ATLANTA - Toledo (10-1) wraps up its non-conference slate at the Georgia State Holiday Tournament this weekend in Atlanta. The Rockets will face Atlantic 10 member Charlotte (8-2) in the opening round on Saturday, Dec. 29 at approximately 4:00 p.m. in the GSU Sports Arena. On Sunday, Dec. 30, UT will tangle with either Southwestern Athletic Conference participant Mississippi Valley State or Colonial Athletic Association member and host Georgia State (7-2). The consolation contest is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., while the championship game will tip off at approximately 4:00 p.m.
Toledo enters this weekend's tourney in the midst of a nine-game win streak, tied for the ninth-longest unbeaten stretch in school history, and has equaled its best start in school annals. They also began the year winning 10 of their first 11 games in 1993-94 and most recently in 1996-97.
The Midnight Blue & Gold is coming off a pair of victories against Evansville, 60-50, and Prairie View A&M, 76-41, at the Toledo Invite on Thursday-Friday, Dec. 20-21 to capture its third tournament crown this season. The key to the UT's tourney title was its ability to convert field goals at a high rate, as they outshot the Purple Aces and Panthers, .422-.302. The Rockets also dominated on the interior, outscoring the opposition, 50-30, in points in the paint.
Senior Naama Shafir and sophomore Inma Zanoguera received all-tournament team honors for their efforts in the two victories. Shafir, who was also selected tourney MVP for the third time this season, averaged 18.5 points and 6.5 assists, while Zanoguera tallied 7.0 points, 5.0 caroms and 2.0 steals per contest.
UT features a balanced attack with Shafir, junior Andola Dortch, senior Yolanda Richardson and Zanoguera averaging 13.3, 11.0, 9.1 and 8.4 ppg, respectively.
Toledo will face a talented Charlotte squad which has won its last four contests, including a 69-54 home triumph vs. Davidson on Friday, Dec. 21. Hillary Sigmon led the 49ers with 13 points.
Charlotte, which is a perfect 4-0 away from home in 2012-13, also utilizes a balanced offense with all five starters contributing at 9.5 ppg led by Jennifer Hailey (13.0 ppg, 12.0 rpg) and Amanda Dowe (12.0 ppg, 11.1 rpg).
The Rockets and 49ers will meet for the second time in the last three years and third time overall. UT leads the all-time series, 2-0, claiming an 83-60 triumph in the ‘Final Four' of the 2011 Postseason WNIT in Savage Arena (March 30) and a 77-66 victory in the second round of 1990 NWIT in Amarillo, TX (March 23).