Toledo claimed an impressive 65-52 victory against Atlantic 10 member Duquesne on Sunday before 3,690 fans in Savage Arena. With the triumph, the Rockets improve to 2-1 on the season.
UT blew open a tied game in the third quarter with a pivotal 12-3 run to create a lead it would not relinquish. Five different Rockets contributed points over the final 2:58 of the period, including senior Sarah St-Fort with a layup and a long jumper as time expired to bring the home crowd to their feet.
Junior Mariella Santucci paced Toledo with a season-high 19 points, two off her career high, to go along with a squad-tying best seven boards and three assists.
Senior Kaayla McIntyre added 12 points with seven caroms, while sophomore Tanaya Beacham had a season-high 10 points off the bench. McIntyre and Beacham's strong efforts helped the Midnight Blue & Gold post a sizable 40-28 edge in points in the paint.
As a team, the Rockets shot a respectable 48.0 percent (24-of-50) from the field and 75.0 percent (15-of-20) from the charity stripe to avenge last year's 73-54 setback at Duquesne in the AJ Palumbo Center.
UT also did a nice job on the glass and finished with a 40-30 rebounding advantage, paced by Santucci and McIntyre. In total, five Rockets pulled down at least five boards in today's non-conference showdown.
Laia Sole led Duquesne (1-3) with 15 points off the bench, followed by Amanda Kalin and Kadri-Ann Lass with 11 and 10, respectively.
2017-18 first-team All-Atlantic 10 performer Chassidy Omogrosso was limited to two points on 1-of-12 shooting from the floor, including 0-of-5 from beyond the arc. Omogrosso knocked down four triples and poured in a game-high 19 points in last year's match-up in Pittsburgh.
Santucci and McIntyre combined for 13 points to help the Rockets build a 19-8 lead. UT's pair of upperclassmen accounted for the final nine points to give the home team an early double-digit advantage.
Duquesne closed the margin to three points at the intermission, 30-27, on the strength of nine points from Kalin off the bench. The 5-foot-8 reserve guard knocked down 4-of-5 shots from the field in the quarter and converted her only free-throw attempt to make it a one-possession difference at the break.
Santucci scored four of her team-high 11 points in the waning moments of the half to help keep the Rockets in front.
The Dukes knotted the score at 38-38 at the 3:44 mark, but the Rockets responded with the game-clinching 12-3 burst to take a 50-41 lead heading into the final 10 minutes. St-Fort was the catalyst in the pivotal run with a pair of clutch field goals to ignite the home crowd.
The Rockets' lead swelled to double digits early in the final period and they did not let Duquesne get any closer than nine points for the remainder of regulation.
Toledo will travel to another Atlantic 10 school, Dayton, on Wednesday, Nov. 21. The opening tip against the Flyers (1-2) is slated for 7:00 p.m. in UD Arena and will be shown on ESPN+.
UT and UD will compete for the 10th-straight year and 25th time overall. Dayton leads the all-time series, 13-11, but the Rockets have won the last two match-ups against their intra-state foe. The Flyers also hold a slim 6-5 edge in games played vs. Toledo in UD Arena. A season ago, Toledo registered an impressive 68-50 victory in Savage Arena. Two years ago, UT claimed a 76-72 triumph at Dayton before 9,002 screaming fans in UD Arena to snap a four-game losing skid in the series.