TOLEDO, Ohio - In their season-opening exhibition game at Toledo, Tiffin hung tough with the DI Rockets, trailing by just two with about four minutes left before Toledo pulled away for a 70-61 win.
Payton Vogel led Tiffin with a game-high five three-point field goals and 16 points off the bench, while Savanah Richards tallied 13 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Aarion Nichols added seven points and nine rebounds for TU.
Tiffin far outpaced Toledo from deep in the game, shooting 36.4% (8-22) compared to the Rockets' 7.7% (1-13). The Rockets had a slim advantage on the boards at 49-44, while the Dragons led in points off turnovers (21-19), second chance points (20-13), and bench points (31-21).
Toledo jumped out of the gate quickly, taking a 27-12 lead after one quarter of play.
Tiffin started the comeback right away, though, utilizing a 9-0 run to close the margin to 32-24 at the 4:11 mark. Four different Dragons scored in the burst to make it a three-possession game. After a Rocket triple halted the run, Tiffin responded with back-to-back treys from Kirsten Williams and Danelle Bradly to go into the half down by just seven, 38-31.
The third quarter was slower-paced for both teams, as they each recorded 12 points and Toledo held on to their seven point advantage.
Trailing 56-50 in the fourth, the Dragons got a bucket from Nichols and a Vogel three sandwiched around a Toledo free throw to cut the deficit to just two, 57-55, with 4:24 remaining on the clock.
The Rockets countered with a 10-1 run, however, putting the game out of reach and making their free throws down the stretch for the 70-61 win.
The Dragons will have another chance to take down a DI opponent next Sunday as they travel to Akron for their second of three exhibition games this year. Opening tip is set for 2:00 p.m.