In Naama Shafir's first official collegiate game, the Israeli freshman led Toledo with 19 points on great shooting and made the game winning free throws with 4 seconds to play to lift the Rockets over Arizona, 64 – 63. In another game, Marissa Gobuty and Syracuse beat Siena.
Toledo Rockets 64 – Arizona Wildcats 63
Naama Shafir and the Toledo Rockets opened the season in the Hawaii invitational tournament against Arizona. Shafir led the team with 19 points (6/10 for 2, 1/1 for 3, 4/8 FTs) and five assists (also six turnovers) in 34 minutes. Shafir was responsible for the two game winning plays. She made 1 of 2 free throws with 40 seconds left, and made two free throws with 4 seconds left.
Tomorrow Toledo will meet the hosts, Hawaii, who lost their opened to Marymount (47 – 63). Shafir, who does not travel on Saturday because of the Shabat, will be able to play tomorrow against Hawaii as the team's Hotel is within walking distance from the arena.
“Naama may be a freshman eligibility-wise, but she is truly a veteran,” Head Coach Tricia Cullop told utrockets.com. “She has played against some of the best players overseas. We kept telling her how much we believed in her, and she responded by knocking down two big free throws”.
The rockets fell behind 2 – 12 early in the first half. Threes by Shafir and Jessica Williams helped but the gap to 13 – 17, and Shafir scored three straight baskets to keep the rockets within reasonable striking distance, 24 – 32.
The rockets opened the 2nd half with a 13 – 4 run to get back in it, and gained their first lead with 13 minutes left, 42 – 40. A 10 – 0 run by the rockets opened a 56 – 47 lead with under seven minutes to play. But the wildcats responded with a run of their own to force a 61 - 61 tie with 1:23 to go. The rockets missed four free throws during that stretch.
Cullup called a timeout with 40 seconds left, and drew up a play for Shafir who drew a foul. She split the free throws to put Toledo up one, but Arizona also drew a foul on the other end and hit both to make it 63 – 62. The rockets were out of timeouts and Shafir raced down the court and got fouled again. This time she calmly sank both to win it for Toledo.
Sienna 75 – Syracuse 89
Marissa Gobuty played 13 minutes and didn’t score (2 rebs, 2 turnovers) in the Orange's nice win at Sienna. Senior Chandrea Jones led the winners with a career high 33 points.
Courtesy of Toledo Athletics