Toledo held off Iowa State in the fourth quarter to become the second No. 12 seed to upset a No. 5 in the women’s NCAA tournament on Saturday afternoon.
The Rockets defeated the Cyclones 80–73 after beating Iowa State by 10 in the second quarter. That quarter gave Toledo a seven-point margin at halftime and Toledo extended his lead to 15 in the third quarter before Iowa State began chipping away.
The Cyclones cut Toledo’s lead to five with 7:17 remaining, but then never regained possession thanks to Toledo’s excellent free throw. As Iowa State continued to foul Toledo to extend the game in the last minute, Toledo continued to make his free throws.
Toledo entered the game as one of the top free throw teams in the country. Toledo led the MAC 78% from the line during the regular season and was 13 of 16 from the line on Saturday.
The win is Toledo’s first tournament win 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 tournaments before being hired by ISU ahead of the 1995-96 season.
Toledo became the fifth double-digit seed to earn an opening round win in the women’s tournament and the win came just after No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast defeated No. 5 Washington State. The two 12 over 5 upsets are the biggest of the first round so far.
While Iowa State shot better than the ISU men on Friday — the Cyclones shot 23% from the field in their loss to Pitt — it wasn’t much better. ISU was just 6 of 31 from behind the 3-point line on Saturday, shooting 35% from the field.
It also marked the fourth opening round loss for an NCAA tournament team from Iowa in three days. Six teams made it to the state men’s and women’s tournaments and unless Drake upsets another 12-5 over Louisville on Saturday night, Iowa and Caitlin Clark will be the only team to make it to the second round.