MAC WBB Tournament Day One- #1 Toledo survives in OT against #8 Buffalo

Artie Abrego, Sports Reporter, Falcon Media Sports Network

In the first round and first game of the Mid-American Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament, the one seed Toledo Rockets defeated the eight seed Buffalo Bulls in overtime, 75-74. 

Both teams began the game in a stalemate. The Bulls ended the first half leading with a score of 18-15.

Buffalo and Toledo went back and forth in the second quarter, which saw several lead changes and ties. Buffalo came back from a five-point deficit to take the lead heading into halftime.  

After a buzzer-beater three from Toledo’s Nan Garcia, the Bulls led 42 to 40. Garcia led the team with 15 points for Toledo, and senior guard Zakiyah Winfield led Buffalo with 10 points.  

Buffalo also finished the second half with 6-9 shooting from three.   

After halftime, the intensity for both teams only increased. Buffalo and Toledo went back and forth for the rest of the game. 

After two exciting third and fourth quarters, the Rockets and Bulls went to overtime after Rocket senior Quinesha Lockett hit a clutch three with 13 seconds left on the clock to send the game to overtime.  

In a low-scoring overtime period, the Rockets put the game away after Toledo’s Jayda Jansen hit both free throws after being fouled with 14 seconds left in the game to take a one-point lead. The Bulls were unable to score on their next offensive position. 

 The Toledo Rockets won in overtime 75-74.  

Lockett, the MAC Player of the Year, led the Rockets with 19 total points, including five threes. For the Bulls, Winfield led the team with 22 points.  

 Toledo Head Coach Tricia Cullop praised her players for their tenacity after the game. 

 “That’s March. Everybody’s playing for their life right now,” Cullop said. “We knew that we were gonna get their best shot. I thought their kids played their hearts out, but I also thought mine did. They were relentless. They did not give up.”  

 Toledo will move on to the semifinals, where they will face the Kent State Golden Flashes on Friday, with the game starting at 10 a.m.