Toledo Holds Off Butler In WNIT

Daress McClung

TOLEDO, Ohio - In the postseason for the fourth time in five years, the Butler women's basketball team fell 63-49 in the WNIT first round at Toledo on Thursday night.

Butler's season, its first and only one as an Atlantic 10 Conference member, ends with a 17-14 mark. Junior Daress McClung led BU with 18 points and eight rebounds. She scored 14 in the second half.

Sophomore Taylor Schippers scored 11 of her 12 points in the first half. She hit three long 3-pointers that kept Butler in the game early. Junior Mandy McDivitt buried four treys for 12 points.

Toledo (28-3), the Mid-American Conference regular season champ, was led by Naama Shafir with 17 points. Inma Zanoguera with 16.

The early minutes of the game were low-scoring, with UT owning a 10-5 lead until scoring again at the 11:37 mark. Toledo would extend the lead to 14-5. Schippers kept the Bulldogs close by making three long 3-pointers. Her third trey pulled BU within 18-17 and forced Toledo to call timeout.

Toledo led 23-20 and then scored the last four points of the half, all by Zanoguera. A steal and lay-up by the Spain native made it 25-20 and then a pull-up jumper in the final minute gave the Rockets a 27-20 halftime lead.

Butler kept pace in the second half with defense, rebounding and long-range shooting. McClung and McDivitt combined for five treys in the second half to keep the Rockets from pulling away. McDivitt's shot with 11:42 on the clock pulled Butler within 42-37. An 11-3 run by Toledo gave the Rockets a 55-42 lead with 3:21 left and they took control of the game.

McDivitt hit a 3-pointer on the next trip down but Shafir made a shifty move to the basket for a three-point play to make it 58-45 with 2 minutes left. The Bulldogs shot 45 percent in the second half but couldn't keep pace.

For the game, the Bulldogs shot 9-for-21 from 3-point range and held their own on the glass (39-33 Toledo edge). 

The Bulldogs will head into their first season in the Big East with nearly everybody back. Only one senior - Becca Bornhorst - was on the roster this season. Additonally, Butler will get the services of Sarah Hamm and Haley Howard, who sat this year due to injuries, and incoming freshmen Serena Sandusky and Ashton Feldhaus.