No. 7 seed Toledo (17-13, 8-10 MAC) will begin defense of its Mid-American Conference Championship Monday, March 5, with a first-round contest against No. 10 seed Kent State (12-18, 5-13 MAC).
The opening tip from Savage Arena is slated for 7 p.m. and will be streamed live on ESPN3.UT finished the 2017-18 conference campaign fourth in the West Division standings, while KSU placed fourth in the East Division.
The Rockets and Golden Flashes have battled on 10 occasions in the MAC Tournament, with Toledo holding an 8-2 ledger (.800) in the postseason. The cross-division rivals most recently met in the quarterfinals of last year’s tourney in Cleveland, with the Midnight Blue and Gold securing a 67-63 neutral-court triumph over the 2016-17 MAC East Division Champions.
The two teams will meet for the second time this season and 73rd time overall. The Rockets suffered a 62-55 home setback against the Golden Flashes Jan. 24 in Savage Arena. Despite the most recent loss, UT leads the all-time series against KSU, 42-30.
UT, which is 11-3 in the friendly confines of Savage Arena, is coming off a hard-fought 72-67 setback against 2017-18 MAC regular-season champion Central Michigan Saturday.
Junior Kaayla McIntyre paced a season-tying best four Rockets in double figures with 15 points vs. the Chippewas, followed by senior Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and junior Mikaela Boyd with 12 each, and sophomore Mariella Santucci with 10.
McIntyre just missed posting her eight double-double of the season, pulling down a squad-best nine caroms. The Toledo native also finished with a team-tying best five assists and two thefts.
UT shot 40.6 percent (28 of 69) from the floor, including 33.3 percent (6 of 18) from three-point land, and registered 22 assists with only 12 miscues. The Rockets have totaled more helpers than turnovers in each of the last five games.
Toledo, which is 9-0 in the first round of the MAC Tournament, will tangle with a Kent State squad that dropped a 58-35 decision at Miami Saturday, its seventh loss in the last eight games. Jordan Korinek and Tyra James led the Golden Flashes with eight points each.
KSU, which is 8-11 away from home, is paced by Korinek’s 19.9 points per game and 7.0 rebounds per game.
The winner will meet No. 2 seed and MAC East Division Champion Buffalo (25-4, 16-2 MAC) in the quarterfinals Wednesday, March 7, at approximately 5 p.m. in Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
For the first-round game, tickets and parking are included as part of all season-ticket packages, so season ticket holders do not need to purchase tickets. UT students are admitted free with their student ID. Fans who do not have season tickets may purchase women’s tickets online utrockets.com, by phone at 419.530.GOLD (4653), or at the UT Athletic Ticket Office at Savage Arena.