Mikonowicz’s rebounding helps Rockets punch ticket


KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Toledo women’s basketball team cruised to a 75-44 victory at Western Michigan on Wednesday, extending its winning streak to eight games.

The Rockets (20-4, 11-2 MAC) also officially clinched their spot in the MAC Tournament with the win and reached the 20-win plateau for the 21st time in program history.

Junior Sammi Mikonowicz (Rossford) scored eight points and collected a game-high seven rebounds to aid in the Rockets’ effort.

For the first time in weeks, there was movement at the top of the Mid-American Conference standings on Wednesday. Toledo’s win paired with Ball State’s (12-1) win keeps the Rockets one game behind the Cardinals and in a tie for second place in the conference standings.

Bowling Green (11-2), however, saw its 11-game winning streak come to an end with its 85-81 loss to Northern Illinois. The Rockets and Falcons will face each other at Savage Arena on Saturday, March 4, the final day of the regular season.

Toledo actually trailed Western Michigan (10-14, 5-8 MAC), 22-19, at the end of the first quarter, but outscored WMU 56-22 over the final three periods. The Rockets held the Broncos to single digits in each of the three final quarters.

Wednesday’s win was Toledo’s largest in a MAC game since March 5, 2014 (88-52 vs. Eastern Michigan) and the third 30-plus point victory of the year.

“I was really proud of the way our defense settled down in the second quarter,” Toledo coach Tricia Cullop said. “Western Michigan was very gritty in the first quarter, but we didn’t lose our focus.

“I was really proud of the way we played defense the rest of the game. We continue to do a good job of reading situations. I thought in the second half we didn’t let their zone bother us offensively, we just looked for the open shot.”

Senior Quinesha Lockett led Toledo with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting, her ninth 20-point game of the season. She was one of four Rockets to reach double figures in scoring, with sophomore Jessica Cook (12 points), senior Sophia Wiard (11 points), and junior Nan Garcia (11 points) all reached that plateau as well.

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