Courtesy of Toledo Athletic Communications
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo streaked past Detroit, 79-70, on Friday in the opening round of the second-annual Toledo Invite in Savage Arena. With the win, the Rockets improve to 4-3 on the season.
UT put a season-tying best six players in double figures to tally its fourth straight victory over the Horizon League member Titans (2-7).
Junior Inma Zanoguera led the way offensively with 18 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and a contest-best five steals to collect her fifth career double-double.
Also scoring in double digits for the Midnight Blue & Gold was senior Brianna Jones, senior Andola Dortch and freshman Lindsay Baker with 12 points apiece and senior Janelle Reed-Lewis and freshman Elena de Alfredo with 10 points each. Dortch also added a season-high 11 assists and four thefts to post her second collegiate double-double, while committing only one turnover.
Baker drilled four of six shots from three-point range and pulled down six boards in 17 minutes off the bench in her collegiate debut. The Warsaw, IN native had missed the first six games this season with a foot injury. Baker’s shooting performance helped Toledo drain a season-high 10 treys and shoot 33.3 percent (10-of-33) from behind the arc.
Senee Shearer paced UDM with a game-high 24 points, while Ellisha Crosby added 16 points, seven caroms and a team-high four dimes.
After the teams traded baskets for the first six-plus minutes of the contest, Detroit took advantage of an 8-0 burst to take a 15-9 lead at the 12:25 mark. Shearer sparked the early run with a layup and a triple to give the visitors a two-possession advantage.
The Rockets settled down as the first half wore on and put together a mini 10-4 run to draw the teams even for a fifth time, 19-19, at 7:13. Jones scored six of the 10 points to force the Titans into a timeout.
UT continued to knock down shots following the stoppage in play and scored seven of the next nine points to assume a 28-23 advantage with 4:14 remaining in the opening period. Dortch started the run with a deep triple, while Zanoguera was responsible for the other four points to help the home team build a lead they would not relinquish.
Detroit momentarily stopped Toledo’s momentum by scoring the next four points, but the Rockets countered with an impressive 13-2 run to establish a 41-29 lead at the intermission. Baker and Reed-Lewis began the game-changing rally with a pair of triples, before Zanoguera accounted for five crucial points to give UT a double-digit lead at the break.
Toledo remained red hot shooting the ball to begin the second stanza and extended its margin to 58-42 at the 11:44 mark. The four-time reigning Mid-American Conference West Division champions utilized two more treys from de Alfredo and one from freshman Janice Monakana to bring the crowd of 3,837 fans to their feet.
The Titans made one final push and benefitted with a 13-2 run to close the gap to 67-62 with 6:17 left in regulation. UDM received a pair of traditional three-point plays from Crosby and Shearer to make it a two-possession contest.
UT was quick to respond, though, as Baker drained her game-high fourth triple to halt the momentum and preserve the home triumph. The closest the Rockets allowed UDM to get the remainder of the contest was seven points in the waning moments.
The Rockets will now play Valparaiso tomorrow in their other contest in this weekend’s two-game tourney. The opening tip against the Crusaders will be 4:00 p.m. and will be shown live on BCSN. Valpo notched a 74-50 victory against Chicago State in today’s other first-round matchup.