Toledo and Bowling Green Advance In WNIT

Updated 3/24/2013


Saturday's WNIT Results
Toledo 61, Youngstown State 43
Bowling Green 61,Duquesne 54
Courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Toledo 61, Youngstown State 43
TOLEDO, OH – Sophomore Inma Zanoguera scored a career-high 24 points to lead Toledo to a 61-43 victory over Youngstown State on Saturday in the second round of the WNIT before 2,568 fans in Savage Arena. With the wire-to-wire win, the Rockets improve to 29-3 on the season. UT will now play the winner of Monday’s contest between Illinois-Eastern Illinois. The third round of the postseason tourney is slated for Wednesday-Friday, March 27-29. Sites and times for that round will be released at a later date.
Zanoguera shot a sparkling 10-of-14 from the field against the Penguins, including a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, to fuel the 2012-13 Mid-American Conference regular-season champions’ attack. The Llucmajor, Spain native added four rebounds and a game-high three steals to post double figures for the 10th time in the last 12 games. Her previous career high was 19 points against Central Michigan on Jan. 10.
Joining Zanoguera in double digits was senior Naama Shafir with 14 points and a season-tying best eight rebounds.
As a team, Toledo shot 40.0 percent (24-of-60) from the floor, including 33.3 percent (4-of-12) from three-point range, and 69.2 percent (9-of-13) from the charity stripe to advance to the ‘Sweet 16’ of the postseason tourney for a third-straight season.
The Midnight Blue & Gold controlled the interior for a second-straight postseason game and finished with an impressive 34-10 edge in points in the paint. The 2011 WNIT champions also maintained a sizable 48-31 advantage on the boards, winning the battle on the glass for a 14th-consecutive contest.
Horizon League Player of the Year Brandi Brown led the Penguins (23-10) with 10 points and four caroms, but UT’s strong defensive effort forced her into a 3-of-13 shooting performance. Brown came into today’s game averaging 20.4 ppg and 11.3 rpg.
Toledo was tenacious on defense all afternoon and limited YSU to its second-lowest offensive output of the season. The Penguins shot a season-low 25.0 percent (13-of-52) from the field and were guilty of 22 turnovers. The Horizon League member was averaging 64.0 ppg on 39.2 percent shooting from the floor.
The Rockets, who have not yet trailed in the postseason, exploded out of the gates and held an 18-5 lead at the 12:25 mark. The home team knocked down nine of their first 14 shots to build the early-digit cushion. Zanoguera did a bulk of the damage at the outset, knocking down her first four field-goal attempts.
With the offense running smoothly, UT’s defense simply took over, forcing YSU to miss 10 of its first 12 shots and caused 11 miscues to help extend its cushion to 23-5 with 7:47 left in the period. At one point in the first 20 minutes, Toledo took four offensive charges.
The Rockets’ constant defensive pressure wreaked havoc all afternoon and paid huge dividends in the waning moments of the half, as Zanoguera buried back-to-back triples to give them a 30-15 advantage at the intermission.
Zanoguera remained on fire shooting the basketball to begin the second stanza, scoring 10 quick points to give UT an insurmountable 44-27 advantage with 11:32 remaining in regulation. Toledo’s lead did not dip below 13 points the remainder of the afternoon.
With today’s 18-point home triumph, the Rockets have equaled their school record for victories in a season and tied for second most in MAC history. Toledo also won 29 contests two years ago, while the league record is 31 wins by Bowling Green during the 2006-07 campaign.
Bowling Green 61,Duquesne 54
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (BGSU Athletic Communications) - Junior Jill Stein scored a career-high 16 points, including 13 in a row in one second-half stretch, as the Bowling Green State University women's basketball team rallied for a 61-54 win over Duquesne University Saturday (March 23).  The game, a second-round contest in the Women's National Invitation Tournament (WNIT), was held at the Stroh Center.
With the win, the Falcons improve to 24-10 on the season.  BGSU will host Drexel University in the third round of the WNIT, with that game set for Thursday (March 28) at 7:00 p.m. at the Stroh Center.
The Dukes see the season come to an end with a record of 24-8.
Junior Jillian Halfhill joined Stein in double digits in the scoring column, with 14 points.  Halfhill was 8-of-9 at the free-throw line as the Falcons went 22-for-28 from the stripe as a team.
Vanessa Abel had 14 points to lead three double-figure scorers for the Dukes.  Wumi Agunbiade scored 12 points, while Orsi Szecsi had 11 and a team-high eight rebounds before fouling out.
BG led only one time in the game's first 29 minutes, taking a 22-21 advantage on a three-point field goal by Stein with 3:33 left in the first half.  Back-to-back triples by Agunbiade and Belma Nurkic, however, keyed an 8-0 run for the visitors.  A trey by Halfhill with 17 seconds left in the first half cut BG's deficit to four points, 29-25, at the intermission.
In the second period, DU's lead never grew larger than six points.  The Dukes led by six after Abel hit jumpers on consecutive possessions, the last coming with 14:45 to go.
BG responded, however, with a 7-0 run.  After two Halfhill free throws, senior Allison Papenfuss converted a transition layup to cut DU's advantage to 38-36.  Then, with the shot clock winding down, Stein fired a long three-point try that found nothing but net.  That shot gave BG the lead with 10:59 to go.
