Sanford's Career-High 31 Points Power Rockets to 98-87 Win over Saint Joseph's

By Published: 11/11/2017 10:29:34 PM Custom Tag

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics

TOLEDO, Ohio – Junior guard Jaelan Sanford set career highs with 31 points and eight assists on Saturday evening to propel Toledo to an exciting 98-87 triumph over Atlantic 10 Conference foe Saint Joseph's in the season opener for both teams.

Sanford was extremely efficient, hitting 11-of-16 shots (4-of-6 from three-point range), 5-of-6 free throws and playing turnover-free in 39 minutes. He was joined in double figures by junior forward Nate Navigato, who tied his career high with 22 points, as well as senior guard Tre'Shaun Fletcher (13 pts.) and sophomore center Luke Knapke (10 pts.).

Fletcher and Knapke also shared the team lead on the boards with seven rebounds apiece. The duo's work on the glass led to a convincing 43-31 edge in the rebounding department as seven different Rockets grabbed four or more caroms.

Toledo's offense was clicking throughout, collecting 21 assists on its 30 field goals and shooting 53.6 percent from the field. The Rockets shot even better from behind the three-point arc, knocking down 56.0 percent (14 of 25) of their long-distance shots. UT also enjoyed a marked advantage at the charity stripe, draining 24-of-29 free throws compared to SJU's 11-of-20 totals.

Senior guard Shavar Newkirk paced the Hawks with 21 points with senior forward James Demery and freshman forward Taylor Funk tallying 16 points apiece.

The Rockets surged to an 18-4 lead to open the game and never trailed despite a late challenge from the Hawks.

Saint Joseph's closed its deficit to 66-64 thanks to an 18-6 run that Navigato ended with a three-pointer from the wing. The Rockets then put the game away when a 13-2 spurt resulted in an 84-70 cushion with 5:25 to play. Treys from freshman guard Marreon Jackson and Navigato culminated the burst and forced the visitors to take a timeout.

GAME NOTES:
Toledo's 14 three-point field goals tied for third-most in school history.
The Rockets have won six home openers in a row.
UT shot over 50 percent in the first half (50.0%) and second half (59.1%).
Freshman guard Dylan Alderson led the Rockets with two steals and scored eight points, all in the first half.
Junior forward Taylor Adway blocked a career-high three shots to go along with five points and six boards in 20 minutes.
Freshman guard Marreon Jackson tallied nine points (2-of-2 3FGs) and four assists with just one turnover in 25 minutes.

Published: 11/11/2017 10:29:34 PM Custom Tag