Toledo ended the game with a 30-13 run and coasted to an 81-64 victory over VCU (19-15) 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 now will host Syracuse in the Elite Eight of the postseason tourney Saturday, March 24, at 2 p.m.
Tickets for the game are $13 for reserved lower bowl seats and $11 for upper east general admission tickets. Fans may purchase their tickets at the UT Athletic Ticket Office at Savage Arena or by calling 419.530.4653 Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; there will be no phone orders Saturday. UT students get in free, courtesy of the President’s Office, by showing their Rocket ID at the gate. UT employees may purchase two tickets at half price. Parking will be free and will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
Senior Courtney Ingersoll equaled her career high with 24 points in consecutive games to pace three Rockets in double figures. 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 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 and 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.