Toledo Women’s Basketball Explores Bologna, Defeats Hometown All-Star Team in Italy

August 6, 2019 | Athletics, News
By Brian DeBenedictis



The Toledo women’s basketball team experienced some fun in the kitchen and on the court in Bologna Monday during its second day in Italy.

The Rockets took part in a cooking class at the Scuola de Cucina Cooking School before securing a hard-fought 76-61 victory against the Bologna All-Stars in Baricella.

UToledo began the day at the cooking school, where it made Tagliatelle al Ragù Bolognese from scratch and had tiramisù for dessert.

The Rockets claimed a 76-61 exhibition victory over the Bologna All-Stars Monday in Baricella, Italy.

“The cooking class was a great experience,” junior Mariah Copeland said. “It was really cool to see how the pasta and dessert are prepared.”

The Rockets then had a chance to explore Bologna before taking part in a walk through and pre-game meal.

At the game, junior Tanaya Beacham paced three Rockets in double figures with a game-high 16 points. Senior Sara Rokkanen and junior Nakiah Black chipped in 10 points each, and Bologna native Mariella Santucci finished with eight all in the fourth quarter to help propel Toledo to the 15-point exhibition triumph.

“What a special night,” Head Coach Trica Cullop said. “Mariella could probably run for mayor in Bologna and get elected. We’re so glad to bring Mariella home and, at the same time, expose our players to this wonderful place.”

UToledo went on a game-changing 11-4 run to end the first half and take a 39-33 lead at the intermission. Copeland sparked the late burst with a triple and three charity tosses to give the Rockets a lead they would not relinquish.

“Tonight was lovely,” Santucci said. “I’ve waited four years for this. My family has never seen me play. I’m really happy we had the chance to show them.” 

Toledo wrapped up Monday evening with dinner with the Bologna All-Star Team and boosters at Antica Tratorria Golfierri Restaurant. 

The Rockets will travel by bus Tuesday to Florence. They will tour the city and visit a local pool. Toledo will then make its way back to Bologna to have dinner with Santucci’s family.