EMU holds Toledo to school-worst scoring output in first place battleWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In a matchup between the top two teams in the Mid-American Conference West Division on Feb. 21, only one team looked as if it belonged.
Eastern Michigan thwarted the Rockets 54-33 at home in Ypsilanti. The loss ended Toledo’s 10-game winning streak and is the lowest point total for a UT women’s basketball team in school history. The previous low was recorded in 1992 against Missouri.
With the win, Eastern Michigan (20-7, 12-2 MAC) has almost surely locked up the MAC West crown. The Eagles, riding an eight-game winning streak, would have to lose both of its final two games to sub-.500 squads Ball State and Central Michigan along with Toledo winning out.
Eastern Michigan also put itself in position to grab the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament, which would give them three byes and put them directly into the semifinals. Toledo, which is in line for the No. 3 seed, would have two byes before first taking the court. If the Rockets were to win their first game, they would be looking at another contest with the Eagles, who are 2-0 against UT this season and eliminated them from the tournament last year.
Junior center Yolanda Richardson was the only Rocket who thrived, recording 18 points on 9-of-12 shooting with nine rebounds and six blocks.
Other than Richardson, however, Toledo shot 16 percent from the field, making just four field goals. The Rockets also shot 1 for 13 from beyond the arc—including 1 of 6 by senior Courtney Ingersoll, the nation’s top three-point shooter at 46 percent. Ingersoll finished with three points.
Junior forward Lecretia Smith sank her only shot and had a team-high five points after Richardson. Senior guard Haylie Linn (1 of 6) had just two points in 32 minutes.
The Rockets committed a season-high 28 turnovers, led by Linn and point guard Andola Dortch’s eight. The sophomore was also held scoreless in 29 minutes, down from her team-leading average of more than 13 points per game.
Eastern Michigan’s MAC Player of the Year candidate Tavelyn James (8 of 20) paced the Eagles with 20 points while Paige Redditt and Natashia Watkins scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Rockets return home looking to get back on track when they take on Northern Illinois (12-13, 6-7) at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 25 in Savage Arena. Seniors Ingersoll and Linn will be honored before the start of the game as part of their final regular season home game.