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MAC Women’s Basketball Final Round Preview: Toledo Rockets vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

The league’s top defense takes on the leagues top offense

The 4th seed Northern Illinois Huskies take on the 6th seed Toledo Rockets. The Huskies score a league leading 85.6 points per game. The Rockets only give up a league best 61.3 points per game.


Game Details

  • When: Saturday, March 10th, 11 A.M.
  • Where: Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Watch: CBS Sports Network
  • Listen: WLBK 98.9 in DeKalb/ utrockets.com for a Toledo stream

Scouting the Rockets

The Rockets have been a solid defensive team all season, but really started locking teams down the second half. This, plus a bump in their scoring, has helped them win 10 of the last 12.

Toledo has several good forwards that can work the ball inside.

Freshman guard Mariella Santucci has found her shooting touch in the tournament. Already an effective distributor, she has now become an all around weapon.


Scouting the Huskies

A potent offense, they have 5 players averaging over 10 points a game, and a 6th, freshman, Janae Poisson, who is a scoring machine waiting to happen.

They are dead last in the MAC in defense, but this is as much the result of their pace of play than anything.

Along with being the league scoring leader, the Huskies lead the MAC in rebounding.


Players to Watch

Ally Lehman, Northern Illinois: She is one of the best all around players in the country, and an all around great player.

Courtney Woods, Northern Illinois: She is second on the team, and 7th in the MAC, in scoring, with 16.9 points per game.

Janice Monakana, Toledo: She leads the Rockets with 12.7 points per game, and also averages 6.1 rebounds per game.

Mikaela Boyd, Toledo: Boyd is second on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game, and leads the team in rebounding at 7.8 per game.


Keys to the Contest

If the Huskies jump out to a big lead early, it will be very difficult for the Rockets to come back. The Rockets must play their hearts out in the beginning, especially on the defensive side of the floor.

The Huskies need to fight through the fatigue of playing back to back games. It really can affect shooting the ball. With the way the Rockets already play defense, it could be a low scoring contest, which plays into Toledo’s hands.


Prediction

I usually pick defense in a game like this, but Northern Illinois has a team of destiny feel to it. I think Toledo could be a championship team, but not this year. Janice Monakana and Sophie Reecher are the only seniors on the roster. Northern Illinois wins this one, 75-65.