A variety of presses by Ohio University made things dicey for the University of Toledo women's basketball team last night, but the Rockets handled the heat well enough to post a 70-65 victory and climb back to .500 for the season.
UT was guilty of 12 second-half turnovers and made just nine field goals during the final 20:00 of play. Still, the Rockets improved to 11-11 overall and 7-4 in Mid-American Conference play while posting a 15th consecutive win against OU at Savage Hall.
"We're in the last stretch of the season and trying to get a good seed for the [MAC] tournament, so it was a huge win," said center Karin Hoogendam, who became the 19th player in UT women's history to surpass the 1,000-point mark for her career. She finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and three blocked shots.
Two fast-break baskets in a 15-second span by freshman Olivia Terry, the second on a nifty assist by Danielle Bishop after a steal, gave the Rockets a 12-point cushion early in the second half. A later drive to the basket by Terry made it 49-36.
"I felt like I hadn't done much in the first half and we were struggling a little on offense, so those were important points," Terry said.
The Rockets never quite got out of the woods, however, because of poor shooting and a flurry of turnovers.
Hoogendam did hit a couple key baskets to help keep Ohio at bay, including a putback with
4:00 to play that gave UT a 60-51 lead. But the Bobcats (9-13, 5-6 MAC) fought back to within five on a couple occasions late.
"For the most part I thought we handled their press OK," said Toledo coach Mark Ehlen. "But when Ohio had a little bit of success and the game got closer, they got more aggressive and we got tentative.
"The real problem was not being able to widen the lead. We had a 10 or 11-point lead for much of the half, but then we couldn't buy a basket, or make many free throws for that matter, and we couldn't put them away."
Both teams shot 40 percent for the game, but UT forced 24 turnovers, had a 42-39 rebounding edge and ran up a healthy 42-24 advantage in points scored in the paint.
Crystal Young led the Rockets with 13 points and four steals while Terry scored 11 points and had four assists.