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The University of Toledo showed a sense of urgency in the second half against Eastern Michigan that wasn't apparent before halftime last night at Savage Hall.
Credit a mistake on the halftime stat sheet for the Rockets coming out after halftime and playing more passionately to secure a 65-55 women's basketball victory before a season-high crowd of 3,931.
With UT trailing 26-25 at the half, UT coach Mark Ehlen wasn't particularly satisfied with how the Rockets (18-7, 11-3 MAC) played during the first 20 minutes of the game. He made it quite clear during his halftime speech he wasn't pleased about the stats showing the Eagles had outrebounded the Rockets by 12.
Actually EMU had a one-rebound advantage at intermission, which Ehlen would find out after the game.
Nonetheless, the UT coach liked how his team responded to his speech as they ended up winning the rebounding war 36-35 after winning the battle in the second half.
“I thought we were getting killed on the boards and that was my rallying cry at halftime,” Ehen said. “We wanted to do a better job on the boards and play better inside.”
Karin Hoogendam put together her best all-around game of the season, tying a season-high 17 points and grabbing a game-high 11 rebounds. She scored 11 of her points at the foul line, making 11 of 13 free throws.
Mary Blessing led all scorers with 18 points. Teresa Kahle provided nine points and eight rebounds while Lexee McDonnell and Amanda Davis contributed eight points apiece.
“I thought Hoogendam just played great for us,” Ehlen said. “They all played great.”
Blessing said Ehlen stressed the rebounding situation at the half and she could sense a greater effort level by the Rockets in the second half.
“The rebounding was our main focus in the second half,” Blessing said. “I thought we did a really good job of buckling down and blocking out in the second half.”
Ryan Coleman and Nikki Knapp led the Eagles (10-14, 7-6 MAC) with 17 points apiece.
The Rockets defeated the Eagles for the 17th time in the last 18 meetings at Savage Hall.
And the Rockets clinched a first-round bye in the MAC Tournament with the win. Their next game is at Northern Illinois on Saturday.