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2016-17 MAC Basketball Recap: Toledo Rockets vs Ohio Dominican Panthers

Rockets gain liftoff in first and only exhibition match.

Toledo Athletics

The University of Toledo took on Division II foe Ohio Dominican in the first and only exhibition for the Rockets, coming out with a 94-79 victory in Savage Arena.

Ohio Dominican returned 3 starters from a squad that finished 11-17 overall and 8-14 in the GLIAC. Ohio Dominican was picked to finish 6th in GLIAC South Division in the preseason coaches poll. Toledo was tabbed to finish 4th in the MAC West.

This game had shades of last year’s exhibition squeaker against Hillsdale, staying close until the Toledo pulled away in the 2nd half. All-MAC guard Jonathan Williams led the Rockets with 23 points, on 7-of-13 shooting, along with three other Rockets also in double figures. Seven different Rockets found the scoreboard in the first half in a dominant performance.

The key difference in this game was the free throw line; Toledo converted 32-of-47, while the Panthers mustered only 8-of-14, but the points counted in a game where both teams shot an exact 43.3% from the field.

In the 2nd half Toledo briefly lost the lead, but regained it for good with 15:43 remaining and never looked back. The Rockets were an impressive 57.1 % from downtown, connecting on 8-of-14 shots.

Sophmore guard Jaelan Sanford (16 points), Daniel Dzierzawski (13 points) and Nate Navigato (11 points, 2-of-3 on three-point attempts) were notable contributers on offense for the Rockets, a great sign for the guards and wings to get that production, moving forward, thought one would hope to see improvement spreading the ball around, as there were only 11 assists on 27 field goals.

Starting center Zach Garber ripped down 15 rebounds to go along with 6 points and Steve Taylor added 11 rebounds and 5 points. in a dominant effort on the glass, outrebounding Ohio Dominican 47-33, including 17 offensive boards.

Junior guard Shemar Waugh topped the visitors with 26 points, along with fellow junior guard Ronnie Williams, who added 17 points for the Panthers.

The game followed the Lady Rockets exhibition win over Lock Haven, 99-41.

The Rockets open their 2016-17 season on Saturday, Nov. 12 with a trip to battle Saint Joseph, who won the Atlantic 10 Tournament last year.