TOLEDO, OH - Toledo closed the game out with a 30-13 run and coasted to an 81-64 victory over VCU (19-15) on Thursday in the ‘Sweet 16' of the WNIT before 3,042 fans in Savage Arena. With the double-digit triumph, the Rockets improve to 24-9 on the season. UT will now host Syracuse in the ‘Elite 8' of the postseason tourney on Saturday, March 24 at 2:00 p.m.
Senior Courtney Ingersoll equalled her career high with 24 points in consecutive games to pace three Rockets in double figures, to go along with a collegiate-best eight assists and two steals. The 2011-12 third-team All-MAC honoree shot 8-of-15 from the field, including 4-of-10 from three-point range, and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe in a squad-best 37 minutes. With tonight's effort, Ingersoll now has 94 triples on the season and needs three more to surpass Kelly Savage (96, 1888-89) for the most treys in school history in a single season.
Joining Ingersoll in double figures were sophomore Andola Dortch with 20 points and junior Yolanda Richardson with 17 points.
The Rockets shot a postseason high 52.4 percent (33-of-63) from the floor, 29.4 percent (5-of-17) from three-point range, and 52.6 percent (10-of-19) from the charity stripe to equal their most productive scoring output of the season. UT also totaled a season-high 46 points in the paint, finished with a 39-35 edge on the glass, dished out 21 assists and committed a season-low nine turnovers.
The score was tied 51-51 with 8:19 left in regulation when the reigning WNIT champs went on their game-changing burst. The Rockets' big three - Ingersoll, Dortch and Richardson - accounted for 24 of the 30 points in the rally to stretch their home win streak in the postseason to 10 straight games.
UT exploded out of the gates for a second consecutive contest and led 11-6 at the 15:58 mark. Dortch sparked the quick start with five points.
Moments later, UT took advantage of a mini 9-2 burst to increase its margin to 20-10 with 11:18 remaining in the half. Four different players contributed baskets in the run to give the home team the early double digit cushion.
The Rams quickly countered, though, with an 18-2 run to assume their first lead since the opening basket, 28-22, at 5:24. Courtney Hurt fueled the double-digit run with 10 points, while Andrea Barbour had six points to establish a two-possession lead.
UT did not panic following the Rams' run and ended the opening stanza with a sizable 11-0 run to take a 33-28 lead into the intermission. Ingersoll was unstoppable in the waning moments and was responsible for seven points, including a long field goal at the buzzer.
The Rockets benefitted from triples by Dortch and Ingersoll to begin the second half, making the difference 47-43 with 13:11 left in regulation.
Toledo remained in the lead until VCU went on an 8-3 run to knot the score for a fifth time, 51-51, setting the stage for the Midnight Blue & Gold's game-changing run.
Hurt paced the Rams with a game-high 26 points and a contest-best 17 boards, while Barbour had 23 points in a losing effort.