Women head to Oregon
As the excitement from the University of Toledo’s first women’s basketball MAC title since 2001 dwindles down, the Rockets begin to look forward to the NCAA tournament.
This will be the women Rockets’ eighth appearance in the NCAA tournament, with an overall record of 3-7 in the competition.
UT will head to Corvallis, Oregon this Saturday to take on the Creighton University Blue Jays in the first round of the tournament.
These two opponents have not faced off against each other this season but have had one common opponent throughout this season: Dayton.
When Creighton took on Dayton, the team won by a score of 56-53 on the road, and when Toledo took on the Flyers, the Rockets also won, by a score of 76-72.
The Blue Jays are a part of the Big East conference, going 23-7 (16-2) on the season. The Blue Jays were selected for the tournament as an at-large bid after losing to Big East champions Marquette in their conference tournament.
Despite this loss in the tournament, the Blue Jays finished their regular season tied for first in the Big East with the No. 21-ranked DePaul Blue Demons.
Although the two teams have not played each other this season, their records make it look to be a good matchup, one that could swing either way.
The Blue Jays are led by second-year forward Audrey Faber, who is averaging 13.2 points per game. Faber earned an All-BIG EAST first team selection, while Marissa Janning, fourth-year guard for the Blue Jays, is averaging 11.5 points per game and earned an All-BIG EAST second team selection.
Shutting down these two players will be key for the Rockets, so a strong defense will be necessary if the Rockets want to advance.
On the other side of the court, Toledo is in the midst of an eight-game winning streak, and the team is looking to keep that streak alive.
Second-year guard Mikaela Boyd has been on a roll since the start of the MAC tournament, where she was named MVP of the tournament after the Rockets’ win over Northern Illinois in the finals.
Boyd will also be heading into this first-round matchup coming off of an incredible performance in the MAC final, where she recorded 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Another weapon for the Rockets will be first-year guard Mariella Santucci, who has found her footing again after a rough regular season due to a foot injury.
Santucci joined Boyd on the All-Tourney team after averaging 13.8 points in the MAC tournament.
This tournament draw was also good for the Rockets for other reasons. This draw lands them in a different region than the 32-0 University of Connecticut Huskies and outside of the Lexington bracket of death.
The Rockets will face off against the Blue Jays after the conclusion of the Oregon State vs. Long Beach State game on ESPN2 at 7:30.