The Toledo Rockets go up against Butler this Thursday night, at 7PM, inside Savage Arena in first round WNIT action. This is the fourth consecutive year the Rockets have accepted a WNIT invitation as this group of Toledo seniors looks to continue their recent success in the postseason tournament: champions in 2011 and a semifinals appearance last year.
Butler is 17-13 with an 8-6 record in the Atlantic 10 which was good enough to finish 6th in the conference standings. This season's Butler squad was led by Junior forward Daress McClung who enters the WNIT averaging 16.3 points and 9.1 rebounds per game. Taylor Schippers (12.7 PPG) and Liz Stratman (11.1 PPG) are the team's other leading scorers.
Butler averages 59.4 points on 38.7% shooting and brings down an average of 35.6 rebounds per game. Toledo average 66.2 points on 41.2% shooting and 41.1 rebounds per contest. From distance, Butler is actually worse three point shooters than Toledo: Butler 27.2%, Toledo 30.7%. The most lopsided statistic between the two teams is average home attendance, 700 per game at Butler and 4,263 for Toledo, which explains why Butler is traveling and the Rockets are not.
If Toledo women's basketball isn't your style there is a whole bunch of WNIT MACtion this year. Miami plays Illinois on the road Thursday at 7PM Central, Ball State is in Minnesota Friday at 7PM Central, Bowling Green faces SMU at home on Thursday at 7PM, amd Akron travels to Duquesne on Thursday at 7PM Eastern as well.
Toledo's side of the WNIT bracket features a couple of big name "bubble" teams that also missed out on NCAA Selection like Pacific and San Diego State. Unfortunately for local collegiate women's basketball fans, UT and BG are on opposite sides of the bracket this year so everyone will have to just bottle up their hatred for each other and hope for a Finals showdown.