The Purdue Boilermakers, ranked 18th coming into today's game against the Toledo Rockets, snuck out of town with a close win. The final was 81-79 but Toledo was one missed Inma Zanoguera three pointer away from stealing the game as the clock expired.
The Rockets are desperately shorthanded as freshmen Elena de Alfredo and Lindsay Baker were joined at the end of the bench by Olivia Braun who injured herself in practice. Brianna Jones returned for Toledo and started at center but the Rockets lost Stephanie Recker to a back injury early and, although she returned and played briefly, the team essentially played with only 7 players for most of the game.
Andola Dortch led Toledo with 22 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in 37 minutes. Her backcourt running mate, Janelle Reed-Lewis, contributed 14 points and 8 assists of her own. Freshman Janice Monakana continued her nice start to the season with 15 points and 4 rebounds off the bench. Brianna Jones scored 12 and grabbed 7 boards in her season debut.
Purdue was led by Courtney Moses with 30 points and 5 rebounds. Moses shot 4-7 from beyond the arc and continued to highlight Toledo's troubles defending against the long ball. She was one of three players in double figures for Purdue. Whitney Bays scored 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds while KK Houser added 17 points and 8 assists.
Despite coming up on the losing end of this one today was probably Toledo's strongest showing of the season. Zanoguera had an off shooting performance but her dip in production was offset by strong showings from Monakana and Reed-Lewis. It will be interesting to see how this team does when they are at full strength and the freshmen adjust to playing at the collegiate level.
Up next for Toledo is a series of away games. First, they play Missouri-Kansas City on the road Wednesday, November 20th. They follow that with the SMC Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, CA. The Rockets face Cal State Fullerton on Friday, November 29th to start the tournament and then play Saint' Mary's the following day to wrap things up before heading back to Ohio for the Toledo Invite in December.