#5 Eastern Michigan 61, #1 Toledo 55
MAC Women's Semifinals - Game Two
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The third time was the charm for the #5 Eastern Michigan Eagles on Friday afternoon inside Quicken Loans Arena. Having lost twice earlier in the season to the West Division champion Toledo Rockets, the Eagles used a variety of full-court pressure and traps to force Toledo into 22 turnovers and pull the tournament's biggest upset, knocking off the #1 Rockets and moving into Saturday afternoon's MAC Women's Championship where they will face the #2 and East Division champion Bowling Green Falcons.
Eastern Michigan came out as the aggressor right from the opening tip, controlling the tempo to their liking and taking a 13-4 lead after just seven minutes. Toledo had tied the score at two in the opening minutes but that represented the only time in the game where the Rockets would draw even as the Eagles otherwise led wire-to-wire. EMU had a 15-2 advantage in points off turnovers in the first half alone and were led by 10 points from Paige Redditt in the opening 20 minutes. The junior post player ended the afternoon with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Melissa Goodall would try to bring the Rockets back into it, tallying 12 of her 18 points in the second half. Toledo closed the gap to three on two occasions but missed a lay-up inside the final four minutes that would have made it a two-point game. Naama Shafir dished out seven assists but turned the ball over seven times against the Eagle pressure.
Cassie Schrock hit all eight of her free throw attempts, helping Eastern to cash in on 17 of 21 as a team to hold Toledo in check throughout the second half. Schrock ended the game with 20 on 6-24 shooting while backcourt mate Sydney Huntley was the other Eagle in double-figures with 12.
Tomorrow's women's championship contest will tip off at 1 PM (ET).
-Eastern Michigan was held without a 3-pointer for the first time in the 2010-11 season, finishing the game 0-6. The Eagles had four games this season with only one trey, most recently on 1/15/11 in a home loss to Toledo.
-The Eagles held a 10-0 advantage in fast break points in the game, all of them coming in the first half.
-With nothing happening from outside, Eastern Michigan had to work the ball down low resulting in a 34-28 edge in points in the paint. On the flip side, Toledo blocked nine shots, well above its season average of 2.5 a game.