School-record tying four Rockets earn All-MAC honors

March 11, 2013 | News, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis

A school-record tying four women’s basketball players earned spots on All-Mid-American Conference teams.

Four MACNo. 25 Toledo placed senior Naama Shafir and junior Andola Dortch on the All-MAC first team, senior Yolanda Richardson on the second team, and sophomore Inma Zanoguera on the third team.

The 2012-13 MAC regular-season champion Rockets’ total of four selections on the first, second and third teams are the most in the conference.

UT also had four all-conference honorees during the 1996-97 campaign.

Shafir, who becomes the first Rocket ever to garner all-league accolades on four occasions, is averaging a squad-best 12.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, a team-high 4.8 assists and 1.8 steals in 29.6 minutes per game. The two-time first-team All-MAC recipient sits second in the MAC in assist/turnover ratio (1.9) and helpers, third in free-throw percentage (80.4 percent, 86 of 107), eighth in scoring, 11th in three-point field-goal percentage (33.7 percent, 34 of 101) and thefts, and tied for 13th in three-point field goals made (1.2). The MAC Player of the Year candidate has scored in double figures in a squad-best 21 contests in 2012-13, pouring in at least 20 points on four occasions. In league contests, Shafir contributed a team-high 12.4 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, a squad-best 4.4 assists per game and 1.8 steals per game in 29.9 minute per game.

Dortch emerged as one of UT’s most dynamic players as a redshirt freshman two years ago and that pattern has continued in 2012-13. The Akron, Ohio, native is tallying 11.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and a team-high 2.7 steals in a squad-best 30.1 minutes per game. She leads the conference in thefts, as well as ranking fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.4), ninth in dimes, 13th in scoring, tied for 13th in three-point field goals made (1.2), 14th in three-point field-goal percentage (30.9 percent, 34 of 110) and 15th in free-throw percentage (69.4 percent, 77 of 111). The 2011-12 second-team All-MAC honoree has registered double-digit points on 16 occasions this season, second most on the team. The 2011-12 MAC Defensive Player of the Year also collected at least three steals a squad-best 12 times this season, including a career-high eight at Miami Feb. 6. In MAC games, Dortch averaged 11.7 points per game, 4.9 rebounds per game, 3.0 assists per game and a squad-best 2.7 steals per game in a team-high 32.0 minutes per game.

Richardson returned for her senior season following a breakthrough junior campaign. She is averaging 9.4 points, a squad-best 7.2 rebounds and a team-best 1.5 blocks in 22.3 minutes per game to garner second-team All-MAC accolades for a second straight year. The Toledo native leads the MAC in overall field-goal percentage (59.3 percent, 127 of 214), as well as ranking second in offensive boards (3.2 rebounds per game), fourth in blocked shots, sixth in overall rebounding, tied for 13th in defensive caroms (4.1 rebounds per game) and 23rd in scoring. If the 2012-13 campaign ended today, Richardson’s 59.3 overall field-goal percentage would rank fifth in school history in a single season. The 2012-13 team co-captain has scored in double figures 12 times this season, fourth-highest total on the team, pulled down double-digit rebounds a team-high five times, and blocked at least three shots on a squad-best eight occasions. In MAC games, Richardson contributed 9.0 points per game, a team-best 7.9 rebounds per game and a squad-best 1.5 blocks per game in 23.3 minutes per game.

Zanoguera was inserted into the starting lineup this season to fill the void left by graduated senior and third-team All-MAC honoree Courtney Ingersoll on the wing. The Llucmajor, Spain, native has done an outstanding job in her expanded role in 2012-13, averaging 9.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.4 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game to earn all-league recognition for the first time. She ranks 11th in the MAC in overall field-goal percentage (46.1 percent, 113 of 245), 13th in thefts, tied for 13th in helpers and defensive caroms (4.1 rebounds per game), 16th in overall rebounding and 24th in scoring. Zanoguera has produced double-figure points on 15 occasions in 2012-13, third-highest total on the squad, including a career-high 19 points, a collegiate-best eight dimes, six boards and three steals in a career-high 38 minutes vs. Central Michigan (Jan. 10). In league contests, Zanoguera averaged 9.8 points per game, 6.1 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game and 1.7 steals per game in 28.9 minutes per game.

The four-time reigning MAC West Division Champion Rockets (27-2, 15-1 MAC) will take the No. 1 seed into the MAC Tournament in Cleveland. Nationally ranked Toledo has earned a bye through the first three rounds of the tourney and advances to the Final Four Friday, March 15, at noon in Quicken Loans Arena.

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