Michigan ended the first half with a 16-0 run and went on to claim a 74-58 victory over Toledo in the second round of the Postseason WNIT Monday before 3,004 fans in Savage Arena.With the loss, UT ends its season with a 19-14 record.
The Wolverines (18-14) trailed 23-21 with 6:06 remaining in the opening period before going on the game-changing burst to secure a lead they would not relinquish.
Senior Inma Zanoguera led the Rockets with 14 points, a game-high six assists, five rebounds and two steals in 37 minutes. The 2014-15 first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection scored in double figures for the team-best 27th time this year.
Junior Ana Capotosto was close behind Zanoguera with 12 points and five caroms, while junior Brenae Harris had 11 points and a contest-tying best three steals. The Midnight Blue and Gold also received nine points from freshman Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott and eight by sophomore Sophie Reecher in the season-ending loss.
As a team, the Rockets shot 38.2 percent (21 of 55) from the floor, including 35.3 percent (6 of 17) from three-point range, and 76.9 percent (10 of 13) from the free-throw line to halt their season-best five-game home winning streak.
Katelynn Flaherty paced the Wolverines with a game-high 25 points, including nine during the crucial run to end the first half. Siera Thompson also contributed 20 points off the bench, and Cyesha Goree had 13 to help the Maize and Blue advance to the third round of the post-season event.
UT looked good at the outset and jumped out to a 14-9 lead at the 12:30 mark. The Rockets hit five of their first nine shots, including a pair of triples from Bravo-Harriott to take an early two-possession advantage.
The Wolverines quickly responded with a 10-2 run to build a 19-16 lead, forcing Toledo into a timeout at the 7:59 mark. Goree tallied a pair of layups to spark the rally, while Thompson and Flaherty also knocked down triples along the way to prompt the Rockets to stop the action.
The timeout was just what the Rockets needed, as they scored seven of the next nine points to reclaim the advantage, 23-21, with 6:06 left in the first half. Harris tallied the first five points in the burst, while Zanoguera had the other two to pressure Michigan into calling a timeout.
Unfortunately for the home team, they would not score for the remainder of the period. Michigan rattled off the final 16 points of the period to build a 37-23 advantage at the intermission. Toledo missed its final six field-goal attempts and had five turnovers during this pivotal stretch to turn a two-point lead into a 14-point deficit.
Michigan’s backcourt of Flaherty and Thompson remained red-hot shooting the ball to start the final 20 minutes, extending the margin to 54-35 at the 12:08 mark. The duo was responsible for 10 of the team’s first 17 points after the break to make it a game-high 19-point difference.
Toledo did not go quietly, though, and went on a 9-0 run to trim the deficit to 54-44 with 7:01 left in regulation. UT received points from four different players in the rally to bring the crowd to its feet.
Following a timeout, Michigan sealed the impressive road victory with three-consecutive jumpers from Flaherty. The closest the Rockets would get for the remainder of the contest was 10 points on two occasions.
With the completion of tonight’s game, the collegiate careers of senior Stephanie Recker and Zanoguera came to an end. The duo was part of 88 overall victories over the last four seasons, including 44 league wins. They helped the Rockets win two MAC West Division titles (2011-12, 2012-13), one MAC regular-season championship (2012-13), and secure three post-season appearances (2011-12, 2012-13, 2014-15).