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TOLEDO, Ohio – A nearly eight-minute second-quarter scoring drought proved too much for the University of Akron women's basketball team to overcome as the Zips (9-21) dropped a 65-37 decision at Toledo (22-8) in the opening round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament on Monday, March 6, at Savage Arena.
Seniors Hannah Plybon (Orrville, Ohio) and Alex Ricketts (Mercer, Pa.) along with freshman Shaunay Edmonds (Pittsburgh, Pa.) directed Akron with six points apiece in the affair. Olivia Cunningham led the Rockets with a game-high 13 points, while Mariella Santucci and Jada Woody added 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Zips finished the evening connecting on 25 percent of their shots from the floor, while Toledo shot better than 40 percent (.403).
The Rockets outrebounded Akron in the tilt 51-33, including 15-8 on the offensive glass, and used the advantage to a 36-18 margin in points in the paint. Freshman Haliegh Reinoehl (Westfield, Ind.) pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for the Zips.
The Rockets opened the game scoring the first seven points to force the Zips into a timeout at the 7:30 mark.
A jumper by Reinoehl got Akron on the scoreboard and began a 13-2 Zips' counter that gave the Zips a 16-15 lead after one period of play.
A lay-up by Kaayla McIntyre pushed Toledo back ahead to open the second quarter, 17-16, before Ricketts canned a jumper to give Akron a 18-17 advantage with 7:32 left in the half.
The Zips' offense then succumbed to a prolonged scoring drought that saw Akron miss on its final 10 shots of the half. During the stretch, the Rockets outscored the Zips, 16-0, including six points from Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and five points courtesy of Woody.
Toledo led by 15, 33-18, at halftime on the strength of shooting 53.8 percent in the second period and 46.7 percent from the field in the opening half. Akron was just 1-of-13 from the floor in the second quarter and finished the opening half hitting on 21.9 percent of its shots.
Edmonds directed the Zips with four first-half points, while Bravo-Harriott netted nine for the Rockets.
The two sides exchanged the initial four baskets of the third quarter before the Rockets went on an 8-2 run to assume a 48-24 lead with 5:13 remaining in the period. Toledo outscored the Zips over the final five minutes of the quarter to take a 52-27 advantage into the final 10 minutes of play.
The Rockets opened the final quarter with a 7-2 scoring run and didn't look back en route to collecting the triumph.
The game marked the final games in the distinguished Akron careers of Plybon, Ricketts and Brittany Gordon (South Charleston, W. Va.).