UT wins at home and away

Rachel Nearhoof /IC

Rachel Nearhoof /IC

Rachel Nearhoof /IC

Jackson Rogers, Associate sports editor

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The University of Toledo women’s basketball team pulled off a win against Western Michigan on Feb. 8. Third-year guard Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and second-year guard Mikaela Boyd combined for 43 points to lead Toledo to a 72-66 victory at WMU’s University Arena. With this win, the Rockets improved to 15-7 overall, 6-5 in the Mid-American Conference.
Bravo-Harriott dropped in 23 points, tying a season-best, and Boyd contributed a career-high 20 to propel UT to its sixth straight triumph over the Broncos (14-8, 5-6 MAC). The dynamic backcourt duo shot a combined 15-of-27 from the floor, including 4-of-9 from three-point range and 9-of-12 from the free throw, to go along with nine assists.
With Bravo-Harriott dominating the final 10 minutes, Boyd was continuously outstanding during the opening three periods, scoring 19 of her points in the first 30 minutes. The Rockets also received 12 points from second-year center Kaayla McIntyre to help them record the win.
As a team, Toledo shot 41.9 percent (26-of-62) from the field, including 26.1 percent (6-of-23) from beyond the arc and an efficient 70.0 percent (14-of-20) from the free throw line to overtake WMU for fourth place in the MAC West Division

UT posted a 40-38 edge on the glass, spearheaded by nine rebounds each from Boyd and McIntyre, who were followed closely behind by a season-high eight rebounds by Bravo-Harriott.
The Rockets took care of the basketball, finishing with 17 assists and 13 turnovers. Bravo-Harriott also led the effort with a season-best six assists.
WMU came out strong early and took advantage of 11 points to jump out to a 22-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Boyd kept the Rockets within striking distance in the opening half, scoring a team-high 13 points to cut the lead to 33-28 at the intermission. She was credited with six field goals and one free throw in the half while playing all but two minutes.
Toledo came out of the break energized and benefited from six quick points by McIntyre to take its first lead since the opening minute. With the score 40-38, McIntyre converted three layups and played a big role in UT opening the period on a 12-5 run. Fourth-year forward Janice Monakana also accounted for four points in the run.
The Rockets strung together a pivotal 9-2 run over the course of the third and fourth quarters to stretch their lead to 53-48 with 7:42 left in regulation. Bravo-Harriott sparked the burst with a layup and a three from the corner to give the Rockets a lead they would not relinquish.
Moments later, UT received three-point field goals from Bravo-Harriott and second-year guard Halee Printz, as well a traditional three-point play by fourth-year center Sophie Reecher to extend the margin to a game-high nine points, 64-55, at the 4:25 mark.
UT hit six of eight free throws over the final minute to close out the six-point road win. This was Toledo’s ninth win in its last 11 trips to Kalamazoo.

Against Bowling Green, Boyd led UT with 18 points and 11 rebounds to post her third double-double in the last four games and a team-high sixth on the year. Also scoring in double figures were Monakana with 17 points and Bravo-Harriott with 10.
“Obviously, this is a rivalry game and we’re very excited about this,” said head coach Tricia Cullop in an interview with UTRockets. “We talked about this, we had our alums here, what an important matchup this is for us and I was really proud with the way we started out.”
The midnight blue and gold also benefited from Kaayla McIntyre’s eight points to tally its fourth win in a row and seventh in the last eight meetings against the Falcons (6-18, 2-10 MAC).
As a team, Toledo shot an efficient 46.4 percent (26-of-56) from the field, including 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from beyond the arc, and a stout 76.0 percent (19-of-25) from the free throw line.
UT dominated the glass 45-34 and finished with a sizable 40-24 advantage in points in the paint to improve to 4-1 in its last five contests. Seven different Rockets pulled down at least three boards in tonight’s MAC cross-division match-up, spearheaded by Boyd’s 11 and Monakana’s seven. Boyd has now led the team in rebounds in five straight games and on a squad-best 13 occasions this season.
The Rockets wasted little time in setting the tone, scoring the first eight points, and held a 20-8 lead at the conclusion of the first period. Bravo-Harriott and McIntyre combined for 13 points to give the home team an advantage. Bravo-Harriott contributed a game-high seven points during the opening 10 minutes, while McIntyre had six for UT and shot an efficient 53.8 percent (7-of-13) from the field.
Boyd took over the game in the second quarter, scoring six of her eight first-half points to extend UT’s advantage to 38-21 at the intermission. The Hillside, IL native used her quickness to get to the basket and dropped in three shots from close range to bring the home crowd to its feet at the break.
“She’s been either at a double-double or close to a triple-double for us every night and that’s why I think we’ve the last five of six,” Cullop said.
Bowling Green came out of the intermission energized, tallying the first nine points to trim Toledo’s lead to 38-30 at the 6:18 mark. Four different Falcons scored in the early burst to make it a three-possession difference.
The Rockets answered right back to halt BGSU’s momentum, receiving layups from third-year forward Michaela Rasmussen. Toledo relied on Monakana to push the lead to 58-44 at the end of 30 minutes and essentially put the game out of reach. Monakana poured in the team’s final 13 points in the period, converting three layups, two treys and one free throw to set the difference at 14 points heading into the final quarter.
Toledo scored its final nine points at the free throw line to close out the 15-point home win.
The Rockets will return to the hardwood on Wednesday, Feb. 15 when they travel to MAC East Division foe Akron (9-14, 2-10 MAC). The opening tip versus the Zips is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in James A. Rhodes Arena.

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UT wins at home and away