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MAC Tournament live blog | Toledo women beat BG in championship game; Toledo men fall to Kent State

WTOL 11 is covering the Mid-American Conference Tournament live from Cleveland.

CLEVELAND β€” March Madness has arrived.

The University of Toledo men's and women's basketball teams once again enter the Mid-American Conference Tournament in Cleveland as No. 1 seeds after winning their respective regular season league titles. The Bowling Green women are the 2 seed.

WTOL 11 will have you covered every step of the way as teams look to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. 

For the men's bracket, click here. For the women's bracket, click here.

SATURDAY

11 a.m.

The battle of I-75 is taking place in Cleveland as the no. 1 seed Toledo women face off against no. 2 seed Bowling Green.

11:55 a.m.

It's halftime, and the Rockets are holding onto their initial lead with 33-26.

BGSU's Elissa Brett put the Falcons back in the game after a 12 point gap in the first quarter, scoring back-to-back threes. 

Toledo's Jessica Cook and Bowling Green's Allison day are leading their teams with 10 and 9 points each, respectively.

1:15 p.m.

Just like that, it's over - the Toledo Rockets are your 2023 MAC Champions, with a final score of 73-58.

BGSU fought hard to keep up, with a buzzer beater from Allison Day at the end of the third.

The Toledo women stayed consistent with their lead, ending the third quarter 48-41.

This will be the Rockets first trip to the big dance since 2017. 

The Rockets beat the Falcons in their final two meetings of the season after losing their first matchup.

On Sunday, March 12th at 8 p.m., there will be a selection show on ESPN to reveal the Rocket's place on the NCAA bracket.

 

6:12 p.m.

The no. 1 seed Toledo men's basketball team arrives at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse for their game against no. 2 seed Kent State and a chance to play in the NCAA tournament for the first time in over 40 years.

7:28 p.m.

The teams are warming up and ready to go. 

7:35 p.m.

Game is underway.

8:02 p.m.

Toledo Coach Tod Kowalczyk calls a timeout after Kent State goes on an 11-0 run. The Golden Flashes lead 27-16 with 7:56 left in the first half.

8:24 p.m.

After going down by 11 with less than 8 minutes to go in the half, the Rockets fought back to retake the lead. A last second shot by Kent State after a missed 3-pointer however put Kent State ahead by 1 going into halftime, 35-34.

8:40 p.m.

Second half is underway.

9:21 p.m.

With less than 4 to play a Kent State 3 pointer puts the Golden Flashes up 78-67. Toledo has had trouble all night finding an answer Kent State's offense. 

9:29 p.m.

Two minutes to play. Rockets down by 10. 

9:39 p.m.

Toledo loses 93-78. 

FRIDAY

9:30 a.m.

The No. 1 seed Toledo women get Day 3 underway at 10 a.m. against 4 seed Kent State in the semifinals.

10:40 a.m.

Toledo is clinging to a 28-27 lead at the half after getting outscored 20-11 in the second quarter.

Sophia Wiard and Jayda Jansen each have eight points for UT. Lindsay Thall and Katie Shumate have eight points each for Kent State.

The Rockets are shooting 44.4% on 12-of-27 shooting. They've turned it over six times compared to three for the Golden Flashes.

Noon

The Rockets are through to the finals after knocking off Kent State 68-58.

Wiard and Jansen each scored 16 points to lead UT. Wiard added five rebounds and three assists.

Sammi Mikonowicz recorded a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Shumate led the Golden Flashes with 21 points and 12 boards.

The Rockets will play in the finals Saturday at 11 a.m. against the winner of Bowling Green and Ball State.

12:15 p.m.

The second-seeded Bowling Green State women take the court in 15 minutes against third-seeded Ball State.

1:15 p.m.

BGSU trails Ball State 34-31 at halftime.

Jocelyn Tate, Nyla Hampton and Amy Velasco have six points for the Falcons. Anna Clephane has 11 to lead BSU.

The Cardinals are shooting 46.7% from the field compared to 35.5% for BGSU. 

2:30 p.m.

Bowling Green knocks off Ball State 70-61 to set up a rivalry showdown with Toledo for the conference tournament championship Saturday at 11 a.m.

Elissa Brett led the Falcons with 16 points and was 4-for-7 from 3-point range. Tate and Lexi Fleming added 11 points each. 

Clephane scored 20 points to lead the Cardinals.

4:15 p.m.

The No. 1 seed Toledo men's team will take the floor in 45 minutes against 5 seed Ohio in the semifinals.

5:30 p.m.

UT leads Ohio 16-12 with 11 minutes, 4 seconds left in the first half.

MAC player of the year RayJ Dennis leads the way with nine points.

5:55 p.m.

Toledo is still up, 37-31 at the half.

Dennis and Dante Maddox Jr. each have 13 points to lead the Rockets. Jaylin Hunter has 13 to lead the Bobcats.

UT is shooting 51.6% on 16-of-31 shooting, but getting outrebounded 23-14.

6:25 p.m.

UT's Setric Millner Jr. made a dunk, putting UT up 47-41 with 13:19 left on the clock.

Soon after, Dennis nailed two free throws, followed by a three-pointer from OU's DeVon Baker with an assist from Hunter.

