CLEVELAND It was an inside job here last night as the University of Toledo women s basketball team did not come close to matching Marshall s energy or its production in the paint in a Mid-American Conference Tournament quarterfinal game at Gund Arena.
The Thundering Herd made off with the goods, and a 68-56 win over the Rockets.
Marshall outscored UT 34-16 in the middle, and that was more than enough to make the difference.
Clearly, we had nothing inside today, UT head coach Mark Ehlen said. The story of this game was the play in the middle, and Marshall had something to do with that.
Toledo, which closes the season at 14-15, shot just 34 percent against the Thundering Herd, and got outrebounded 50-32 by the smaller Marshall players.
We gave up some easy shots inside, and in the second half we just kind of stood around, Ehlen said. I thought we had a good game plan, but I m disappointed with our execution. We had no flow today.
The Rockets trailed by nine at the half, but they cut Marshall s lead to 42-40 with 14:27 to play in the game after Danielle Bishop scored on the fast break, and then stole the inbounds pass and converted another quick basket. Toledo then went into an extended funk and did not add a point over the next five minutes of play, and went almost eight minutes before it scored another field goal.
We weren t together as a team offensively, said Bishop, who led the Rockets with 25 points and nine rebounds.
When we did make a run, and cut the lead to two, we just gave them another run.
That was precisely what happened after Toledo cut the Marshall lead to a basket. The Thundering Herd (19-9) scored 13 unanswered points during that lull, and led 55-40 when Kim Griffin beat everyone up the floor for an easy basket with 10 minutes left in the game.
They didn t shoot the ball as well as I ve seen them shoot it in the past, Marshall coach Royce Chadwick said, and we were lucky to catch them on a night like that.
Toledo s last hurrah came when Bishop buried a 3-pointer from the corner with 3:27 remaining to cut Marshall s lead to 61-51, but the Rockets would get no closer down the stretch.
We weren t aggressive, except for Danielle, Ehlen said. Most of the first half was close, but we let them get a little run at the end there, and as soon as we d get the lead down again, they d go on another run. It s disappointing. We lost by 12, but I feel like we got beat by 40.
It was like we were never in the game.
Chadwick said he thought Marshall, which got a first round bye as the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament, benefited from having the past week off. Toledo had to beat Northern Illinois in a first round game on Saturday to advance to Cleveland.
Marshall, playing in its final MAC Tournament since it will play in Conference USA next season, was led by Teyonka Hodge with 15 points.
Toledo, which has won this tournament seven times, was eliminated in the quarterfinal round for the third time in the last four years.
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