MAC TMNT MBB Quarterfinals: #1 Toledo flashes brilliance, handles #8 Miami 91-75

Artie Abrego, Sports Reporter, Falcon Media Sports Network

The Toledo Rockets defeated the Miami RedHawks 91-75 in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Men’s Tournament yesterday.

The Rockets took control of the game from the opening whistle, jumping out to a nine-point lead five minutes into the game and never looked back.  

MAC Player of the Year RayJ Dennis had a highlight play during the first half, stealing the ball from Miami’s Mekhi Lairy, and taking it for a layup, putting the Rockets up by 11. 

At halftime, the Rockets were up a comfortable 15 points, leading 48-33.

Toledo’s leading scorer at the half was Setric Milner Jr. with 12 points, shooting 2-2 from three. The Rockets’ offense had an impressive 62% field goal percentage. 

For the RedHawks, senior forward Anderson Mirambeaux and junior guard Morgan Safford led the team with nine points each in the first half. 

Despite the RedHawks scoring an impressive 42 points in the second half, it was too late, as they could not outscore Toledo.  

The Rockets shot an impressive 32-55 (58.2%) . The Rockets’ defense was also phenomenal, recording seven steals and forcing 12 Miami turnovers.

Millner scored an impressive 19 points on 8-11 shooting, also shooting 3-4 from the three-point line and recording seven rebounds en route to the Toledo win. Dennis also recorded 15 points on 7-13 shooting and had five assists.  

 Toledo Head Coach Tod Kowalczyk praised his team for their performance postgame.  

 “I thought the first half we came out focused,” Kowalczyk said. “Obviously, we shared the ball. We had eleven assists and three turnovers at halftime, shooting 68%, and played efficient basketball.” 

 The Rockets will play the fifth-ranked Ohio Bobcats in a semifinal matchup today at 5 p.m.