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Toledo survives first round scare, defeats Western Michigan, 72-61

Cleveland, OH – Broncos Graduate Kaitlyn Zarycki taking the ball around the baseline getting through Rockets Senior Hannah Noveroske at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

The number-one seed Toledo Rockets and the eighth-seed Western Michigans Broncos got the 2024 Women’s Mid-American Conference Tournament started late Wednesday morning, with the Rockets defeating the Broncos in the quarterfinal round, 72-61.

Western Michigan started fast, jumping out to a nine-point lead in the first quarter, 14-5. Senior guard Hannah Spitzley scored nine of the Bronco’s 14 points, draining three of her first four three-point attempts.

The score at the end of the first quarter was 20-16 in favor of the Broncos.

Toledo still couldn’t find their rhythm offensively in the second, shooting 42% from the floor and only making six shots. The Rockets also struggled from three, shooting 1-6 from beyond the arc.

Western Michigan would again outscore Toledo in the second quarter, 22-16.

While the Rockets struggled shooting, the Broncos continued to be efficient offensively, hitting eight threes in the first half and shooting 50% from the floor.

Senior guard Khera Goss was the leading scorer for Toledo in the first half with 12 points and was the only Rocket in the first half to reach double-digit scoring.

Spitzley led the way in scoring with 18 points in the first half for WMU, and sophomore forward De’Ahna Richardson tallied 10 points in the first half as well for the Broncos.

The Broncos would go into halftime with a 10-point lead over the defending MAC Tournament Champions, 42-32.

As the second half began, Toledo went on a 12-2 run early in the third quarter, tying the score up 44-44 for the first time all game.

The Rockets managed to hold WMU to just eight points in the third, while Toledo scored 20 points to give themselves a 52-50 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Toledo would continue their momentum throughout the fourth, outscoring the Broncos once again, this time 20-11 to complete the comeback and defeat Western Michigan.

Fifth-year guard Quinesha Lockett led the Rockets in scoring with 19, while Spitzley finished with 20 total points for the Broncos.

With the win, Toledo will now advance to the semifinal round of the MAC Tournament and will face the number four seed Buffalo Bulls on Friday, with tip-off set for 10:00 am.

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Lucas Kleimeyer
Lucas Kleimeyer, Sports Content Director

Sports Content Director

 
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