Toledo to Host Syracuse in 'Elite Eight' of WNIT

Updated 3/27/2011

Toledo Game Notes

TOLEDO, OH - Toledo (26-8) will host Big East member Syracuse (25-9) in the Quarterfinals of the WNIT on Sunday, March 27 in Savage Arena. The opening tip is slated for 2:00 p.m. and will be broadcast on WSPD (1370 AM) instead of WCWA (1230 AM). The Rockets are in the midst of a 15-game home win streak, longest since they won 17-consecutive games over the course of the 1997-98 and 1998-99 seasons.

The 2010-11 Mid-American Conference regular-season champions advanced to the fourth round of the postseason tourney for the first time in school history with home victories against Delaware, 58-55, on March 16, Auburn, 67-52, last Saturday, March 19 and Alabama, 74-59, on Tuesday.

The Midnight Blue & Gold is the first MAC school to earn a WNIT Quarterfinal appearance since the tourney switched to its current format in 2010. Previously, Western Michigan made the quarterfinals in 2004 when the postseason tourney featured only 32 teams. No MAC squad has ever won more than three games in the same postseason tournament.

Junior Naama Shafir, sophomore Yolanda Richardson, senior Jessica Williams and senior Melissa Goodall lead Toledo offensively in the WNIT, scoring 13.0, 13.0, 10.0 and 9.7 points per game, respectively.

Syracuse qualified for Sunday's contest by virtue of their wins against Monmouth, 77-53, on March 17, St. Bonaventure, 63-50, on March 21 and MAC member Eastern Michigan, 72-63, on Thursday.

The Orange tied for seventh in the Big East standings with a 9-7 mark and feature an attack with four players averaging at least 9.5 points per game led by Kayla Alexander's 14.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg and 2.6 bpg. The first-team all-league honoree is tallying 18.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 2.3 bpg in the postseason.

SU is 5-7 away from home this season and is making its third-consecutive appearance in the WNIT under fifth-year Head Coach Quentin Hillsman.

UT and SU will be meeting for the first time. The Rockets are 15-19 (.441) all-time against teams from the Big East.

The winner of Sunday's contest will take on the victor of Saturday's matchup between Virginia-Charlotte with the site and date to be determined. The other ‘Elite Eight' matchups are Southern Cal-Colorado and Arkansas-Illinois State.