Toledo 65, No. 24 Mississippi 53
NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ A sloppy first half that ended with Toledo trailing by just a point against No. 24 Mississippi gave the underdog Rockets hope.
Mimi Olson and Angela Drake gave them much more than that.
Olson and Drake combined for 17 points during a 25-10 spurt early in the second half Saturday night and Toledo upset No. 24 Mississippi 65-53 in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament.
Drake, limited to two points in the first half, scored nine points in the run that gave the Rockets a 51-37 lead with 8:47 to play. Olson hit two 3-pointers and a long 2-pointer in 2 1/2 minutes as Toledo took command.
``Once we started hitting our shots, it opened up the floor,″ said Drake, who was 1-for-6 at halftime. She finished 8-for-17 with 18 points.
Olson, who had 20 points, said the victory should help gain some respect for the unheralded Mid-American Conference. ``We’re a good team and we went out and showed people that the MAC is as good as the SEC,″ she said.
The Rockets (25-5) advanced to a second-round game against either No. 6 Old Dominion or Holy Cross on Monday night at Old Dominion Field House.
Toledo shot 57.1 percent in the second half, making 16 of 28 shots, including Olson’s 3-pointers and another by point guard Heather Smith.
``In the second half ... they made tremendous shots from the outside,″ said Mississippi coach Van Chancellor. ``They made some with their foot on the (3-point) line. They just made great shots.″
Mississippi (18-11), one of four schools to appear in as many as 14 of the 15 NCAA women’s tournaments, made only 20 of 66 shots overall, or 30.3 percent. It was 10-for-36 after halftime, 27.8 percent.
Yolanda Moore led the Lady Rebels with 17 points, but she made only six of 14 shots, all in close, as the Rockets double- and triple-teamed her.
``Our zone forced them to take outside shots,″ said Toledo coach Mark Ehlen. ``We were worried about Moore, and the zone neutralized her.″
Ole Miss led 27-26 after a sloppy, fast-paced first half that featured 23 turnovers, 12 by the Lady Rebels, and poor shooting.
The Lady Rebels trailed 16-10 after seven minutes, then scored nine straight points. Moore scored twice inside during the spurt, and the Rockets also contributed to their woes by missing several easy scoring chances.
Neither team scored in the final three minutes of the half. Toledo had a great opportunity when Mimi Olson made a steal and fed Kim Knuth for an easy layup. Knuth’s first try came up short, though, and so did her putback try.
Mississippi added its own offensive follies moments later, blowing at least five chances in close before Toledo rebounded and the clock ran out.