Backcourt Leads FGCU to Win at Kennesaw State on Opening Night of A-Sun Action
|Florida Gulf Coast||35||33||68|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||KSU|
|FG Percentage||.465 (20-43)||.380 (19-50)|
|3P FG Percentage||.368 (7-19)||.250 (5-20)|
|FT Percentage||.778 (21-27)||.667 (16-24)|
BROWN - 1
CUMMINGS - 1
PRUITT - 1
LOVE - 1
OSEMHEN - 1
KENNESAW, Ga. – Behind all three starting guards in double figures and a 12-2 run late in the second half, the FGCU men’s basketball team opened Atlantic Sun Conference action with a 68-59 road win at Kennesaw State Monday evening at the newly-renovated KSU Convocation Center.
Senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) led the way with 19 points, while sophomores Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) and Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) chipped in with 13 and 11 points, respectively, to give the Eagles’ starting backcourt a combined 43 points.
Coming off a program Division I record eight non-conference wins, FGCU (9-5) improved to 4-2 in A-Sun openers as it enters its sixth season in the league. The Owls fell to 1-12 with the loss. The Eagles have now taken three straight in the series.
Trailing 48-46 with 8:31 to play, the Green and Blue used a steal by Thompson that led to a dunk by Brown to ignite a game-changing 12-2 run that absorbed the next 3:51 and resulted in a 58-50 lead for the visitors. Following Brown’s dunk, Thompson buried the go-ahead three-pointer from the left wing that put the Eagles in the lead for good.
Kennesaw State closed to within five, 58-53, with just over three minutes to play, but FGCU was able to finish off its second win of the year when trailing at the half by knocking down 8-of-10 at the free throw line down the stretch.
“We settled down and showed some maturity in the second half by getting some stops on the defensive end,” said head coach Andy Enfield. “Kennesaw played a great game. They were very aggressive and put us on our heels at the half. I’m proud of our guys for the way they played the final 10 minutes. Every road conference win is a very good win.”
FGCU improved to 5-1 when Brown leads the team in scoring, as the A-Sun Preseason All-Conference selection scored 19 points on an efficient 7-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three, while adding five rebounds. Thompson’s 13 points were complimented by a team-high seven rebounds and four steals, as he entered the game third in the nation in total steals with 40.
The A-Sun leader in assists, Comer accounted for half of the team’s 10 helpers and helped the Eagles equal a season-low with 12 turnovers. For the game, FGCU shot 47 percent (20-43) from the field, including 50 percent (9-18) in the second half, while the Owls made just 7-of-22 in the final 20 minutes in which the Eagles out-scored KSU, 33-23. Led by their 8-of-10 performance in the final three minutes, the Green and Blue made 21-of-27 free throw attempts.
Kennesaw State was led by sophomore Delbert Love’s 16 points, while senior Aaron Anderson contributed his fourth double-double of the year with 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Owls’ leading scorer Markeith Cummings was limited to 11 points on 2-of-8 from the field, over six points below his average.
Sophomore Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid) contributed nine points off the bench for FGCU, making three trifectas (3-7) for the second straight game and third time this season. Freshman point guard DaJuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy) had six points in seven minutes.
FGCU will finish off its two-game road swing to begin A-Sun play on Wednesday night at conference preseason favorite Mercer (8-6), who defeated Stetson, 70-64, earlier in the day. Gametime at Hawkins Arena is slated for 7:30 p.m., while the game can be seen for free on A-Sun TV.
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