REIGNING WNIT CHAMP TOLEDO USES LATE PUSH TO DEFEAT VCU 81-64 IN ROUND OF 16
TOLEDO, Ohio – Senior Courtney Hurt recorded her 23rd double-double of the season with game-highs of 26 points and 17 rebounds, and classmate Andrea Barbour added 23 points, but VCU couldn't overcome a late push by Toledo and fell to the Rockets 81-64 Thursday night in the Postseason WNIT's Round of 16 in front of 3,042 fans.
Trailing by five with 9:13 to go, a traditional 3-point play from sophomore Robyn Parks and a jumper in the paint from senior Chelsea Snyder knotted the score at 51-51 with 7:48 left. However, Toledo, which never led by more than five points during the first 13 minutes of the second half, responded with a 22-3 run spanning nearly 5:00 to put the game out of reach.
Reigning WNIT champion Toledo (24-9) has now won 10 straight postseason games at home, while picking up wins in 57 of its last 64 games inside Savage Arena. Meanwhile, the Rams (19-15) reached the Round of 16 for the second time in the last three years, which matches the program's deepest postseason run.
The senior duo of Hurt and Barbour provided 49 of the Rams' 64 points in what proved be their final collegiate game. Snyder also added five points and four rebounds, while Parks chipped in five points off the bench for the Rams.
Toledo raced out to a 20-10 advantage nine minutes into the contest before VCU found its groove. The Rams responded with baskets on eight straight possessions and erupted for an 18-2 run during a nearly eight-minute stretch and took their largest lead at 28-22 on a jumper from Barbour with 5:20 showing. Hurt scored in four straight and five of seven possessions for VCU, collecting 10 of her 14 first half points during the run.
Then after a nearly 5:30 scoring drought, Toledo caught fire and scored the final 12 points of the half to regain the lead. Courtney Ingersoll fueled the spurt, scoring seven, including a long jumper as time expired to hand Toledo a 33-28 advantage at the break.
VCU would keep the score close out the locker room trailing by no more than five points through the first 13 minutes of the second half. Down 44-39 with 14:49 to go, back-to-back baskets by Barbour and Parks cut the deficit to one less than a minute later.
Toledo would again go up by five with 9:13 to go before an and-one from Parks and a jumper in the paint by Snyder knotted the score at 51-51 with 7:48 left. However, The Rockets responded with a quick 13-1 run to take their largest lead of the game at the time, before scoring 30 of the final 42 points to seal the win.
Ingersoll paced three Toledo players in double figure scoring with 24 points, including 4 of 10 from long range. Andola Dortch added 20 and Yolanda Richardson chipped in 17 points and eight rebounds off the bench.