With the convincing double-digit triumph, the Rockets improve to 23-9 on the season. UT now will host VCU in the Sweet 16 of the postseason tourney Thursday, March 22, at 7 p.m.
Senior Courtney Ingersoll paced the reigning WNIT Champs with a career-high 24 points. The fourth-year letterwinner drilled a collegiate-best 6 of 9 shots from beyond the arc to help Toledo extend its home win streak in postseason action to nine consecutive games. Ingersoll also appeared in her 131st career game wearing the Midnight Blue and Gold, equaling former teammates Melissa Goodall and Jessica Williams for the most games played in school history.
The Rockets also received outstanding efforts from junior Yolanda Richardson (14 points), sophomore Andola Dortch (13 points, game-high seven assists) and senior Haylie Linn (8 points) to defeat their intrastate rival in the postseason for the second time in school history.
UT shot an impressive 47.4 percent (27 of 57) from the field and 81.8 percent (9 of 11) from the charity stripe to surpass the 70-point plateau for the 10th-time this season. The 2011-12 Mid-American Conference West Division co-champs also finished with a decisive 43-30 edge on the glass.In four postseason games this season, Toledo is converting 45.5 percent (96 of 211) from the floor and an impressive 74.6 percent (44 of 59) from the free-throw line. UT also is outrebounding its opponents by a whopping 9.5 boards per contest.
Toledo did not trail in last night’s contest and opened with its guns blazing, scoring the first 10 points. Four different Rockets tallied points in the opening burst, including Ingersoll with back-to-back layups.
UC finally ended its opening drought with a jumper by Dayeesha Hollins at 14:12, but UT quickly countered with a mini 8-2 burst to extend its margin to 18-4 midway through the period.
The Rockets continued to play with high intensity as the first half wore on and utilized a 9-0 run to further extend its advantage to 29-7 at 4:12, prompting UC into another timeout. Richardson sparked the UT explosion with six points.
Toledo’s lead did not slip below 20 points for the remainder of the first half, and the home team took a sizable 34-11 advantage into the locker room. The Rockets’ 11 points allowed in a season low, surpassing their previous best effort of 13 points on two occasions against Dayton (Nov. 13) and Ohio (Jan. 22).
The Bearcats tried mightily to get themselves back into the contest to begin the second half, scoring nine of the first 11 points to close the margin to 39-20 at the 15:45 mark. Hollins spearheaded the run with five points, prompting UT into a stoppage of play.
UT responded favorably following the timeout, and Ingersoll rattled off back-to-back triples to thwart any chance of a possible comeback.
Cincinnati then made one final push late and took advantage of a 16-5 burst to pull within 13 points, 55-42 at 6:42, but Toledo responded once again with Ingersoll’s sixth and final trey to put the final nail in the coffin.
Hollins paced UC with 17 points. The Bearcats end their season with a 16-16 mark.
Tickets for Thursday’s game against VCU can be purchased Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and at the gate Thursday. Tickets also may be purchased by phone at 419.530.4653. Tickets are $13 for reserved (lower level), $11 for general admission (upper East level). UT students have free admission with their valid ID courtesy of the President’s Office. UT employees may purchase two tickets at half price.
There also will be 100 free general admission tickets available courtesy of Head Coach Tricia Cullop at the UT Ticket Office at 9 a.m. Tuesday. The first 50 fans in line will received up to two free general admission tickets.