Toledo (27-8) tied the school record for wins as it stretched its home winning streak to 16 straight games and played in front of a season-best 5,001 fans. The Rockets got a 22-point, 9-rebound performance from junior Naama Shafir, as well as key contributions from several others as they bounced back from a dismal first half in which they shot 32.1 percent and Syracuse shot 54.2 percent.
For the second straight season, Syracuse (25-10) posted a school-best for wins. The Orange were led by Erica Morrow’s 23 points in a game that saw eight lead changes and seven ties.
Toledo moves on to the semifinals, where it will host Charlotte at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday. Charlotte defeated Virginia in its quarterfinal game Saturday.
In another quarterfinal game Sunday, Illinois State held visiting Arkansas to 18 points in the first half, and went on to win 60-49.
The Redbirds (24-10) are in familiar territory. This is the third straight season they have advanced to the WNIT semifinals. They did it with a balanced attack, including 16 points each from Katie Broadway and Shala Jackson, as well as 11 points and 12 rebounds from Emily Hanley, and 9 assists from Amanda Clifton.
Arkansas capped its season with a 22-12 record, a turnaround from last year’s 12-18 mark, and returns nearly everyone for next year, including sophomore Sarah Watkins, who led the Razorbacks with 16 points against Illinois State.
Illinois State moves on to face Southern Cal, who defeated Colorado in Sunday’s game. Illinois State will host USC at 8:05 p.m. ET Wednesday.
USC won its third game on the road with a 53-point second half to overcome Colorado 87-70 in a future Pac-12 Conference matchup.
Colorado led 36-34 at halftime, then went through a cold shooting slump while USC finished with a season high in scoring. Ashley Corral (32 points) made 7 of her 8 3-point attempts for the Trojans (23-12).
Colorado’s Brittany Spears tied her career high of 36 points in her final game as a Buffalo. The Buffs finished the season 18-16 under first-year coach Linda Lappe.
Sunday, March 27
Toledo 71, Syracuse 68, OT
Illinois State 60, Arkansas 49
Southern Cal 87, Colorado 70