No. 6 seed Toledo (14-15, 9-9 MAC) will open the 2014 Mid-American Conference Tournament Monday, March 10, with a first-round matchup vs. No. 11 seed Ohio (9-20, 4-14 MAC).The opening tip from Savage Arena is slated for 7 p.m.
The Rockets and Bobcats have met on five occasions in the post-season tourney, with the Midnight Blue and Gold emerging victorious each time. The cross-division foes most recently squared off in the quarterfinals of the 2009 tourney in Quicken Loans Arena, with UT tallying a 77-70 neutral-court triumph.
Toledo swept the regular-season series against Ohio in 2013-14, registering a 64-62 come-from-behind road win Jan. 26 and a 62-58 home victory Feb. 15.
The Rockets finished the 2013-14 conference season tied for second in the West Division, while the Bobcats tied for fourth place in the East Division.
UT, which is 7-8 at home this season, is coming off a 69-56 setback at Ball State on Saturday. The Rockets trailed for a majority of the division showdown against the Cardinals and had their nine-game win streak in the series come to an end.
Senior Andola Dortch paced Toledo with 14 points and six assists, followed by junior Inma Zanoguera with 11 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, and senior Brianna Jones had 10 points and 10 caroms.
For the year, the Rockets are fueled offensively by the quartet of Zanoguera, Dortch, Jones and sophomore Ana Capotosto, who are averaging 14.3, 12.4, 10.6 and 10.3 points per game, respectively.
Toledo, which is a perfect 6-0 in the first round of the MAC Tournament, will battle an Ohio squad that has lost 13 of its last 14 games, including a 68-63 setback at Miami on Saturday. Quiera Lampkins and Kiyanna Black paced the Bocats with 17 and 13 points, respectively.
Ohio is led by Black’s and Lampkins’ 13.6 and 10.9 points per game, respectively. Black also contributes a team-high 1.9 steals per game, while Lampins is a close second at 1.6 steals per game. The Bobcats are 4-14 away from home.
UT leads the all-time series, 43-20, winning the last eight games. The Midnight Blue and Gold also owns a 26-6 advantage in games played in Savage Arena and has won the last 22 meetings on its own home court. The last Ohio win in Toledo occurred Jan. 7, 1987, when the Bobcats pulled out a 78-76 decision.
The winner of Monday’s contest will meet the winner of No. 7 seed Western Michigan (12-17, 8-10 MAC) and No. 10 seed Miami (8-21, 4-14 MAC) in the second round Wednesday, March 12, at approximately 2:30 p.m. in Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.