Cleveland, OH- The University of Toledo’s Women’s basketball team won in a tough matchup against Northern Illinois to be crowned the Mac tournament champions. The Rockets were lead by sophomore guard’s Mikaela Boyd and Olivia Cunningham. Boyd was named Mac Women’s MVP, finishing with a double-double with 27 points and 14 rebounds. Cunningham followed her up with 20 points of her own.
Both teams got out to a shaky start, ending the first quarter shooting under 33% with a score of 12(Toledo)-13(Northern Illinois). During the 2nd quarter with 8:36 remaining, Boyd took an elbow shot to the face, and was pretty shook up. Boyd then bounced back scoring the next four points for Toledo. It wasn’t until 3 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, where Toledo began to look like they were gonna pull away. Olivia Cunningham hit back to back 3 pointers making the score 30(UT)-23(NI). Northern Illinois rallied back before the end of the half making the score 30-30.
Three of Toledo’s starters (Harriott- 4, Santucci- 3, Monakana- 3), got into foul trouble with seven minutes in the 3rd, putting Northern Illinois in the bonus. After NI jumped to a 43-38 lead with 4 mins left. Toledo cut the lead ending the quarter 49(NI)- 48(UT). Both team’s traded shot-for-shot, with the score at 54-54 with 7:48 remaining on the clock. Toledo then went on a 12-2 run for the next 4 mins, sparked by freshman guard Mariella Santucci. Santucci forced two turnovers, and scored 6 straight points off of and-one plays. Toledo leading 72-62 with 1:48 remaining, a steal by Mikaela Boyd sealed the game.
This win qualifies Toledo for a spot into the NCAA Women’s tournament, their opponent remains unknown at this time. Below is a clip from the post-game press conference featuring; Head Coach Tricia Cullop, Janice Monakana, Olivia Cunningham, and Mikaela Boyd.