The Toledo Rockets started a new season on Sunday afternoon with the same old problems from last year. Abysmal shooting from both the free throw line and beyond the arc sunk any chance the Rockets had at scraping out a win against an impressive Drexel Dragons team that excelled where Toledo struggled the most.
As a team the Rockets shot a meager 35.1% from the floor only to have that poor performance trumped at the free throw line where Toledo managed to shoot 34.8% as a group. Once you add in their 19.0% performance from the three point line you have a recipe for a home opening loss. Drexel shot incredibly well throughout the whole game: 87.5% from the line, 42.9% from three and 41.2% overall from the floor.
Toledo's shooting inefficiency prompted a lot of zone defense out of Drexel and the Rockets had too much trouble getting inside to generate any semblance of an offense. This was a frequent problem last season as well but today the competition was too good for Toledo to get away with it.
Even with their terrible shooting effort Toledo still had a chance to pull this one out. With 4:23 remaining in the second half, Drexel had only a 52-50 lead after a layup by Toledo freshman Olivia Braun (6 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists in 22 minutes). Then the wheels came off for the Rockets as Drexel went on a 13-2 run to close out the game and send 3,672 Rocket fans out the doors after witnessing a rare home defeat.
Junior guard Inma Zanoguera led Toledo with 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in 32 minutes of play. The Rockets also received 20 minutes of strong production from freshman Janice Monakana who contributed 11 points and 5 rebounds off the bench. Sophomore Ana Capotosto led the Rockets in minutes with 35 as she scored 8 points and grabbed 7 rebounds while playing practically every position on the floor as the Rockets deal with injuries to Elena de Alfredo, Lindsay Baker and Brianna Jones.
Drexel forward Fiona Flanagan was dominate from behind the three point line with a 5-8 shooting effort from distance to help lead all players in scoring with 19 points. Flanagan also grabbed 5 boards and dished out 4 assists in 38 minutes. Her teammates Meghan Creighton (15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists in 37 minutes) and Rachel Pearson (12 points, 7 rebounds in 38 minutes) helped lead the way.
The Glass City Tournament wraps up tomorrow with Drexel playing Villanova at noon and Toledo playing Mississippi Valley State University at 2:30. There's been no word if any of the three injured Rockets will be available for the MSVU game.