Toledo posted a dominating 68-52 victory over Miami on Sunday in Mid-American Conference action before a season-high 4,328 fans in Savage Arena. With the win, UT improves to 7-7 overall, 2-1 in the league.
Despite the cold temperature and blustery conditions outside, the Rockets' defensive effort against the RedHawks (4-10, 0-3 MAC) was scorching hot. The four-time reigning MAC West Division champions limited Miami to 30.4 percent (14-of-46) from the field and forced 20 turnovers, helping them win back-to-back games for the first time since the end of November.
The 30.4 percent marked Toledo's best defensive effort this season while the 52 points allowed was its second-best total, trailing only 48 points by Mississippi Valley State in the consolation round of the Glass City Tournament on Sunday, Nov. 10.
UT also took advantage of a strong performance on the glass and finished with 15 offensive boards, resulting in a season-high 24 second-chance points to tally the wire-to-wire triumph.
Offensively, junior Inma Zanoguera paced the victors with a game-high 18 points, a contest-best nine rebounds, four assists and two steals, while sophomore Ana Capotosto contributed 10 points. The Rockets also received nine points each from senior Janelle Reed-Lewis, freshman Janice Monakana and freshman Sophie Reecher to extend their win streak to 20-consecutive games against MAC East Division opponents.
Senior Andola Dortch also posted a strong effort in the double-digit victory, registering six points, a game-high five dimes and a contest-best five thefts.
As a team, Toledo connected on a respectable 45.3 percent (24-of-53) from the floor and 60.0 percent (18-of-30) from the charity stripe to win its sixth-straight decision versus the RedHawks.
Zanoguera started the onslaught by scoring seven points in the opening four-plus minutes to help the Rockets race out to a 12-5 lead at the 16:05 mark.
UT's advantage quickly grew to double figures, 15-5, at 14:09 on the strength of a layup and one of two free throws by Monakana.
Toledo continued to play with a sizable lead as the first half wore on, taking advantage of six straight points from Capotosto to make the difference 27-11 at the 5:11 mark.
The Midnight Blue & Gold did not take its foot the accelerator in the waning moments of the opening stanza, benefitting from a three-point play by Dortch to assume a 37-21 lead at the intermission.
Unlike Thursday's game when Toledo allowed Northern Illinois to erase a double-digit halftime margin, the Rockets maintained their intensity and poise and put the away early in the second half. UT utilized strong play inside from Monakana and outside from Zanoguera to extend the margin to 20 points, 50-27, at the 12:38 mark. UT's lead remained at least 20 points until the final minutes of regulation when the outcome was all but determined.
The Rockets will look to continue their recent string of strong play when they travel to Buffalo on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The opening tip against the Bulls is slated for 7:00 p.m. in Alumni Arena.