Mikonowicz’s 8 points, 8 rebounds help Rockets overcome deficit

AKRON – The Toledo women’s basketball team overcame a 13-point deficit at Akron on Wednesday night to come back and win, 80-76.

The victory extended the Rockets’ winning streak to 10 and keeps them in a three-way tie for first place in the Mid-American Conference.

Senior Jayda Jansen had an excellent shooting night, scoring 19 points on 7-of-10 shots while making 5-of-7 three-pointers. Her 19 points are a season-high and her most-ever in a Rocket uniform.

Senior Sophia Wiard poured in a team-best 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting while pulling down six rebounds and dishing out four assists. Senior Quinesha Lockett added 12 points and eight rebounds, and junior Sammi Mikonowicz (Rossford) scored eight points and grabbed eight boards.

“Jayda Jansen was phenomenal,” Toledo coach Tricia Cullop said. “She shot the ball really well. She was 5-for-7 from three and I thought she passed up a couple good looks too. I thought she put us on her back tonight.”

Toledo (22-4, 13-2 MAC) found itself down 18-5 with 3:54 to go in the first quarter due to Akron’s (15-11, 6-9 MAC) hot shooting. The Zips made 8-of-9 three-point field goals in the first quarter and shot 10-of-13 from the floor overall.

The Rockets closed out the first half on a 9-3 run to pull within a point at halftime, and opened the third quarter with seven straight points to take their first lead of the night. Toledo never relinquished the lead after that and withstood a late Akron charge to hold on for the win.

The 13-point deficit overcome on Wednesday was the Rockets’ largest of the season and the largest since overcoming a 17-point deficit at Ohio last season (Feb. 16, 2022).

Both Ball State (13-2) and Bowling Green (13-2) also won on Wednesday to keep the top spot in the MAC deadlocked in a three-way tie.

The Rockets and Cardinals will face off in Muncie on Saturday before UT hosts the Falcons on the final day of the regular season. Ball State and Bowling Green will battle at the Stroh Center on Wednesday.

“They shot the ball about as well as you can shoot it in the first quarter,” Cullop said. “That was some unbelievable shooting, but we also could have played better defense.

“One thing I was really proud of was we withstood a rough first quarter and didn’t let it take us down. We regrouped, played better defense, and moved the ball better offensively. Hats off to Akron, I thought they played really well tonight.”

Akron was led by Reagan Bass and her game-high 24 points. Following their lights-out shooting effort in the first quarter, the Zips shot 38.1% (16-for-42) from the field the rest of the way and made just 6-of-20 three-point field goals (30.0%) over the final three quarters.