Fieler’s Career-High Not Enough as FGCU Falls Short at Iowa State
|Florida Gulf Coast||37||35||72|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||ISU|
|FG Percentage||.466 (27-58)||.493 (34-69)|
|3P FG Percentage||.375 (9-24)||.520 (13-25)|
|FT Percentage||.900 (9-10)||.400 (2-5)|
THOMPSON - 3
GRAF - 3
Booker - 1
Gibson - 1
AMES, Iowa – Despite a career-high 18 points from junior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS), the FGCU men’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a 13-of-25 night from beyond the arc by Iowa State as it fell to the Cyclones, 83-72, on Tuesday night in front of 12,692 fans at Clinton Coliseum.
Playing their 10th game in the opening 26 days of the season, the Eagles, who rank in the top 42 in the RPI by six media outlets, fall to 6-4 with the loss. Iowa State picked up its 13th straight win at Hilton Coliseum and sixth this season, improving to 6-2.
The Green and Blue led for over half of the opening 20 minutes, but trailed 41-37 at the break and couldn’t overcome a 14-2 run that started just over four minutes into the second half.
FGCU came into the game 14th in the nation in three-point field goal defense (.247), but fell victim to Iowa State’s fourth double figure outing from downtown, as the 13 makes were a season-high for the Cyclones and the same amount the Eagles had given up in their four previous games combined.
Fieler’s 8-of-14 night highlighted a solid 47 percent (27-58) performance from the field for the Eagles, as the 6-foot-8 West Virginia’s sixth double-digit outing of the year featured a pair of three-pointers (2-4) and a trio of dunks to bring his team-leading total to 19 on the year. Fieler scored 15 of the team’s 35 points in the second half.
Joining Fieler in double figures was sophomore Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) with a season-best 15 points, sophomore Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) with 14 points and senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) chipped in with 12 points. Comer knocked down 3-of-4 from long range and added eight assists and three steals. Thompson entered the game with the most total steals in the nation (29) and added three more to that total.
Iowa State, who entered 14th nationally in scoring, also had four players in double figures with former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious leading the way with 17 points and nine assists. Big 12 leading rebounder Melvin Ejim registered a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Tyrus McGee provided a huge spark off the bench with 16 points. Coming off a 32-point night against BYU, senior Will Clyburn – the reigning Big 12 Rookie of the Week – was limited to single-digits for the second time this season and forced into a game-high six turnovers.
The lead changed hands six times in the opening 12 minutes before FGCU broke the third tie of the game, 22-22, with a quick 7-0 run that took just three possessions. An alley-oop from Comer to senior Eddie Murray (North Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) opened the run, while Thompson provided the Green and Blue’s fifth three-point of the half to give the Eagles their largest lead of the half, 29-22, with 6:51 left.
ISU responded right back, though, rattling off nine consecutive points that provided that final lead change of the opening 20 minutes, but then extending the run to 15-1 to take its biggest lead of the half (7), 37-30, at the 2:30 mark.
FGCU closed the deficit to 41-37 at the half despite the 15-1 run and the Cyclones’ 18-7 advantage off turnovers. The Eagles out-rebounded Iowa State, 20-19, in the first half, as the Cyclones entered the contest sixth in the nation in rebound margin (+12.4).
The four-point halftime deficit held up until the 16:10 mark of the second half before Iowa State embarked on a game-changing 14-2 run that featured three trifectas that pushed the home team’s lead to 62-46 with taking just 3:22 off the clock.
FGCU cut the deficit in half behind 12-4 run that included seven points by Fieler capped by his three-pointer from the top of the key that made it 66-58 with 10:14 to play and forced ISU head coach Fred Hoiberg to call timeout.
Iowa State came out of the timeout with eight straight points to put the game away and add to the program’s fifth-longest home win streak.
Making his return to the place where he played his freshman season in 2010-11, redshirt sophomore Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy/Iowa State) grabbed a team-high six rebounds in a foul-plagued 24 minutes. Freshman point guard Dajuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy) joined Thompson and Comer with three steals, as FGCU added 12 steals to its 9.4 season average, which leads the A-Sun.
Iowa State’s 52 percent shooting from three-point land was higher than its solid 49 percent clip (34-69) from the field.
FGCU will enjoy a much-need eight-day stretch without a game before it returns to Alico Arena where it is 5-0 to host in-state foe FIU on Thursday, Dec. 13. Gametime is slated for 7:05 p.m.
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