Toledo led wire-to-wire in a 77-60 victory against Detroit Mercy in Friday's non-conference finale before 3,274 fans in Savage Arena. With the win, the Rockets improve to 8-3 on the season.
Senior Mikaela Boyd paced UT with a season-tying best 15 points, followed closely by senior Kaayla McIntyre, sophomore Nakiah Black and junior Mariella Santucci with 13, 12 and 10, respectively.
The Midnight Blue & Gold also benefited from nine points by sophomore Tanaya Beacham off the bench and five each from junior Sara Rokkanen and sophomore Tatyana Davis to record their seventh win against the Titans (2-9) over the last eight meetings.
As a team, the Rockets shot a blistering 57.1 percent (28-of-49) from the field, including 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from three-point land, and 66.7 percent (16-of-24) from the charity stripe to stretch their winning streak to 11-consecutive games vs. Horizon League teams.
Toledo wasted little time in hitting its stride, racing out to a 19-7 point lead by the five minute mark of the first quarter. Thanks to a strong combined effort from Black and Santucci, the Rockets held a 26-14 advantage after the opening 10 minutes and would continue to play with a chip on their shoulder for the remainder of the home victory.
The Titans were led by Brittany Jackson and Sophia DiMilia with 14 points each, while Lexey Tobel had 11 and Zoey Oatis finished with 10.
• The Rockets hit seven of their first eight shots from the field and held a 12-point lead at the conclusion of the first 10 minutes. Santucci and Black spearheaded the strong start with seven and six points, respectively, to force UDM to burn two early timeouts.
• Toledo cooled off shooting the ball from the floor, but the home team still maintained a comfortable nine-point bulge, 39-30, at intermission. The Rockets managed only 13 points in the period, including a team-high five from Beacham, to take a three-possession advantage into halftime.
• The Titans got themselves back in the game at the charity stripe, scoring their final nine points at the stripe. The visitors did not register a field goal over the final six minutes before the half, but six free throws from DiMilia helped them close the margin to single digits.
• Detroit Mercy pulled within seven points early in the quarter before the Rockets strung together a pivotal 12-0 run to make the score 55-36 at the 4:13 mark. Five different Rockets scored points in a span of two-plus minutes to create a game-high 19-point cushion, forcing UDM to burn its final timeout.
• Toledo opened the final period with a three pointer from Santucci and two free throws by Boyd, widening its lead to 66-50. The Titans responded with two points from the line by Jackson at the 9:10 mark, but the Rockets prevented UDM from scoring another field goal for the remainder of the regulation.
• The Rockets peppered in points from senior Mae Tshitenge and Davis to increase the lead in the final three minutes and limited the visitors to only nine points in the process to close out the 17-point triumph.
• The Rockets will host NCAA Division II foe Tiffin (2-8) in an exhibition contest on Sunday, Dec. 30 in Savage Arena. The exhibition match-up is slated for 2:00 p.m. and admission and parking are free. The Grogan Room is also open to fans in attendance.