Coming into this season, the University of Toledo women's basketball team was loaded with experience and deep at forward and guard, but had questions about the post.
If yesterday's 82-54 exhibition victory over Ashland is any indication, the post question has been answered.
Now without Karin Hoogendam, who finished her career as UT's all-time blocked-shots leader and 16th- leading scorer, the Rockets turned to center Monique Lloyd and forward Savannah Werner to be forces in the paint.
Lloyd, a 6-2 senior, came off the bench to score a game-high 20 points and grab five rebounds, missing only one of her 11 shots. Werner, a 6-1 junior, followed her with 15 points and five boards. All in all, the Rockets outscored the Eagles 48-16 inside.
"I think we're a better post team this year," UT coach Mark Ehlen said. "We're deeper off the bench and a lot of girls can do a lot of different things for us."
Last year's leading scorer and rebounder, forward Danielle Bishop, scored 12 points, including 3-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Kristi Zeller, a sophomore guard, came off the bench to add 10 points in 31 minutes.
Toledo's nonstarters scored 43 points.
"We wanted to win the first five minutes and we didn't, so I threw some other people in and they responded," Ehlen said. "It's definitely a positive that people know they're going to get their opportunity to come off the bench to help the team."
Ashland built up 10-5 lead in the opening minutes, but the inside scoring of Lloyd over the next few possessions put the Rockets up. UT led for the
remainder of the first half - by as many as 11.
The Rockets limited Ashland to just 25 shots in the first 20 minutes, but the Eagles hit 3 of 6 from beyond the arc to keep it close, trailing the Rockets 40-31 at the break.
UT responded by going on a 19-11 run in the first 7 1/2 minutes of the second half and never looked back, not allowing the Eagles within 11. The Rockets shot 56.3 percent for the half.
Ehlen said he has a good idea of what each of his players can contribute heading into the regular season.
"Everybody here played last year," he said. "There are no excuses anymore."
The season tips off next Sunday at 2 p.m. when the Rockets host North Dakota State.
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