Toledo outscored Detroit 16-6 over the final six minutes and secured a 59-49 victory in the first round of the WNIT Friday before 2,027 fans in Savage Arena.With the hard-fought win, the Rockets escape the first round of the postseason for a third consecutive season and improve to 22-9.
Junior Kyle Baumgartner led four Rockets in double figures with season high in points (18) and rebounds (13) to post her first double-double of the season. The Atlanta native has stepped up her play over the last four games, scoring at least nine points in three contests.
Joining Baumgartner in double figures were sophomore Andola Dortch (12 points), senior Courtney Ingersoll (12 points) and freshman Inma Zanoguera (10 points) to help the 2011-12 Mid-American Conference West Division co-champs win their eighth straight home game in the WNIT.
The 2011 WNIT Champions now will host Big East member Cincinnati in a second-round matchup Monday, March 19, at 7 p.m.
Tickets for the game are on sale now for $13 for reserved lower bowl tickets and $11 for upper east general admission tickets.
All seats in the lower level will be sold as reserved seats. Elite Season ticket holders, as well as suite/loge/club and courtside seat holders, will be able to purchase their normal seat location. Elite season ticket holders have until Sunday at 3 p.m. to purchase their seats. Seats not purchased prior to this time will be released for general public sale.
UT students will be admitted free with ID courtesy of the President’s Office. University employees can purchase two tickets for half price.
Parking will be free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Toledo shot 38.2 percent (21 of 55) from the field and 63.6 percent (14 of 22) from the charity stripe to run its all-time record in the WNIT to 15-6. The Midnight Blue and Gold also finished with 15 assists, compared to a season-tying low nine turnovers, and held a staggering 28-0 edge in bench scoring.
With the score tied for a ninth time, 43-43, and only 6:02 showing on the clock, Baumgartner drained a pair of charity tosses to ignite the game-changing run. A total of six Rockets eventually scored points in the waning moments; second-team All-MAC selection Dortch tossed in six and Baumgartner added four to give UT an advantage it would not relinquish.
First-team All-Horizon League recipient Shareta Brown paced the Titans with a game-high 28 points, seven boards and three blocks. Detroit wraps up its season with a 20-14 mark.
Detroit’s Brown controlled the action early on and scored seven quick points to race the visitors out to a 14-10 lead at the 13:19 mark.
UT quickly responded with a 7-2 burst over the next three minutes to take a 17-16 advantage with 11:12 left in the opening stanza. Baumgartner sparked the run with a pair of baskets, while Courtney Ingersoll drained a triple to take a one-point cushion.
Detroit’s Brown then singlehandedly gave the advantage back to the visitors with six straight points to make the difference 22-17 at 7:36.
The Titans retained the lead for the remainder of the period and took a 25-23 advantage into the locker room.
UT’s Baumgartner started the second half and contributed three early layups to put the home team back in the lead, 34-33, with 13:32 left in regulation.
The teams then traded baskets over the next couple of minutes with neither squad holding more than a two-point lead before Toledo went on the decisive run and earned the opportunity to play another game.