KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Quinesha Lockett scored 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as 12th-seeded Toledo knocked off No. 5 seed Iowa State 80-73 for Saturday’s second major upset of the women’s NCAA tournament.
Toledo became the second 12-seed to win Saturday, joining Florida Gulf Coast not long after its win over Washington State. Toledo will now play No. 4 seed Tennessee, a 95-50 winner over 13th seed Saint Louis, on Monday night for a spot in the Sweet 16 of the Seattle 3 Region.
The Rockets (29-4) matched the program record for most wins for a second straight season by winning a record 17th straight game, topping the streak at 16 games in 2000-01. They also posted their first NCAA win since 1996 in their ninth tournament appearance overall and first since 2017.
Jayda Jansen scored 17 points for Toledo, Sophia Wiard added 15 points and Nan Garcia 12.
Iowa State got within 78-73 on Denae Fritz’s 3 with 29.4 seconds left. Toledo didn’t make a bucket after Lockett’s layup with 3:35 left, but the Rockets sealed the victory, hitting their final eight free throws in the final 63 seconds.
When Lexi Donarski’s 3 missed with 24 seconds left, Toledo got the rebound and Justina King just held the ball as the final seconds ticked away before the Rockets began to celebrate.
Iowa State (22-10) entered the Big 12 Tournament as champions for the first time since 2001 after putting together upsets from a trio of NCAA Tournament teams in Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas. The Cyclones also had the Big 12 Player of the Year in Ashley Joens in pursuit of a second straight Sweet 16 berth.
Instead, the Cyclones head home with their first opening-round loss since 2017.
Joens led Iowa State with 23 points and 13 rebounds, including a perfect 11-of-11 at the free throw line. Joens was 0-of-4 in the fourth quarter. Donarski finished with 13, and Fritz and Emily Ryan each had 11.
Iowa State took its biggest lead at 23-18 and was up 23-20 after the first quarter.
Garcia’s layup put Toledo within reach with 7:52 left in the second as Toledo outscored Iowa State 23-13 in the second for a 43-36 halftime lead. Toledo led 61-53 entering the fourth.
Toledo: The Rockets also won 29 games in 2012-13. They improved to 4-8 in the NCAA Tournament with their first win since downing Ole Miss in 1996. The Rockets were ranked No. 10 and lost in the second round to Old Dominion.
Iowa State: This was the 14th tournament berth in the last 16 tournaments for the Cyclones who had a strong case to host themselves as the Big 12 Tournament champion and ranked 17th nationally. They won their first round games in 2019, 2021 and 2022 when they lost to Creighton in the Sweet 16.
Toledo will play No. 24 Tennessee for the second time in program history Monday night for the program’s first-ever trip to the Sweet 16. Tennessee beat Toledo 81-63 on December 18, 1985, in a regular season tournament in Hawaii.