Lady Rockets roll; Naama coming back

Yolanda Richardson tied her career high with 20 points vs Ball State

It was a double dose of good news for Toledo Rockets women's basketball fans on Thursday.

First, they learned that senior point guard Naama Shafir will return for another season. Second, the Rockets handily defeated Ball State 63-48 to earn their third MAC win of the season.

Senior Courtney Ingersoll recorded the first double-double of her career (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Start alum Yolanda Richardson tied her career high with 20 points, as UT dominated in the paint.

"In practice we've been working on just executing more on offense as in the guard's standpoint of passing, us as in catching. So, we've been working on it a lot in practice so I really think it came over into the game," Richardson said.

Shafir, one of the pre-season favorites for MAC Player of the Year, suffered a torn ACL early in the Rockets season, leaving the remainder of her career at Toledo in doubt. Rather than end on a sour note, the native of Israel decided to return for one more go 'round.

"At first I was like 'there is no way I'm coming back'...But after a couple of weeks I..started to think...that's not how I want to finish it here," Shafir said. "I'm excited to come back another be here another year with amazing fans, amazing team, coaches...I just see it as an opportunity for me."

Although Shafir said she came to the decision all on her own, it didn't hurt to have the support of her family.

"They didn't tell me what they think. They want me to make my decision on my own. To be honest, my mom and sister were here after the surgery and they said 'we think you should stay', after I had already told them [of her decision]. They wanted me to make the decision and they didn't want to influence it."

Head coach Trici Cullop was impressed with how Shafir handled the tough decision.

"Think about it, you're in a foreign country, you have a devestating injury, you've never missed a game before in your life, and now you're family's not even here. That had to be incredibly hard," Cullop said. "She's handled this with great maturity. I'm glad she took some time so she made the right decision that she was comfortable with."

Although she is a senior right now, Shafir will graduate when her playing career is complete.

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