It's official. This year's Toledo Rockets team is difficult to watch. The UT Women fell on the road to Evansville today by a score of 90 to 80 but it never even felt that close. Toledo trailed 31-41 at the half and then opened up the second half committing fouls at such a pace that Evansville found themselves in the bonus with 16 minutes left to play. Toledo scored evenly with Evansville in the second half, 49-49, but still spent most of the game trailing by 15 points or more.
Before I throw depressing Toledo-related statistics at you let's praise the Purple Aces. Evansville was deadly from beyond the arc going 48% on 11-23 shooting. They were very accurate from the free throw line with a 84% rate on 27-32 shooting. Four players for Evansville scored in double digits with Kat Taylor leading the way with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Khristian Hart scored 19 points and added 4 assists. Katie Ellerson had 16 points and 6 rebounds and Sara Dickey contributed 15 points of her own.
Now for the bad stuff. The Rockets just can't shoot from the floor at all. They ended this game 26-73 (36%) with a bewildering 5-25 (20%) in three pointers. Understanding why this offense still revolves around perimeter passing aimed at taking three pointers is an exercise better left for someone smarter than me to figure out. Evansville crushed Toledo in bench points, 23-2, and it would have been a complete shutout were it not for a garbage time layup by Elena de Alfredo with 7 seconds to play.
One bright spot was Toledo's 47-34 rebounding advantage over the Purple Aces but with such horrid shooting it should come as no surprise there were ample opportunities to rebound. The only real positive Toledo can take away from this one is that their free throw shooting is very good. They went 23-27 for an 85% mark.
De Alfredo's aforementioned bucket is the only significant stat Toledo's entire freshmen class had to offer in this one. The five first year players combined to go 1-11 shooting with 3 rebounds, 1 assist and 7 personal fouls. The Rockets needed huge games from their starters in order to get this one within ten by the end. Inma Zanoguera scored 19 points and had 10 rebounds. Ana Capotosto also scored 19 points and had 7 rebounds before fouling out late in the game. Senior Brianna Jones looks to finally be recovering from injury as her 19 point game included 13 rebounds of which 7 came on the offensive end. Andola Dortch rounded out the starters with 17 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
With the loss Toledo ends non-conference play with a 5-6 record. They now travel to Mount Pleasant on January 4th for a noon game against Central Michigan.