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Toledo Pulls Out Thrilling Come-From-Behind Victory Over Bowling Green, 52-50

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 02/11/2012
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Courtesy: Scott Grau
Andola Dortch had 16 points and five rebounds vs. Bowling Green on Saturday.

TOLEDO, OH - Toledo ended the game with an 8-0 run and notched a thrilling 52-50 come-from-behind victory over Bowling Green on Saturday in Savage Arena. The Mid-American Conference cross-division finale was played before 5,131 fans, the 10th-largest crowd in school history. With the heart-pounding win, the Rockets' stretch their win streak to a season-high eight consecutive games and improve to 16-7 overall, 9-2 in the league.

Sophomore Andola Dortch paced UT with 16 points, while freshman Inma Zanoguera and junior Yolanda Richardson added 10 points each to help the 2011 WNIT champs knock the Falcons (20-4, 10-1 MAC) from the ranks of the unbeaten in conference play.

Senior Courtney Ingersoll chipped in four points in a winning effort, eight points below her season average, but the All-MAC candidate came up huge when her team needed it the most. UT trailed 50-48 with a little over one minute left in regulation when Ingersoll drilled a three-point field goal to give the 2010-11 MAC regular-season champs their first lead since the opening basket.

BGSU sharpshooter Chrissy Steffen misfired on the visitors' next trip down the floor to give the ball back to the Rockets with 47 ticks remaining.

UT ran a well-executed play for senior Haylie Linn, but her shot was off target. Ingersoll outhustled the Falcons defense on the baseline, secured the offensive rebound and was fouled with only 25 seconds remaining. The Massillon, OH native split the pair of charity tosses to keep it a one-possession game, 52-50.

Bowling Green attempted to run a play for Alexis Rogers following a timeout, but UT stood its ground defensively and the visitors had to resort to a well-contested three-point attempt by Steffen as the horn sounded. Fortunately for Toledo, Steffen's desperation shot came up short and the Toledo fans and students stormed the court.

Steffen led Bowling Green with a game-high 20 points, but the All-MAC candidate was held to four points in the second half. Rogers added 17 points with six rebounds, as the Falcons suffered their first setback since Dec. 18 at Creighton.

After Toledo scored the game's opening basket, Bowling Green took advantage of three triples from Steffen to jump out to an 11-2 lead at 14:25. UT did not help its own cause in the early going, missing six of its first seven field-goal attempts to go along with three turnovers.

The Rockets needed a spark to get themselves started offensively and sophomore Janelle Reed-Lewis delivered with a basket and one charity toss to make the difference 13-7 with 12:57 left in the opening period.

BGSU quickly countered, though, with a 10-2 run to push its margin to 23-9 at the 7:50 mark. Steffen buried another trey and Jessica Slagle converted a three-point play to help the visitors establish a 14-point lead.

The Falcons continued to pour it on as the first half wound down and baskets from Allison Papenfuss and Steffen made the score 33-20 at the intermission. Steffen almost single-handedly outscored the Rockets in the opening 20 minutes and finished with 16 points.

UT started the second stanza with some fire in its belly and scored the first eight points to pull within 33-28 at the 18:05 mark. Dortch and Richardson were credited with four points each to bring the home crowd to their feet and make it a two-possession game.

The Rockets continued to mount a second-half charge and a pair of layups from Zanoguera pulled them to their closest point since the opening minutes, 37-34, at 13:35.

UT would be unable to close the gap any further, though, for the next four-plus minutes until Dortch and Linn knocked down back-to-back jumpers to make the score 41-38 with 8:53 left in regulation.

BGSU's Rogers quickly retaliated with a basket, as Toledo remained in a two-possesstion deficit until the last minute heroics from Ingersoll and Dortch.

Toledo shot 40.0 percent (22-of-55) from the field and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from the free-throw line. UT also finished with a 37-33 edge on the glass and controlled the interior, holding a 34-22 advantage in points in the paint to run its win streak against MAC East Division opponents to 13 consecutive games.

Bowling Green was limited to 33.3 percent (17-of-51) from the floor, its second-lowest effort in MAC play, including 23.1 percent (6-of-26) in the second half.

The Rockets now enter the home stretch of their 2012 MAC campaign with a road contest at Central Michigan on Wednesday, Feb. 15. The contest will tip off at 7:00 p.m. in McGuirk Arena.

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