Toledo hands Eastern Michigan women's basketball team second MAC loss

EMU’s Tavelyn James (24) tries to get around a defender Saturday in the Eagles home loss.

The Eastern Michigan University women’s basketball team lost its second straight game at home Saturday, losing to the Toledo Rockets 72-56.

“This loss puts us one game out of first,” Coach AnnMarie Gilbert said. “We are going to win games this year; we just need to get better offensively and defensively.”

The Eagles shot 21-for-62 field goals in the game, and they were 1-for-10 from the 3-point line. Toledo, on the other hand, was 27-for-64 in the game from the field and 9-for-16 from the 3-point line.

The Eagles started the game with a 7-0 run to put them ahead until 7:42 remaining in the first half when Toledo’s Melissa Goodall tied the game at 16-16. The Rockets continued their scoring, closing the first half at 31-24.

“They outplayed us,” Gilbert said. “They met all of our goals. They shot the ball with confidence from the 3-point line.”

In the second half, the Rockets pulled away. Toledo’s post and guard play had the pick and roll working to perfection, and Gilbert says once the Rockets found out they could dribble penetrate, it was all over for the Eagles.

“They figured out the dribble was working and that’s how they beat us,” Gilbert said.

Toledo had the advantage down on the post and out on the wings. Toledo’s post play came from Yolanda Richardson, who went 7-for-11 from the field, grabbing 10 rebounds, scoring 16 points and had two steals.

Also helping the Rockets were Melissa Goodall, who went 6-16 from the field, grabbed 14 rebounds and scored 12; and wing Jessica Williams went 6-10 from the field, 5-8 from the 3-point line, grabbed seven rebounds and scored a game-high 17 points.

“They played their best basketball; we played our worst,” Gilbert said. “We rushed our shots. We got away from playing our game.”

Toledo had the advantage on the glass, out-rebounding the Eagles 50-34.

Cassie Schrock and Tavelyn James led the Eagles scoring, each with 13 points, while Paige Redditt and Sydney Huntley-Rogers each had 10 points of their own. James had eight rebounds, while Redditt and Schrock grabbed six each.

“I believe in this team, and I believe we will get back to team basketball,” Gilbert said. “We need to stop playing individually, play team ball, and we have to hit our free throws.”

Schrock had a less-than-stellar afternoon going 4-13 from the field and making 5-of-8 from the free-throw line.

“She has to be taken accountable,” Gilbert said. “She has to find a way to get 10 rebounds. Their two-guards had seven rebounds today. This was a bigger team, but Cassie needs to step up. She is the glue we need at this point.”

The Eagles fall to 11-7 on the season, and 2-2 in MAC play. This loss puts the Eagles two games back from first place in the West Division where they trail Toledo, who improved to 12-5 on the year and 4-0 in MAC play with Saturday’s victory.

This week the Eagles travel to Kalamazoo to visit their in-state rival, Western Michigan, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. This starts a two-game road trip before the Eagles return to the Convocation Center, Jan. 26 to face Ohio.

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