Rockets top BSU, share MAC West title with Eastern MichiganWritten by Zach Davis | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Combined with a surprise loss by Eastern Michigan, Toledo clinched a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division Championship on Feb. 28 with a 70-65 victory at Ball State. The Rockets have now won at least a share of the MAC West title in the last three seasons.
Toledo (20-8, 13-3 MAC) is set as the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament and will receive two byes. Its first postseason game will take place at 2:30 p.m. March 8 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The Rockets will take on the winner of Western Michigan/Northern Illinois vs. Buffalo/Akron. If UT wins its first matchup, it will have to take on Eastern Michigan in the semifinals, which swept the Rockets in two games this season and eliminated them last season from the MAC Tournament.
The Rockets earned a spot as the co-division champion after dispatching Ball State (9-20, 4-12) in Muncie. UT received an offensive contribution all through its lineup as a season-high five players scored in double figures.
Junior Kyle Baumgartner scored a team-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting with eight rebounds and two assists off the bench. She had previously scored just 10 points in the last five games combined.
Junior center Yolanda Richardson (5 of 9) scored 13 points with a game-high nine rebounds; senior guard Courtney Ingersoll (2 of 6) also scored 13. Sophomore point guard Andola Dortch (3 of 9) recorded 12 points with seven assists and six turnovers, and junior Lecretia Smith (4 of 7) was the final Rocket in double figures with 11 points and nine boards.
Suzanne Grossnickle led the Cardinals’ scoring attack with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting with nine rebounds.
The Rockets took the lead at 27-26 with just over three minutes left in the first half and never gave it away. Ball State managed to cut the lead to 58-55 with three minutes left in the game, but Toledo wouldn’t let them get any closer, cruising to the 70-65 win.