Women’s Basketball battles against Buffalo and Ohio

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Rachel Nearhoof /IC

Rachel Nearhoof /IC

Rachel Nearhoof /IC

Kenny Kruse, Staff Reporter

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The University of Toledo women’s basketball team, now 14-7 (5-5 MAC), took on the defending MAC tournament champion Buffalo Bulls on Feb. 1, defeating them 85-63. On Feb. 4, the Rockets traveled south to tangle with the Ohio Bobcats, losing 61-55.

UT put up a tough battle in the first quarter and took the lead with a score of 13-12. The second quarter was when the Rockets took off, scoring 26 points while holding Buffalo to only 11.

UT was leading 39-23 at halftime. The third quarter started off slow for the Rockets; they were outscored 20-18 but still led 57-43.

The Rockets turned things around, scoring 28 points in the fourth quarter while holding Buffalo to 20 points to defeat the Bulls 85-63.

Janice Monakana, a fourth-year forward, has reached a career-high in scoring with 29 points and became the latest Rocket basketball player to reach the 1,000-point club.

The midnight blue and gold also had other players with high scoring, including second- year center Kaayla McIntyre, who scored 18 points, and second-year guard Mikaela Boyd, who added 11.

Also putting up points for the Rockets were first-year guard, Mariella Santucci, who scored seven points, and second-year guards Olivia Cunningham, Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and Halee Printz, who each scored five.

Rebounding and assists were a big factor in the victory for the Rockets. UT out-rebounded the Bulls 44-34 and beat them in assists, 21-10. UT women’s basketball is now 11-0 in Savage Arena versus the Buffalo Bulls.

“Janice Monakana and Sophie Reecher are great leaders because they give energy, understand, teach and are like assistant coaches on the court,” said head coach Tricia Cullop. “Monakana has a sense of urgency and is focusing to make the most out of the season. It’s contagious, and she’s inspiring other teammates to bring it.”   

In the following game against Ohio University, assists and turnovers were UT’s enemy. Even though the midnight blue and gold led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter, the lead did not last long.

The Rockets had a season-low of four assists and collected 22 turnovers. Ohio recognized the mistakes and took advantage to convert them into 29 points, improving their home record to 10-1.

For the Rockets, Monakana led with 18 points, while Bravo-Harriott added 15. Boyd contributed 13 points and 15 rebounds for her fifth career double-double. McIntyre also added seven points.

The Rockets as a team were held to 35 percent (14-of-40) from the floor and 33.3 percent (4-of-12) from behind the arc. On a positive note, 76.7 percent (23-of-30) of free throws were made.

Next up for the Rockets will be another road trip, this time heading northwest to Kalamazoo, Michigan to battle the (14-7, 5-5 MAC) Broncos of Western Michigan on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.

This will be the first matchup between the Rockets and Broncos this season, and it will mark their 75th meeting overall. The series stands at 53-21, in favor of Toledo, and the Rockets have won the last five meetings.

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Women’s Basketball battles against Buffalo and Ohio