also awarded an honorable mention and first-year AJ Edu earned a spot on the All-Freshman team. 

The Rockets’ win over Eastern Michigan last Friday marked their 25th victory on the year, recording the second most wins in program history, following 2013-2014’s 27 wins.

For the women, it is the third matchup against the Redhawks, with the Rockets losing both contests by scores of 65-64 and 65-56. Despite this, the Rockets lead the all-time series on the Redhawks 38-28.

The cross-division foes have squared off on four occasions in the post-season tourney, with Toledo holding a 3-1 record. Most recently, UT registered a 62-47 home triumph in the first round of the 2015 MAC Tournament in Savage Arena

The UT women gained momentum for the tournament by knocking off 11th seed Ball State 67-63 at Savage Arena on Monday. The win was the Rockets’ 20th victory of the season.

Leading scorers for Toledo, fourth-year Kaayla McIntyre, second-year Nakiah Black, fourth-year Mikaela Boyd and third-year Mariella Santucci, averaged 16.4, 10.7, 9.6 and 9.4 ppg, respectively.


This quartet accounts for 69.8 percent (1,372-of-1,965) of Toledo’s scoring.
All-MAC honorees for the women were McIntyre on the second team and Boyd earning an honorable mention.


Tomorrow’s quarterfinal match-up will be a defensive battle as the Rockets pace the conference in scoring defense (60.9 ppg), overall field goal percentage defense (.384, 404-of-1,053), three-point field-goal percentage defense (.281, 90-of-320) and three-point field goals allowed (5.0) in league games. Miami was third (63.9 ppg), tied for seventh (.414, 427-of-1,032) and second (.292, 93-of-318) (93, 5.2) in the same categories, respectively. 

The winner of the men’s matchup will play either No. 3 seed Bowling Green or No. 6 seed Eastern Michigan in the semifinals at 9 p.m on Friday, March 15. The winner of the women’s contest will play either No. 2 seed Ohio or No. 7 seed Northern Illinois in the semifinals approximately 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 15. 

All games are being played at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio and can be streamed on ESPN+

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