Rockets Drop Opener to No. 19 Florida 80-58

The Toledo Rockets dropped their season-opener to the No. 19-ranked Florida Gators on Friday night in Gainesville, Fl. Senior Jonathan Amos led all UT scorers with 22 points. Tyrone Kent and Justin Anyijong finished with 13 and 11 points each. The Rockets trailed by just 12 at the half before the Gators depth wore the rockets down.

GAINESVILLE, Fl. -- The Toledo Rocket basketball team opened play in the 2008-09 season with a hard-fought 80-58 road loss to No. 19 Florida on Friday night at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center in Gainesville. Toledo trailed by just a bucket with just 4:30 minutes left in the first half.

Jonathan Amos led all UT scorers with 22 points. The senior guard also finished with six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Tyrone Kent finished with 13 points and four rebounds in 27 minutes of action.

The Toledo Rockets actually built a 10-7 lead over the home Gators over the first five minutes of action. Amos and Kent combined for the Rockets first seven points of the game, a two-point conversion for each before Amos hit the Rockets first three-ball of the season. Larry Bastfield then scorer his first career points with a two-point jumper before Kent made it 10-7 Rockets with 14:53 to go in the first half.

Florida, though, took control over the following three minutes, and they never looked back. Alex Tyus and Chandler Parsons, the only Gator starter not to finish in double-figures, to make it 14-10 Gators. The run continued as the Gators built a 19-12 lead, the only Rocket points from Justin Anyijong. Anyijong drained a pair of free throws to end the run, and an Amos layup plus a pair at the charity stripe drew the Rockets to within 21-18 with seven minutes left in the half.

The Gators, though, finished the half on a 17-9 run to close the opening stanza with a 39-27 lead. At one point the Rockets had the deficit at two points at 26-24 before a late rally provided the Gators with the comfortable halftime lead.

The Gators cruised through the second half with the lead stretching to to 23 points with just less than 15 minutes left on the clock. A brief run brought the Rockets back within 15, but that was as close as they would get.

Toledo returns to action on Monday night, this time looking to even its record with a road game at Xavier University.

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