A UT layup puts the game at 51-44 in favor of UT with just under 12 minutes left on the clock.

6:50 p.m.

With 2:17 left in the second half, Dennis and Hunter are tied for leading scorer with 25 points apiece.

UT has maintained its lead, now standing at 69-62.

7:10 p.m.

The Rockets held off the Bobcats, winning the semifinals matchup 82-75. UT moves on to Saturday's championship game to face either Akron or Kent State.

Dennis led the game with 28 points. Hunter followed close behind with 27.

THURSDAY

10 a.m.

It's Day 2 at the MAC Tournament, which means the men will take the court for the first time. Top-seeded Toledo takes on eighth-seeded Miami at 11 a.m.

11:20 a.m.

MAC player of the year RayJ Dennis is off to a hot start, and so are the Rockets, who have a 25-12 lead on Miami with 11 minutes, 52 seconds to play in the first half. Dennis is leading the way with nine points.

UT is 11-for-16 from the field. Miami is just 3-for-10.

11:50 a.m.

Toledo leads Miami 48-33 at the half. 

Senior forward Setric Millner leads UT with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and 2-for-2 from 3-point range. Dennis has nine points, three rebounds and three assists.

Anderson Mirambeaux and Morgan Safford each have nine points for Miami.

The Rockets shot a blistering 62.1% from the field in the first half on 18-of-29 shooting.

12:25 p.m.

The Rockets are still in control of this one, leading Miami 66-50 with 11:51 to play in the second half.

Millner is up to 15 points to lead UT and JT Shumate has 13.

1 p.m.

Toledo passes its first test with flying colors and beats Miami 91-75 to advance to the semifinals.

Millner led the Rockets with 19 points and seven rebounds, and E.J. Farmer also had 19. Shumate had 17 points and Dennis added 15.

UT shot 58% for the game.

The Rockets will take on the winner of Ohio and Ball State Friday at 5 p.m.

WEDNESDAY

10 a.m.

The top-seeded UT women will play in the first game of the tournament when they tip things off at 11 a.m. against eighth-seeded Buffalo. 

The Rockets enter this game riding a 13-game winning streak.

On Monday, head coach Tricia Cullop was named MAC coach of the year for the fifth time. Senior guard Quinesha Lockett was named player of the year.

The men's all-MAC team will be announced Wednesday.

BGSU will play the third game of the day, which is scheduled to tip around 4 p.m.

10:35 a.m.

The men's tournament doesn't start until Thursday, but UT is already making some noise on that side of the draw.

Tod Kowalczyk was named MAC coach of the year Wednesday and junior guard RayJ Dennis was named player of the year.

11:20 a.m.

Buffalo has a 18-15 lead after the first quarter behind six points from Zakiyah Winfield. Rossford's Sammi Mikonowicz leads Toledo with four points.

11:45 a.m.

Buffalo closed the first half on a big run, but a buzzer-beating three-pointer from Nan Garcia pulls UT within two, 42-40, at the break. Garcia has 15 points to lead all scorers.

MAC player of the year Quinesha Lockett has six points and six assists.

Winfield leads Buffalo with 10.

Both teams are shooting well. UT is 17-of-31 (54.8%) from the field, while Buffalo is 15-of-29 (51.7%). The Bulls are 8-of-13 from 3-point range.

12:20 p.m.

Toledo is still trailing Buffalo, 54-51, after three quarters. 

Both teams cooled off from the field in the third. Winfield still leads Buffalo with 14 points; Garcia has 15 to lead Toledo.

Lockett is still stuck on six points on 2-of-8 shooting, but does have seven assists.

12:50 p.m.

Quinesha Lockett buried a three-pointer with 13.4 seconds left to tie the game at 68 and we're headed to overtime in Cleveland.

1:07 p.m.

UT hangs on for a 75-74 victory.

Toledo's Jayda Jansen hit two clutch free throws with 14.5 seconds remaining and UT's defense held strong to survive and advance to the semifinals.

Lockett scored 13 of her 19 points in the second half and overtime, and also had seven assists. Garcia had 17 points and five rebounds off the bench for the Rockets.

Winfield led Buffalo with 22 points.

UT will face the winner of Northern Illinois and Kent State on Friday at 10 a.m.

3 p.m.

The second-seeded BGSU women have arrived. They take on Eastern Michigan later this afternoon.

3:45 p.m.

Kent State knocks off Northern Illinois, 75-68. UT will play Kent State on Friday in the semifinals.

BGSU will take the court against EMU in about 15 minutes.

4:20 p.m.

The Falcons lead the Eagles 14-13 after the first quarter. Five Falcons scored in the opening 10 minutes.

4:50 p.m.

BGSU's defense was on full display in the second quarter, allowing just two points. The Falcons lead 35-15 at the half.

Junior guard Lexi Fleming leads the team with 10 points and found rebounds. Senior forward Allison Day has six points.

Tayra Eke leads Eastern Michigan with six points.

BG is shooting 50% from the field on 14-of-28 shooting. EMU is shooting just 7-of-26 (26.9%) from the floor. 

5:55 p.m.

Bowling Green cruises, 70-36. The Falcons will play the winner of Akron and Ball State on Friday.

Senior guard Elissa Brett led BGSU with 16 points.

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