Toledo Returns To Savage Arena After Two Key Road Wins; Rockets Look to Halt Buffalo's Three-Game Win Streak in a MAC Cross-Divisional Matchup
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo (14-2, 2-1 MAC) returns to Savage Arena after capturing two key conference wins on the road. The Rockets are now seeking their first league win at home vs. Buffalo (5-12, 3-0 MAC) this afternoon. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. and will be carried live on BCSN.
The Rockets have been picked to finish first in the ultra-competitive MAC West Division, while the Bulls are tabbed to finish sixth in the East. Toledo is 6-1 this season and an impressive 63-9 (.875) wearing its home white uniforms under fifth-year head coach Tricia Cullop, including 30-3 (.909) against conference foes.
The Rockets cruised to their second conference win of the season with a 56-40 victory over Eastern Michigan on Wednesday night in the Convocation Center. The Rockets opened the game with a 15-2 spurt in the first seven minutes and never let the Eagles back within 15 points.
Junior Andola Dortch led the Rockets with 14 points on 3-of-6 shooting from three-point range and a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line, putting her over 10 points for the eighth time in 2012-13. Dortch also added two steals to her MAC-best 2.7 thefts per game.
Seniors Lecretia Smith and Yolanda Richardson chipped in with seven points apiece, while 11 total Rockets contributed at least two points to shoot 19-of-42 (45.2%) as a team. Toledo snapped a four-game losing streak to Eastern Michigan, holding the defending MAC Champions to its lowest scoring output of the season on 16-of-48 (33%) shooting.
For the season, the Rockets are fueled offensively by the quartet of senior Naama Shafir, Dortch, Richardson and sophomore Inma Zanoguera, who are averaging 12.8, 10.4, 9.1 and 8.8 ppg, respectively. In total, UT has six players averaging 4.9 or more points per game.
UT will face a talented UB squad which has won its three league contests, including a 69-54 road win at Kent State on Wednesday. Sloane Walton finished with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including three from downtown range
Buffalo features a high-scoring attack with four players scoring in double digits during MAC play, paced by Mackenzie Loesing's 13.3 ppg in 26.0 mpg. The Bulls are outscoring conference opponents by an average of 20 points and hold a 2-5 record on the road.
Toledo leads the series against Buffalo, 16-2, and won last season's meeting, 77-55 on the road (Jan. 28), to record the fifth-consecutive regular season triumph over the Bulls.
Following tonight's matchup, the Rockets will travel to Akron on Wednesday, Jan. 23. The opening tip from Rhodes Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.