The Toledo Rockets traveled to California over the holiday weekend to participate in the SMC Hilton Thanksgiving Classic on the campus of the St. Mary's Gaels. The Rockets struggled mightily to score points in both of their games and were luckily to finish the tournament with even one win.
Toledo 59, Cal State Fullerton 58
Toledo was down six points with 4:41 to go in this one before a late rally and a game winning jumper by Inma Zanoguera sealed the win for the Rockets with 26 seconds left on the clock. Tricia Cullop's team finished the game with a 34.8% shooting percentage and an abhorrent 21.1% mark from behind the three point line. The Cal State Fullerton Titans didn't shoot much better than Toledo going 35.7% from the floor. For the game the two teams combined for 12 free throw attempts in an oddly officiated contest.
Zanoguera once again was Toledo's standout performer with 15 points and 7 rebounds in a game high 38 minutes. She was followed by seniors Brianna Jones with 14 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double and Janelle Reed-Lewis with 10 points and 4 assists. Freshmen Elena de Alfredo made her Rockets debut after missing the start of the season with a hyperextended elbow. She went 3-5 for 8 points and 3 rebounds in 16 minutes.
Cal State was paced by Chanti Mile's 15 points and 8 assists. The Titans also saw big numbers from Kathleen Iwuoha with 12 points and 8 rebounds and Samantha Logan with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Cal State still lost the rebounding content 48-45 despite the big rebounding numbers from Iwuoha and Logan.
Saint Mary's 81, Toledo 57
This contest was a struggle from the start as the Rockets' weak shooting effort continued against the Saint Mary's Gaels and Toledo was never really in this game. They trailed 39-29 at the break and things quickly got out of hand to start the second half. The Rockets once again shot terribly from long distance (21.7%) and overall (30.9%). Their free throw percentage took a dip as well (66.7%). Nothing was working for Toledo in this one.
Inma Zanoguera was the only Rocket to score in double figures. She had 12 points and 6 rebounds on 5-16 shooting. Janice Monakana put up 9 points and 6 rebounds and Ana Capotosto contributed 7 points of her own. That's really about it for the highlights.
Saint Mary's made it to the Elite Eight of the WNIT last year and are now off to their first 7-0 start in school history. They have four returning starters and it showed against an outmatched Rockets team. Danielle Mauldin made life miserable for Toledo with 21 points and 18 rebounds. Jackie Nared was close behind with 18 points and 10 rebounds of her own. The Gael's shot 49.1% from the floor and 83.3% from the line as they spent most of the game taking freebies (25-30, 83.3%).
Toledo now returns home for the Toledo Invite to play Detroit on December 6th at 7:00 PM. The game is the first of two over the weekend as the Rockets then play Valparaiso on the 7th at 4:30 PM.