FGCU Falls Short at Maryland, 73-67
Friday, November 25, 2011 | by Patrick Pierson (@pierson_sid)
Comer scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half (Photo by Greg Fiume).
Comer scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half (Photo by Greg Fiume).
Florida Gulf Coast ((2-4))
Maryland ((3-2))
11/25/2011 | College Park, Md. (Comcast Center) | Attendance: 12080
Florida Gulf Coast274067
Stats at a GlanceFGCUMD
FG Percentage.413 (26-63) .442 (23-52)
3P FG Percentage.105 (2-19) .308 (4-13)
FT Percentage.565 (13-23) .590 (23-39)
Offensive Rebounds1712
Defensive Rebounds2525
Total Rebounds4237
Bench Points2917
Statistical LeadersFGCUMD
PointsCOMER - 16
Terrell Stoglin - 24
ReboundsFIELER - 8
Sean Mosley - 7
AssistsTHOMPSON - 3
Nick Faust - 4
StealsTHOMPSON - 3
Nick Faust - 3
BlocksMURRAY - 2
Nick Faust - 2
Berend Weijs - 2

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Three players in double figures and a late push over the final 10 minutes helped the FGCU men’s basketball team rally from a double-digit deficit in the second half before falling short at Maryland, 73-67, on Friday night at the Comcast Center.

Trailing by 16, 52-36, with 13:03 left in the game, the Eagles fought back behind freshman point guard Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS), who scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half. Comer’s layup with 48 seconds left cut it to a two-possession contest, at 70-66.

After a pair of missed free throws from Terrell Stoglin gave the ball back to the Eagles, but a turnover in transition cost the visitors a chance to draw as close as one point. Despite being a 92 percent (23-25) shooter through the first four games, Stoglin, an ACC All-Freshman selection a year ago, made 2-of-4 from the line in the final 26 seconds, but FGCU came away with just one point over its final possessions.

“I’m really proud of the way we battled back, but we have to learn how to not put ourselves in that position,” said first-year head coach Andy Enfield. “Our effort tonight, like every game this season, was tremendous. We’ve got to take better care of the ball, especially in key sequences down the stretch.”

All four of FGCU’s losses have come by 10 points or less, as the Eagles stand at 2-4 on the season. Maryland extended its non-conference home win streak to 13 games and is now 3-2.

Comer finished 7-of-12 from the field while adding six rebounds and three assists over a team-high 32 minutes. Fellow freshman Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) came off the bench for 12 points, marking the fifth time in six games the bench has supplied a double figure scorer. Thompson added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.

For the sixth straight game, FGCU won the battle on the boards, finishing with a 42-37 edge, including 17 offensive caroms. The team’s four double figure offensive rebound effort of the season combined with the ability to get into the lane helped the Green and Blue hold a 42-26 edge in points in the paint.

The Eagles needed the big effort on the offensive glass to overcome a 2-of-19 from long range and 13-of-23 effort from the foul line. Despite its troubles from the perimeter, FGCU shot 41 percent (26-63) from the floor, while the Terps shot 44 percent (23-52).

Stoglin entered as the ACC’s fourth-leading scorer and finished with a game-high 24 points. Stoglin recorded half of his points at the free throw line where he was 12-of-21.

FGCU opened a 9-2 lead over the opening five minutes, picking up where it left off on the defensive end three nights ago against Miami when they held the Hurricanes to just 18 second half points. The Terps started 1-of-8 form the floor, while sophomore Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Prep) jumped started the strong start with a three-pointer from the top of the key.

Maryland quick found its rhythm on the offensive end, tying the score with seven straight points and eventually taking the lead after a 17-4 run that spanned six minutes and 48 seconds. The final result of the Terrapins’ first big run of the second half was a 19-13 lead with 7:48 on the clock.

After a jumper by freshman and Baltimore native Dante Holmes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances HS/Oldsmar Christian) made it 20-17 with 7:02 left, Maryland broke the game open and took its largest lead of the first half (10) by scoring the next seven points for a 27-17 score.

A steal and breakaway dunk by Thompson and a layup by junior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) made it 29-25 with 1:42 left before five straight points by the Terps down the stretch gave the home team a 34-27 lead at half.

Maryland was able to build its 16-point lead seven minutes into the second half by starting the final frame on an 18-9 run that featured seven straight points that took the lead from six to 13.

Holmes finished with eight points, while sophomore Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W.Va./Parkersburg South HS) corralled a team-high eight rebounds.

FGCU will conclude its string of four straight road games and hectic opening month of the season on Sunday when it stays in the area to face Loyola-Maryland on Sunday. Gametime is slated for noon.