Toledo Hits Road for Matchup at MAC West Division Foe Northern Illinois on Saturday
The Rockets are currently deadlocked with Ball State (7-11, 4-1 MAC) for the second spot in the MAC West Division standings, one game behind frontrunner Central Michigan (11-7, 5-0 MAC).
The Midnight Blue & Gold enter tomorrow's action riding a four-game win streak following Wednesday's 77-65 triumph at MAC East Division co-leader Akron.
The Rockets had a season-high five players contribute double figures and held the high-powered Zips to their second-lowest scoring output of the season.
Senior Yolanda Richardson led the Toledo attack with a team-high 16 points, a squad-best eight rebounds and a contest-best three rejections.
Four other Rockets reached double-digits in the impressive road victory, as UT shot 29-of-66 (43.9%) from the field. Senior Naama Shafir scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-of-4 from behind the arc.
Senior Kyle Baumgartner was clutch off the bench, adding a season-high 14 points and six caroms. Junior Andola Dortch stayed hot on the offensive end by scoring 14 points for a third-consecutive double-digit performance. The Akron, OH native also dished out a game-high six assists and recorded four steals in 37 minutes.
Sophomore Inma Zanoguera also chipped in 11 points and filled up the stat sheet with five assists, four rebounds and three steals.
For the season, the Rockets are fueled offensively by the aforementioned quartet of Shafir, Dortch, Richardson and Zanoguera, who are averaging 12.7, 11.2, 9.4 and 8.9 ppg, respectively.
The Huskies enter tomorrow's divisional showdown in the midst of a six-game losing skid, most recently suffering a 54-51 setback vs. Western Michigan on Wednesday. Satavia Taylor was the only NIU player in double figures, finishing with 18 points, six caroms and two thefts against the Broncos.
Northern Illinois features an attack with two players averaging at least 11.0 ppg led by Amanda Corral's 13.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg and 1.2 spg. The Huskies are 2-4 at home this season.
NIU is under the direction of third-year head coach Kathi Bennett, who also roamed the sidelines at the University of Evansville for four years (1996-2000). UT head coach Tricia Cullop took over for Bennett at UE and spent the next eight years on the Purple Aces' bench.
Toledo leads the all-time series against Northern Illinois, 25-16, and is in the midst of a three-game win streak against its division opponent.
A year ago, the Rockets swept the regular-season series for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign. UT claimed a 49-47 victory in the Convocation Center (Jan. 14) and a 49-39 triumph at home (Feb. 25). The division rivals then met for a third time in the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals in Quicken Loans Arena and Toledo posted a 72-62 win on a neutral court (March 8).
Following tomorrow's matchup, the Rockets will host Ohio on Thursday, Jan. 31. The opening tip from Savage Arena is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
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