Toledo Falls to MAC East Division Leader Kent State at Home, 58-47

By  | 

Junior Sara Rokkanen scored 12 points and senior Kaalya McIntyre added 11, but it wasn't enough to overcome a cold-shooting night for the Rockets, as they fell to Kent State, 58-47, on Saturday before 4,071 fans in Savage Arena. With the loss, UT falls to 9-5 overall, 1-2 in the league.

The Midnight Blue & Gold held an early 6-3 lead, but the MAC East Division-leading Golden Flashes (10-4, 3-0 MAC) took control in the first half, leading 12-10 after one quarter, and 26-18 at halftime. UT cut its deficit to 34-32 at the end of the third stanza but could never regain the lead. KSU scored the opening 13 points in he fourth quarter to put UT in a big hole. The Rockets did not give up the fight and cut the margin to six points, 53-47, on a pair of free throws by McIntyre with 1:41 left, but they couldn't get any closer.

Toledo shot just 31.0 percent (18-of-58) from the field, including 33.3 percent (6-of-18) from three-point range, and 71.4 percent (5-of-7) from the charity stripe to suffer its third-consecutive loss against KSU. A glaring difference in today's MAC cross-division match-up came at the charity stripe. The Golden Flashes made 14-of-20 shots from the free throw line, while Toledo was just 5-of-7. The Rockets also outrebounded KSU, 41-39, highlighted by a career-best eight from Rokkanen.

• Toledo took a 6-3 lead on a three-pointer by junior Mariella Santucci with 4:44 left in the quarter.

• Unfortunately for the Rockets, KSU outscored them 9-4 over the last four minutes of the period to take a 12-10 advantage at the quarter break. It proved to be a lead the Golden Flashes would not surrender.

• Kent State extended its lead to 23-14 with an 11-4 run capped by a layup by Asiah Dingle with 3:43 left in the quarter.

• McIntyre hit a layup with a little over one minute left in the half to cut the deficit to 26-18 at the intermission.

• The Rockets shot 7-of-26 (.269) from the floor in the first half, including 3-of-8 (.375) from behind the three-point mark, while Kent State made 10-of-29 (.344) from the field.

• Toledo started the quarter with an impressive 7-0 burst to close the gap to 28-25 at the 5:05 mark. Santucci and senior Mikaela Boyd started the run with back-to-back baskets in the paint and Rokkanen finished it off with the second of her game-high four triples.

• UT continued to fight back and McIntyre's layup in the waning seconds cut the lead to two points, 34-32, after 30 minutes of competition.

• Kent State put the game away early in the final quarter, rattling off 13-consecutive points to take a 47-32 lead with 4:24 left to play. Carter sparked the game-clinching run with a pair of three-point field goals to essentially pu the game out of reach.

• Rokkanen broke the Rockets' scoring drought with a three pointer at the 4:13 mark to bring the score to 47-35. Moments later, Boyd trimmed the margin to 49-41 with a driving layup.

• Toledo eventually pulled within six points, 53-47, on a pair of free throws by McIntyre with 1:41 left, but KSU scored the game's final five points to make score 58-47

• The Rockets will travel to West Division rival Western Michigan (7-7, 1-2 MAC) on Wednesday, Jan. 16. The opening tip against the Broncos is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in University Arena and will be shown on ESPN+.

• UT and WMU will meet for the first of two match-ups during the regular season and 79th time overall. The Rockets will host the Broncos on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7:00 p.m. in Savage Arena.

• Toledo leads the all-time series, 57-21, and has won the last nine contests against its division rival. UT also holds a 24-12 advantage in games played in Kalamazoo.

• A year ago, the Midnight Blue & Gold swept the regular-season series, claiming a 78-73 road victory (Jan. 31) and a 69-68 overtime home triumph (Feb. 17).

• Western Michigan's last victory against Toledo occurred on Feb. 23, 2014 when it escaped Savage Arena with a 60-59 road triumph.