TOLEDO, OH - Toledo scored the game's final 12 points to post a 54-42 victory over Iona on Thursday morning before a season-high 4,917 fans in Savage Arena. With the win, the Rockets (4-2) stretched their home win streak to 21-consecutive contests, second-longest unbeaten stretch in school history.
Junior Kyle Baumgartner scored six of her team-high 15 points over the final five-plus minutes to help UT improve to 11-0 all-time against Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) schools. Baumgartner added a squad-best nine rebounds and she has now scored in double digits in two of the last three contests off the bench.
Baumgartner started the game-changing spurt with a pair of free throws and followed it up with a jumper to give the 2011 WNIT champions a 46-42 lead at 4:29.
Sophomore Andola Dortch and senior Courtney Ingersoll then delivered the knockout punch with a pair of three-point field goals, before Baumgartner converted a layup to close out the home triumph.
Ingersoll finished with 12 points and six boards, while Dortch had 11 points, a career-high nine helpers and six rebounds.
UT controlled the glass and held a 52-42 overall advantage, including a 23-12 edge in offensive caroms. The Rockets also did a great job of taking care of the ball and equalled their season high with 16 assists, compared to a season-low nine turnovers.
The Gaels (4-3) looked sharp at the outset and raced to a 10-3 lead at the 13:48 mark, forcing UT into an early timeout. Damika Martinez and Jiya Dorcas-Eya sparked the good start for the visitors with four points each.
Toledo settled down following the stoppage of play and utilized a quick 8-0 burst to assume its first lead, 11-10, with 12:11 left in the opening period. Dortch and Ingersoll each hit triples to start the run, while junior Yolanda Richardson tallied a layup to capture the lead.
The teams seemingly traded baskets for the remainder of the first stanza with neither squad holding more than a three-point cushion. Baumgartner scored the Rockets' final five points to give them a 24-22 lead at the intermission, including a long jumper at the buzzer.
The 2010-11 Mid-American Conference regular-season champions fed off Baumgartner's strong play to begin the second half and went on a 7-2 run to build a five-point cushion, 31-26, at 15:15. Freshman Inma Zanoguera, junior Lecretia Smith and Dortch each registered field goals to open up the final 20 minutes, while freshman Stephanie Recker split a pair of free throws to make it a two-possession game.
Iona quickly responded though with a 6-0 run to reclaim the advantage, 32-31, with 12:33 remaining. Dorcas-Eya drained a pair of baskets to help the visitors silence the rowdy crowd that was filled with local elementary and middle school students.
The score would be knotted up on two more occasions, before Baumgartner took the game over down the stretch and gave the home team a lead they would not relinquish.
Toledo's defense also stepped up its performance over the final 5:51 and forced Iona into missing its final six shots from the field, as well as causing them to commit three turnovers.
Kristina Ford paced IC with a game-high 18 points. She was their only player in double digits. Tomica Bacic, Martinez and Dorcas-Eya were the next highest scorers with eight points each.
The Rockets return to action on Sunday, Dec. 4 when they host Mountain West Conference member Colorado State. The opening tip from Savage Arena is slated for 3:00 p.m.
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