TOLEDO, Ohio – University of Toledo junior Sammi Mikonowicz, a Rossford graduate, had 11 points and seven rebounds as the Rockets won its seventh straight game on Wednesday, defeating Western Michigan 71-53 at Savage Arena in its first Mid-American Conference contest of the season.
The Rockets (10-2, 1-0 MAC) now own the longest active winning streak in the MAC and are off to their best start since the 2012-13 season when they began the year 11-1.
They never trailed in Wednesday’s win over the Broncos (5-7, 0-1 MAC), shooting 57.7 percent from the floor in the second half to pull away and notch their third straight double-digit win and their first conference victory of the year.
“I’m really proud of our players for getting off to a good start to MAC play,” Toledo coach Tricia Cullop said. “It was nice to see a zone defense, because the last time we played against a zone it wasn’t our finest hour; we won, but we didn’t shoot well in that game.
“I think we’ve learned a lot since then and that translated into the offensive output that we saw tonight. Western Michigan is a very good team, Lauren Ross and Taylor Williams are two of the finest players in our league, and they’re well-coached. We were really glad to get this win.”
Senior Sophia Wiard was outstanding, leading Toledo with 19 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists while going 6-for-6 from the free throw line.
Wiard and senior Quinesha Lockett both made 6-of-11 shots from the floor, the latter of whom scored 13 points, all in the second half. Junior Lonasia Brewer contributed eight points off the bench.
Wiard and Mikonowicz opened the scoring with back-to-back buckets to give UT a 4-0 lead less than a minute into the game.
The duo of Wiard and Mikonowicz accounted for Toledo’s first 16 points and helped put Toledo ahead 16-9 with 3:33 to go in the quarter.
Wiard and Mikonowicz also scored consecutive baskets near the midway point of the third quarter, sparking a 9-2 run that put Toledo’s lead at a game-high 23 points, 53-30, with 1:26 to go.