Duquesne responded with a pair of layups to retake the lead, but Stein just kept scoring for the Falcons.  That long trey was the first of 13 consecutive BGSU points scored by the junior, capped by back-to-back jumpers that broke a 45-all tie and gave the home team the lead for good.
BG hit 10-of-13 free-throw tries over the final 3:28 of the game, keeping the Dukes at bay.
Redshirt junior Alexis Rogers had nine points and seven rebounds for the Falcons, while senior Chrissy Steffen and freshman Miriam Justinger scored eight points apiece.  Steffen also had eight rebounds to lead her team and tie for game honors, and she added four assists and a pair of steals.
Five of Steffen's rebounds came at the offensive end of the floor.  BGSU held a 39-35 rebounding advantage on the night.
Duquesne scored the first four points of the game, and DU took a 6-1 lead on Agunbiade's jumper at the 16:15 mark, prompting an early timeout by BGSU head coach Jennifer Roos.  The Falcons' first field goal did not come for nearly five minutes, until senior Danielle Havel hit a long two-pointer with 15:08 left in the opening period.  But, Abel answered with a three-pointer for a 9-3 DU lead.
Halfhill was fouled on a three-point try, knocking down all three resulting free throws, but the Dukes scored six of the next eight points to increase the lead to 15-8 after Szecsi's putback at the 10:37 mark.
Justinger's three-pointer from the right elbow, however, began a 7-0 BG run that tied the game.  Rogers took a cross-court pass from Justinger, drove the right baseline and hit a layup, and junior Katrina Salinas came up with a steal and fired the ball ahead to Papenfuss for a run-out layup that tied the game, 15-15, with just over eight minutes left in the half.
Szecsi scored to stop DU's scoreless streak, but Rogers answered with a layup of her own.  A catch-and-shoot three from Szecsi gave the Dukes a 20-17 advantage, but Justinger was knocked to the floor on a drive and hit a pair of charity tosses.
Moments later, Steffen came up with an offensive rebound, drove the left baseline and whipped a baseball-style pass to Stein in the right corner.  Stein's three-point try was on target, and the Falcons had a 22-21 lead with 3:33 left before halftime.
But, Agunbiade and Nurkic responded with three-pointers on the next two DU possessions, and Stasia King's layup with 43 seconds on the clock gave the Dukes a 29-22 lead.  Halfhill's triple from out top cut the Falcons' deficit to a more manageable four points at the intermission.
DU took a 31-25 lead on an acrobatic Szecsi layup in the first minute of the second half, but the Falcons responded with five-straight points, as Halfhill hit a corner three and Rogers got to the line and sank a pair of shots.
Abel answered with a three-ball of her own, but Steffen's baseline drive resulted in a layup that cut BG's deficit to 34-32 with 17:19 to go.
Abel answered again, with back-to-back jumpers for a six-point DU advantage, but the Falcons then held the Dukes off the scoreboard for a span of 4:26.  BG slowly but surely mounted a comeback, beginning with two Halfhill free throws at the 12:58 mark.
Then, freshman Bailey Cairnduff stole an Abel pass, and Salinas fired the ball to Papenfuss for a transition layup.  BG forced a missed jumper by Nurkic, and the ensuing possession resulted in Stein's three-pointer at the shot clock buzzer.
That Stein shot came from well beyond the arc, as she caught the ball and quickly released a shot that beat the horn and gave the Falcons a 39-38 advantage with just under 11 minutes remaining.
DU responded with layups by Agunbiade and Szecsi, but Stein drove and drew Szecsi's fourth foul with 8:49 to go, hitting both free throws to cut the Dukes' lead to one.  Several possessions later, Rogers drove the lane and flipped a nifty pass to a wide-open Stein for an easy layup at the 6:58 mark. The Falcons had the lead.
BG forced the Dukes into a shot-clock violation, and Stein converted a sweet reverse layup for a three-point advantage with 6:04 remaining.  Agunbiade responded with a three-point play that knotted the score at 45-45, but Stein answered with a jumper -- again with the shot clock approaching zero -- that gave the Brown and Orange the lead for good.
A steal by Steffen gave the ball back to the Falcons with just over four minutes remaining, and Stein grabbed a teammate's missed shot and banked a short jumper off glass and in.  With 4:05 left, BG's lead was 49-45.
Agunbiade hit a pair of free throws, but both Justinger and Steffen went 2-for-2 from the stripe over the next minute to give BG a 53-47 edge.  Justinger's tosses came after a nice back-door cut and a pass from Halfhill that led to a DU foul just under the hoop.
The Steffen shots came after the senior drew Szecsi's fifth foul with 2:47 to go.
Ahjah Hall scored for the visitors a minute later, but Steffen responded with a drive and an 'and-one' layup with 1:02 left.  The free throw did not drop, but the Falcons had a six-point lead, 55-49.
Abel answered with a layup as she was being fouled, but her free-throw try also was off the mark, and Halfhill rebounded with 56.4 seconds left.  The next possession resulted in two Halfhill tosses for a six-point lead with 39.8 seconds to go, and DU could get no closer than four points thereafter.  The final seven-point margin represented BGSU's largest lead of the game.
BGSU shot 40.5 percent from the field, including a 9-of-18 effort (50.0%) in the second half.  By contrast, the Falcons held the Dukes to just a 32.3% success rate in the second half and a 35.5% effort for the game.
Tickets for BGSU's WNIT third-round game will be available beginning Monday morning at 8:30 a.m. at the BGSU Athletics Ticket Office in the Stroh Center.