Toledo Loses at Evansville in Non-League Finale, 90-80 - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

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Toledo Loses at Evansville in Non-League Finale, 90-80

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Toledo closed out its non-conference slate with a 90-80 setback at Evansville on Monday afternoon in the Ford Center. With the loss, UT falls to 5-6 on the season.

Senior Brianna Jones, junior Inma Zanoguera and sophomore Ana Capotosto paced the Rockets with 19 points each, while senior Andola Dortch had 17. Jones and Zanoguera added a team high 13 and 10 rebounds, respectively, to collect their third and sixth collegiate double-double.

Despite scoring at least 80 points for a third time this season, the Midnight Blue & Gold struggled shooting the ball for much of the afternoon and converted only 35.6 percent (26-of-73), including 20.0 percent (5-of-25) from three-point land. UT was able to mask a rough effort from the floor and make it a closer final difference by knocking down a solid 85.2 percent (23-of-27) from the charity stripe.

The storyline in today's matchup was the Purple Aces (5-6) lethal outside shooting. The home team drained 11 triples and tallied a season-high 47.8 percent (11-of-23) from beyond the arc to produce a season-best point total.

Kat Taylor hit two treys and led UE with a game-high 23 points and seven rebounds, followed by Khristian Hart with a team-high three triples and 19 points. Katie Ellerson and Sara Dickey rounded out Evansville's double-digit scorers with 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Toledo looked sharp at the outset and knocked down the game's first three field goals, holding a 9-4 lead at 16:27. Capotosto sparked the quick start with a layup and a long three-point field goal.

The Rockets then went cold and missed their next 12 shots, allowing the Purple Aces to assume a 12-11 edge with 9:00 left in the opening half. UE's Taylor accounted for five of the seven points during this stretch to help the home squad claim the lead.

Toledo regained the advantage momentarily on back-to-back layups from Capotosto and senior Janelle Reed-Lewis, before Evansville countered with a 13-0 burst to build a 28-15 cushion at the 5:56 mark. A total of six different Purple Aces scored field goals in the game-changing burst. UT did not help its own cause during the run and missed both of its field-goal attempts, while committing four turnovers, to assume a deficit it would not be able to overcome.

UT fought back with a 10-3 run to trim the margin to 31-25 with 3:16 remaining in the opening stanza. Dortch and Jones tallied nine of the 10 points to make it a two-possession contest.

Unfortunately for the Rockets, they could not pull any closer and trailed UE, 41-31, at the intermission.   

Evansville then extended its advantage to 52-38 early in the second half strength on the strength of three-consecutive triples by Hart, Ladd and Ellerson at 16:13.

Moments later, Toledo's deficit grew to a game-high 22 points, 60-38, as a result of the four-time reigning Mid-American Conference West Division champions simply not having an answer for UE's outside arsenal.

UT trailed by least 13 points for the next 10-plus minutes, before closing the game with a 16-4 run to make the final tally 90-80.  

The Rockets will return to the hardwood on Saturday, Jan. 4 when they open up MAC play at reigning league tourney champion Central Michigan. Tipoff from McGuirk Arena is scheduled for Noon and will be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (TWC) and ESPN3.