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Published: Monday, 11/16/2009

It was Mays' day at UT as she gets 1,000th point

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
University of Toledo's Tanika Mays drives past Cleveland State defenders to finish off a Rocket fast break with a layup. University of Toledo's Tanika Mays drives past Cleveland State defenders to finish off a Rocket fast break with a layup.
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At first it was ugly to look at, but like most of Picasso's paintings, this one held a lot of value as well.

University of Toledo senior forward Tanika Mays scored her 1,000th career point as the Rockets defeated Cleveland State 72-62 yesterday in front of 2,419 at Savage Arena.

Mays becomes the 21st UT player to score at least 1,000 career points, with Danielle Bishop the last Rocket to do so during the 2005-06 season.

A transfer from IUPUI after her sophomore season, Mays has now 1,001 career points, with 414 of them coming in a UT uniform.

"It was good to see Tanika score her 1,000th point," UT coach Tricia Cullop said. "She's a special player. She's going to go down as one of the all-time greats and can do it at both ends. We feel very fortunate to have her."

Mays knocked down No. 1,000 on her first of two free throw attempts with 4:53 remaining.

While posting up on the right block, Mays was fouled by Cleveland State senior forward Stephanie Crosley, sending her to the line for a one-and-one opportunity. Mays ended up making good on both attempts and finished with 12 points and six rebounds.

"I was really oblivious to it," Mays said of the milestone. "I didn't even know until [Jessica Williams] came up to me at the free throw line and said, 'Congratulations!' I really had no idea."

UT (1-1) was led by senior forward Allie Clifton, who scored 22 points and grabbed six of her eight rebounds on the offensive end.

Sophomore guard Naama Shafir added 15 points, seven rebounds, and four assists, while junior guard Jessica Williams drained 4-of-8 3-point attempts to finish with 12 points.

Shafir also was playing her second straight game in front of her parents, Ytzik and Shlomit, who are in town from their native Israel through Sunday to watch their daughter play for the first time in the United States.

"I'm happy they had a chance to see me," Shafir said. "They used to come every game back home, but now they have a chance to see four games. It just gave me a lot of energy today."

Neither team showed much energy early on yesterday, with UT leading 23-19 at halftime and committing a combined 23 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

"The first half of the game, I thought we were almost in a chicken fight," Cullop said. "We couldn't find a way to pull away."

Cullop decided to simplify the offense at halftime, and the move eventually paid off.

After senior guard Kailey Klein knocked down the second of her two foul shots with 13:52 remaining, the Vikings (1-1) led 33-32 for the first time in the contest.

But it was all UT after that. Sophomore guard Courtney Ingersoll drained a 3-pointer to retake the lead and spark an 11-2 run that was capped off by Shafir's four-point play with 11:33 remaining.

As Shafir's shot swished through the net, she hit the deck right in front of the UT bench after being fouled by Cleveland State guard Angel Roque.

The play brought the Rocket fans to their feet, and after Shafir converted the ensuing freebies, Cleveland State no longer seemed able to generate any momentum.



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