Before I head off to the men's variety of this game, I needed to therapeutically expound on yet another installment of this classic rivalry.
When the Falcons jumped out to an early double-digit lead — it was as high as 14 points several times in the first half — I was never comfortable that it would be a blowout. You don't go to Savage Arena and just control the tempo and the scoreboard against Rockets women's basketball for 40 minutes. Maybe 20, maybe 30 ... in this case, 38 minutes.
The 13-point halftime lead was a bit cushy, but once UT went on an 8-0 run in the first two minutes of the second half, it became a very different game that went back and forth. Rather than volleying between a 10- and 14-point lead, the Falcons margin was more like between four and eight points.
Courtney Ingersoll's 3-point shot might haunt me for a couple nights. That basket gave the Rockets a 51-50 lead, their first since it was 2-0. That was also Ingersoll's first points of the night. Decent time to finally score. And because they only led for a few minutes total, I think this counts as "stealing" a game — even though they were at home, even though five grand were in attendance.
Andola Dortch really battled in this game. She went down after committing an offensive foul, thinking she may have re-injured that knee but came back quickly thereafter. She picked up her fourth foul with 7:51 to play but that didn't stop her either, and 16 tough points is what she ended up with.
Chrissy Steffen had a wonderful first half, then cooling off and finishing with 20 points. Alexis Rogers also had some great drives to total 17. And it was great to see Curt Miller back to his old fiery self, stomping his feet and seemingly back to normal health. I'm sure his doctor was cringing the entire time.
So BG finally suffers their first MAC loss. On the 11th try that's still pretty excellent, and you can't win them all unless you're UConn. Their lead for the 1-seed is now one game, but with Miami continuing to reel they may still waltz to the East division title. As for Toledo ... this team never looks like they're going to lose, even when they're losing by 14 points.
If there is a sports deity he'll have these two teams meet again for the MAC Championship.