Toledo held off Iowa State in the fourth quarter and became the second No. 12 seed to upset a No. 5 on Saturday afternoon in the women’s NCAA tournament.
The Rockets beat the Cyclones 80-73 after outscoring Iowa State by 10 in the second quarter. That quarter gave Toledo a seven-point margin at halftime and Toledo extended its lead to 15 in the third quarter before Iowa State started chipping away.
The Cyclones cut Toledo’s lead to five with 7:17 to go but never got the game within a single possession after that thanks to Toledo’s excellent free-throw shooting. As Iowa State kept fouling Toledo to extend the game in the final minute, Toledo kept making its free throws.
Toledo entered the game as one of the best free-throw shooting teams in the country. Toledo led the MAC at 78% from the line during the regular season and was 13-of-16 from the stripe on Saturday.
The victory is the first tournament win for Toledo since 1996 and came against longtime Toledo coach Bill Fennelly. The Iowa State coach was at Toledo from 1988-1995 and led the Rockets to three NCAA tournament appearances before he was hired by ISU ahead of the 1995-96 season.