Mikonowicz’s 17 points aid Rockets in overtime win

YPSILANTI, Mich. – Toledo guard Sammi Mikonowicz (Rossford) helped the Rockets come back from a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter at Eastern Michigan to win 79-73 in overtime on Saturday.

The Rockets (15-4, 6-2 MAC) trailed the Eagles (11-8, 3-5 MAC) by 12 points, 56-44, with 5:48 to play in regulation.

With EMU in foul trouble, Toledo knocked down free throws down the stretch to slowly chip away at the deficit until a three-pointer by Mikonowicz made it a one-point game, 60-59, with 3:08 left.

The Rockets did not lead until a Sophia Wiard basket with 1:48 made the score 63-62. A late EMU basket left the score tied at 66-66 at the end of regulation.

The Eagles opened the scoring with a three-pointer, but Mikonowicz and Khera Goss combined for seven straight points to put UT ahead 73-69 with 2:14 to play. The Rockets would not trail for the remainder of the game.

The 12-point deficit was the largest Toledo has overcome to win a game this season. It also marked the second overtime win of the year after the 74-71 win at Cincinnati earlier this season.

“I told the team after the game that not every win will be wrapped up in a pretty box and have a nice bow on top,” Toledo coach Tricia Cullop said.

“Sometimes you need to be resilient and gritty, and I thought we did that today. Everything didn’t go as planned today, but I never saw any of our players hang their head.

“I just saw them focused on what they could do to make an impact later in the game. That’s how you win games. I love this team’s competitiveness and togetherness.”

Quinesha Lockett led the way for Toledo with 25 points and did most of her damage at the free throw line, knocking down 15-of-17 attempts.

Her 15 free throws are a career-high and one-off the single-game school record of 16 free throws, which is held by Kim Knuth (twice) and Kim Sekulski. Lockett also added five rebounds, a team-high five assists, and three steals to help the cause.

Mikonowicz (17 points) and Wiard (15 points) also scored in double figures against EMU and Mikonowicz showed well at the free throw line as well, making 10-of-12 shots.

Toledo shot 38.2% for the game (21-for-55) and made a season-high 32 free throws, the first time its recorded at least 30 free throws in a game since Jan. 27, 2004 vs. Ball State.

Toledo won the turnover battle, forcing 18 EMU errors while committing 12. The Rockets scored 27 of their points off turnovers, including 10 of 24 points in the fourth quarter.

Toledo visits Central Michigan on Wednesday before returning home on Saturday, Feb. 4 to play Ohio at 2 p.m.