TOLEDO, OH - The temperature in the Glass City was downright cold on Thursday, but Toledo's performance was sizzling hot inside Savage Arena. The Rockets put forth a solid all-around effort en route to claiming a 63-48 victory over Ball State in Mid-American Conference action. With the win, UT improves to 10-7 overall, 3-2 in the league.
Junior Yolanda Richardson tied her career high with 20 points to guide the Midnight Blue & Gold to its fifth-consecutive victory over the Cardinals (7-11, 2-3 MAC). Richardson, who entered tonight's divisional showdown leading the MAC in overall field-goal percentage in league contests (68.8 percent), knocked down a sparkling 9-of-10 from the field to score in double figures for the eighth time this season.
Joining Richardson in double digits was senior Courtney Ingersoll, who finished with 11 points, a career-best 10 boards and a season-high four thefts to post her first-ever double-double. The 2010-11 MAC regular-season champs also received quality efforts from freshman Inma Zanoguera (nine pts.) and sophomore Andola Dortch (8 pts., game-high 8 asts., three stls.) to win back-to-back games for the first time since early December.
The storylines in tonight's contest were Toledo's stifling defense and its offensive dominance on the interior. The Rockets limited BSU to a season-low 25.9 percent (15-of-58) shooting from the floor and also forced 20 turnovers. At the other end of the court, Toledo posted a decisive 34-16 edge in points in the paint.
Brittany Carter led Ball State with 18 points. The next high scorer for the visitors were Mercedes Miller and Shelbie Justice with eight points each.
UT, which did not trail in the game, started fast and raced out to a 16-6 lead at the 10:26 mark. The Rockets' quick start was sparked by six points from Richardson and five from Zanoguera.
The Cardinals kept it close in the early stages and made it a one-possession difference, 18-15, on the strength of a 9-3 burst with 6:26 remaining in the opening period. Carter, Justice and Miller ignited the run with triples.
Toledo was not to be outdone, though, and ended the opening stanza with a mini 13-5 run to take a comfortable 31-20 lead in the locker room. Ingersoll highlighted the burst with a pair of deep treys, while Richardson chipped in four points to give the home team an insurmountable 11-point bulge at the break.
UT then put the game away with a 14-2 run to open up the second half, 45-22, at the 13:20 mark. Six different Rockets scored in the game-sealing surge. The closest the Cardinals would get for the remainder of regulation was 11 points.
Toledo will now travel to Athens, OH to battle MAC East Division member Ohio on Sunday, Jan. 22 from the Convo. at 2:00 p.m.
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