Toledo Outlasts Mountain West Conference Member Colorado State, 58-51
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo utilized a 9-3 run over the final four minutes to break open a close game and claimed a 58-51 victory over Colorado State (1-7) on Sunday before 4,244 fans in Savage Arena. With the non-conference win, the Rockets' extend their home win streak to 22-consecutive contests and improve to 5-2 on the season.
UT held a slim 49-48 lead when seniors Haylie Linn and Courtney Ingersoll drilled long triples and freshman Inma Zanoguera contributed a traditional three-point play to seal the hard-fought home triumph.
Sophomore Andola Dortch paced a season-high four Toledo players in double figures with 16 points, a game-high eight helpers, five boards and two thefts in a season-best 37 minutes. Dortch has been outstanding running the UT offense over the last two contests, tallying 17 assists with only three turnovers.
Joining Dortch in double digits were Linn (12 pts.), junior Yolanda Richardson (season-high 11 pts.) and Ingersoll (10 pts.). The Rockets shot 41.4 percent (24-of-48) from the field, including an impressive 50.0 percent (15-of-30) in the second half, to help Head Coach Tricia Cullop earn her 200th career coaching victory.
Another key to today's victory was Toledo's ability to cause turnovers and translate them into points. The Rockets forced 27 miscues and turned them into 23 points to improve to 4-0 at home this season.
UT's Richardson controlled the paint in the first half and her strong play lifted the home team to a 15-13 lead at the 8:06 mark. The Toledo native converted four layups and split a pair of free throws in the early going to account for over half of her team's points.
The Rockets held the advantage until CSU's LaDeyah Forte drilled a trey to give the visitors a 22-21 advantage with only 1:14 remaining in the first period.
Toledo quickly retaliated though with a pair of charity tosses from Dortch in the waning seconds to establish a 23-22 lead at the intermission.
The Midnight Blue & Gold opened up the second period with a 7-2 burst to stretch its margin to 30-24, forcing CSU into a timeout at 17:22. Ingersoll sparked the run with five points, while Richardson added a layup to make it a two-possession game.
The Rams took full advantage of the stoppage in play and countered with a 9-0 run to reclaim the lead, 33-30, with 14:56 left in regulation. Sam Martin singlehandedly gave the lead back to the visitors, scoring seven points in the run.
UT was not to be outdone though, as the 2011 WNIT champions responded with an 11-6 spurt to retake the advantage, 41-38, at 10:46. Linn highlighted the run with five points and Dortch was credited with a pair of baskets to shift the momentum back to the home team.
The lead exchanged hands one more time before the 2010-11 Mid-American Conference champions scored nine of the game's final 12 points to preserve the home victory.
Martin led Colorado State with a game-high 21 points and seven caroms, followed by Kim Mestdagh with 14 points.
The Rockets return to action on Thursday, Dec. 8 when they host nationally ranked Green Bay. The opening tip is slated for 7:00 p.m. UT dropped an 84-68 decision to the Phoenix on the road on Nov. 16.
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