TOLEDO, Ohio — Jaelan Sanford set career highs with 31 points and eight assists to help Toledo beat Saint Joseph’s 98-87 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday night.
The Rockets jumped to an 18-4 lead to start the game and never trailed despite a late challenge from the Hawks. Saint Joseph’s closed the deficit all the way to 66-64 when Shavar Newkirk made a trio of free throws with 9:44 left in the game.
Nate Navigato’s 3-pointer ended that run and sparked an 18-6 Toledo run from which the Rockets never looked back.
Toledo made 14 of 25 from 3-point range. Sanford was 4 of 6 from the arc and 11 of 16 overall from the field. Navigato added five 3s and tied a career high with 22 points, and Tre’Shaun Fletcher scored 13.
Newkirk led Saint Joseph’s with 21 points, James Demery and Taylor Funk added 16 each, and Lamarr Kimble scored 10.