Toledo comes back for win over ChippewasWritten by Jason Mack | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo earned its first Mid-American Conference win with a come-from-behind 58-53 win at home over Central Michigan on Jan. 8.
The Rockets (8-6, 1-1 MAC) fell behind 20-7 in the first nine minutes, but UT responded with baskets from four different players for a 9-0 run.
Guard Crystal Bradford hit a jumper with 1:12 remaining to give the Chippewas (9-7, 1-1) a 30-22 lead at halftime. Bradford scored 15 points with eight rebounds and two steals in the first half. The Rockets clamped down on Bradford in the second half, holding her to eight points and forcing four turnovers. Bradford finished with a game-high 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Bradford made another jumper for a 37-25 lead 4:30 into the second half, and then Toledo began its comeback. Sophomore guard Andola Dortch had a three-point play and hit a three pointer to cut the lead to six.
Dortch was UT’s leading scorer with 14 points along with six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Bradford made a layup for a 43-36 lead with 10:26 remaining, but she was held scoreless for the remainder of the game. She was fouled on the play and missed the layup, and senior guard Haylie Linn grabbed the rebound and went end-to-end for a layup.
After a layup by junior center Yolanda Richardson, Linn hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to one at 43-42. Linn finished with 12 points and four rebounds off the bench. Richardson keyed the defense with four blocks and had nine points and six rebounds.
Dortch gave UT its first lead of the game when she made a layup with 3:12 remaining, but Central Michigan regained the lead on the following possession with a jumper from Jordan LaDuke. The teams swapped the lead again with layups from junior forward Lecretia Smith and CMU’s Skylar Miller. Smith spent most of the second half blanketing Bradford and finished with 13 points and a career and game-high 15 rebounds.
Dortch was fouled on the ensuing possession and made both free throws to give the Rockets the lead for good with 1:02 remaining. With the shot clock winding down after a turnover from Miller, Linn hit a three-pointer with an assist from Smith to seal the win.
The Rockets host Eastern Michigan (9-6, 1-1) at 7 .m. on Jan. 11.