Toledo Women's Basketball Holds First Official Practice This Eve - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Courtesy: UT Sports Information

Toledo Women's Basketball Holds First Official Practice This Evening for Upcoming 2012-13 Season

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TOLEDO - The Toledo women's basketball team will convene for its first official practice on Monday evening, Oct. 1. The Rockets will take to the court from approximately 8:00 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. in Savage Arena.

UT is slated to return 11 letterwinners in 2012-13, including four starters, from last year's squad that finished with a 24-10 overall record. The Midnight Blue & Gold captured a share of a third consecutive Mid-American Conference West Division crown a year ago with a 13-3 league ledger.

"Our team has high goals and expectations in 2012-13, and we aren't afraid to do the work necessary to achieve them," said two-time MAC Coach of the Year Tricia Cullop, whose team is 50-14 in league games in her first four seasons.

Leading the way for Cullop this season will be three-time All-MAC honoree senior Naama Shafir (9.3 ppg, 3.5 apg, 2.3 spg), 2011-12 second-team All-MAC selection senior Yolanda Richardson (10.3 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.1 bpg), senior Lecretia Smith (5.0 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and two-time all-league performer senior Kyle Baumgartner (5.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.9 apg), along with 2011-12 MAC Defensive Player of the Year and second-team All-MAC recipient junior Andola Dortch (13.6 ppg, 4.8 apg, 4.0 rpg, 2.0 spg).

Toledo also has senior Riley McCormick (1.8 ppg, 0.7 rpg), junior Brianna Jones (2.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg), junior Janelle Reed-Lewis (2.0 ppg, 0.6 apg), sophomore Mariah Carson (0.7 ppg, 0.9 rpg in 2010-11), sophomore Stephanie Recker (1.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg) and sophomore Inma Zanoguera (3.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.1 apg) returning to the fold. In total, the Rockets welcome back 69.8 percent of their scoring, 75.5 percent of their rebounding, 71.1 percent of their assists, 87.6 percent of their blocked shots and 69.8 percent of their steals in 2012-13.

With a number of key components in place and a promising group of five newcomers (redshirt freshman Ana Capotosto, redshirt freshman Taylor Carver, freshman Michele Hayes, freshman Kendyl Nunn, freshman Cat Wells), the Rockets look to make a run at a conference championship in 2012-13 and seek a return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in over a decade.

"Our goals are to win a fourth straight MAC West title, the MAC regular-season title and the MAC Tournament, which includes a NCAA Tournament berth," Cullop said.

The Rockets' lone exhibition game is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 4 against NCAA Division II member Wayne State. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. in Savage Arena.