FGCU Comes Up Short at North Florida, 68-62
|Florida Gulf Coast||34||28||62|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||UNF|
|FG Percentage||.431 (25-58)||.500 (24-48)|
|3P FG Percentage||.263 (5-19)||.579 (11-19)|
|FT Percentage||.700 (7-10)||.391 (9-23)|
BROWN - 7
DIAZ - 3
THOMPSON - 2
VARIDEL - 2
MURRAY - 2
WILSON - 2
WILLIAMS - 2
JEUNE - 1
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Despite 23 points from junior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS), the FGCU men’s basketball team couldn’t overcome 11 North Florida three-pointers in a 68-62 Atlantic Sun loss Monday night at UNF Arena.
The Eagles now sit in a tie for fourth place in the A-Sun with UNF at 7-6 in league play. FGCU’s overall mark now stands at 12-12 heading into a three-game A-Sun homestand, while UNF’s record is also even at 13-13.
Brown’s team-best third 20-point game of the season featured 15 of his game-high 23 points in the second half. One of three players in the A-Sun in the top 11 in scoring and rebounding, Brown added a game-high seven rebounds to his 10-of-19 night from the field in 29 minutes of work.
Nearly half (33) of the Ospreys’ 68 points came from beyond the arc on 11-of-19 shooting, while the Eagles came away with 15 points from deep on an uncharacteristic 5-of-19 clip.
UNF’s junior tandem of Parker Smith and Jerron Granberry accounted for 10 of the team’s 11 three-pointers and 37 points, just two nights after combining for 46 points in a win over Stetson. Smith equaled Brown’s game-high 23 points by making 6-of-11 from three, while 12 of Granberry’s 14 points came from beyond the arc.
Trailing 15-8 at the 12:58 mark of the first half, FGCU embarked on a 17-0 run that saw the Eagles take full advantage of five UNF turnovers. Over the 3:12 run that ended on an old-fashioned three-point play by freshman Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS), FGCU had 12 points off of UNF turnovers, scored on all seven possessions and went 7-of-9 from the field. Brown was the catalyst, scoring all eight of his first half eight points, including the first five.
The Ospreys bounced right back, though, scoring the game’s next 11 points behind three straight three-pointers from Smith that gave the lead back to the home team, at 26-25. Smith’s threes came over a 1:21 span.
FGCU grabbed the lead back for one possession before back-to-back threes from Granberry made it five straight triples for UNF. The Ospreys used the momentum from the streak of three-pointers to take a 37-34 lead into the half.
The lead changed hands five times in the opening seven and a half minutes of the final frame before Andy Diaz’s jumper sparked an 8-2 run for the home team that made it 57-51 with 8:39 left in the game.
Sophomore Christophe Varidel’s (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) three-pointer with 6:47 on the clock made it a 59-56 game, a score that would stand over the next four minutes as the two teams combined to go the next six possessions without a point.
Trailing by three, 63-60, with under a minute to play, FGCU began fouling to send UNF to the free throw line. The plane worked, as the Ospreys made just 3-for-8 from the free throw line over their next five times with the ball, but the Eagles couldn’t convert on the offensive end en route to their seventh straight loss to the Ospreys.
Sophomore Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) and Comer had 10 points each to round out the double figure scorers for FGCU. Comer added seven rebounds and four assists over his 33-minute night, while Fieler had five caroms and two blocks.
UNF finished with a 50 percent (24-48) shooting night from the field compared to 43 percent (25-58) from the Eagles.
FGCU will return to the friendly confines of Alico Arena on Saturday, Feb. 11 when it hosts first place Belmont on Homecoming Weekend. The Eagles and Bruins will take the court at 5:15 p.m. and will be the first part of a doubleheader with the women’s program. >
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