MAC Regular-Season Champion & No. 25 Toledo Hosts Division Rival Ball State on Wednesday
TOLEDO, OH - No. 25 Toledo (26-2, 14-1 MAC) will wrap up its regular season against MAC West Division rival Ball State (15-13, 12-3 MAC) on Wednesday, March 6. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Savage Arena and will be televised on BCSN with Mason Lowry providing the play-by-play and former Rocket Courtney Ingersoll serving as the analyst.
Prior to tomorrow's regular-season finale, UT's five seniors - Kyle Baumgartner, Riley McCormick, Yolanda Richardson, Naama Shafir and Lecretia Smith - will be honored.
Regardless of the outcome, the Rockets will be the top seed in the upcoming league tourney and have earned a bye to the MAC's ‘Final Four'.
Toledo enters tomorrow's division showdown in the midst of a 14-game win streak, tied for the third-longest unbeaten stretch in school history, following Sunday's 48-38 triumph vs. Eastern Michigan.
Senior Lecretia Smith posted her fourth career double-double and finished with 10 points and a season-high 12 caroms to help the Midnight Blue & Gold sweep the regular-season series against the reigning MAC Tournament champion Eagles. Sophomore Inma Zanoguera added a team-high 14 points with five rebounds.
The Rockets also received solid contributions from junior Andola Dortch (8 pts., 8 asts., 3 asts.), senior Kyle Baumgartner (3 pts., 9 rebs., 3 asts.) and senior Yolanda Richardson (2 pts., 11 rebs.) to capture their second regular-season conference crown in the last three seasons and ninth (1991, ‘92, ‘95, ‘97, ‘99, 2001, ‘03, ‘11, ‘13) in the history of the program.
The story of the game was UT's stout defense, which held EMU to its second-lowest output of the season. The Rockets stymied their division rivals and held them to 26.2 percent (17-of-65) from the field, including 11.1 percent (1-of-9) from three-point range.
For the season, the nationally ranked Rockets are fueled offensively by the quartet of Shafir, Dortch, Richardson and Zanoguera, who are averaging 12.6, 11.4, 9.2 and 9.2 ppg, respectively. This group accounts for 63.7 percent of the team's scoring.
Toledo will face a talented BSU squad that has won its last four contests, most recently claiming a 60-46 victory vs. Western Michigan on Sunday. Brittany Carter led the Cardinals with 18 points and eight rebounds against the Broncos.
Ball State features a balanced attack with six players averaging at least 7.0 ppg, paced by All-MAC candidate Nathalie Fontaine's 13.1 ppg and 6.4 rpg. The Cardinals are 6-8 away from home this season.
UT and BSU will square off for the second time this season and the 69th time overall. Toledo defeated Ball State in the first meeting, 68-64, on Feb. 10 to claim its seventh-straight victory against its division rival.
Toledo leads the all-time series, 50-18, posting a 63-48 triumph over Ball State at home last season (Jan. 19).
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