The Toledo Rockets marched into Ervin J. Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio and beat the Wright State Raiders 82-78 on Saturday night. The Rockets emerged victorious on Jaelan Sanford’s career-high 23 points.
Even with Mark Alstork’s 39 points, Wright State could never really find a rhythm. The Raiders were down early and were playing catch up for the rest of the game. At times the game was very close but Wright State could not come away with the victory.
The Rockets were up early, but Wright State had a 12-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 35-30 lead with 3:45 left in the first half. Toledo had the last laugh in the first half, going on a 6-0 run to take a 39-38 lead going into the break. Rockets shot a solid 54.5% from the field in the first half.
With 3:15 left in the game Toledo was down 74-72. The Rockets went on a 5-0 run with 35 seconds left to take a 79-76 lead. The Rockets were in cruise control from there finishing the win by a score of 82-78. The Rockets handed the Raiders their first loss of the season on Saturday night.
The usual suspects were in control for the Rockets on Saturday. Steve Taylor, Jonathan Williams and Jaelen Sanford combined for 59 of Toledo’s 82 points. Jonathan Williams is leading the team in scoring this season averaging 21.7 points per game. This has been a trend for the Rockets so far this season. Taylor and Williams have been an offensive powerhouse, while the bench has not been much of a factor.
Meanwhile, it has been a one man show for the Wright State Raiders this season. Mark Alstork tried his very best to provide the Raiders with a victory by posting an individual performance to remember against the Rockets. Along with his 39 points, Alstork had six rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block. Alstork is averaging an impressive 32.7 points per game this season. The Raiders will look for a boost from Steven Davis, Justin Mitchell and other players to compliment Alstork’s outstanding scoring ability.
The Rockets have surprised a lot of doubters so far this season, beating Wright State and Youngstown State in their last two games. While the Raiders were not supposed to lose this game, they are still looking good to start the season.
Toledo’s next matchup will be against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on Tuesday, while Wright State will take on CSU Bakersfield on Friday in their next game.