Rockets lift off, blow out FGCU in Gulf Coast Showcase opener

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Toledo seemingly couldn’t miss from three-point range, as the Rockets buried the FGCU men’s basketball with a barrage of triples in the Gulf Coast Showcase on Monday at Hertz Arena, 90-62.

The Rockets shot 51 percent from the floor, including 12-of-21 from three. Toledo got several open looks throughout the game and hit them repeatedly. A 25-22 Toledo lead turned into 42-25 at the half thanks to a 17-3 run over the final 6:58 started by back-to-back threes from Marreon Jackson and Spencer Littleson.

“I don’t think there’s any excuses. I think sometimes we forget it’s not easy to win,” FGCU coach Michael Fly said. “Thank God we play tomorrow so we can get that taste out of our mouths, cause if we had to wait another week or so it wouldn’t be a fun week.”

While the Rockets were taking off, the Eagles(2-3) looked nothing like the squad that beat South Dakota State at home on Friday. FGCU shot 33 percent from the field in the first half, including a stretch of 1-for-12 to end the half.

It got no better for FGCU in the second half, as Toledo continued to pull away over the second half, with the lead approaching 30 multiple times throughout. Five Rockets scored in double figures, led by Jaelen Sanford with 18 points including three three-pointers.

Haanif Cheatham led the Eagles with 15 points, which shot 53 percent from the floor in the second half, but in too much of an early hole to come back.

“It’s going to be hard to sleep tonight,” Cheatham said. “We can’t hang our head we’ve got to come out ready.”

The Eagles don’t have long to dwell on the loss, as they will play Colorado State at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the consolation bracket. Colorado State lost 91-73 to Louisiana in their Monday game.

“It gives us a chance to redeem and bounce back as soon as possible,” guard Christian Carlyle said.


Colorado State(Hertz Arena, Tuesday)
Gulf Coast Showcase(Hertz Arena, Wednesday)
at FAU, Sunday
vs. FIU, Nov. 28
vs. Colgate, Dec. 2

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