Toledo defeats Miami in blowout win
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) had a clash of mid-season leaders as East Division-leading Miami University (14-8, 6-3) took on the West Division leading University of Toledo (20-2, 8-1) in Millett Hall on Wednesday.
The Rockets ran away with the game early and beat the RedHawks 80-49.
"Toledo is a very strong team," Head Coach Maria Fantanarosa said. "It was a good learning experience for us."
Toledo sprinted out to an early 5-0 lead before Miami senior guard Courtney Osborn hit two shots from beyond the arc 18 seconds apart from each other. Toledo took a timeout with 16:26 left in the first half after Osborn's three pointers.
Three minutes later the 'Hawks found themselves down 13-8 and called a timeout. After the timeout junior Hannah Robertson hit two three pointers to put the 'Hawks up 14-13 with 11:25 remaining in the first half.
The teams were tied at 17 with 8:22 left in the first half. Toledo then went on a 24-2 run to end the half. Toledo shot 44 percent from the field in the first half.
"We could never get in a rhythm," Fantanarosa said. "I am not disappointed that we lost; I am disappointed that we lost by as much as we did."
Toledo led 41-19 at half led behind senior forward Kyle Baumgartner's 11 first half points. She finished with 17 points and shot 5-7 from behind the arc.
"We are learning about the importance of fundamentals," Fantanarosa said. "We will be focusing on rebounding and turnovers."
Toledo began the second half the same way they ended the first half, on a run. The Rockets jumped out to a lead of 55-19 with 16:09 remaining in the game.
The RedHawks made a quick 10 point run shortly after but the deficit was too large to overcome.
"We knew Toledo was a good team," Osborn said. "Whenever you give up 80 points it'll be hard to win."
The 'Hawks will prepare to take on the University of Akron Zips (15-7, 6-3) at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Millett Hall. The winner of the game will become the new leader of the MAC East Division.
The 'Hawks understand the importance of the game against the Zips, but they won't be forgetting the Toledo loss anytime soon.
"The loss hurts, and we don't want to forget about it," Osborn said. "We will be going forward with a chip on our shoulder."
Fantanarosa said the team needs to be introspective after the loss.
"The team needs to find their personality again," Fantanarosa said. "The most important thing after this loss is that they find out who they are."
The 'Hawks just began a home stand against three top teams in the MAC.
Toledo is now the outright leader of the MAC West, and have a conference high 20 overall wins. After Wednesday's loss the RedHawks fell to a tie with Akron for first place in the MAC East. The game after Akron is against the second place team in the MAC West, Central Michigan University (13-8, 7-1).
Fantanarosa said the players need to avoid feeling sorry for themselves if they can move forward for a key game on Saturday.
"It's about how they respond." Fantanarosa said.
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