@FGCU_MBB Returns To The Nest To Face Eckerd Monday Night
|Stats at a Glance||ECM||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.291 (16-55)||.565 (26-46)|
|3P FG Percentage||.400 (8-20)||.467 (7-15)|
|FT Percentage||.625 (15-24)||.481 (13-27)|
BLAKE - 1
DUNK CITY, Fla. – Following a furious late-game comeback which was capped with a pair of Brett Comer free throws with five seconds to play, the FGCU men’s basketball team (2-1) looks for its third win in a row Monday as it commences a mini two-game homestand against Eckerd College (1-2) at 7 p.m.
The game will be the first of two non-Division I opponents the Eagles will host this week, concluding with Ave Maria on Saturday night. After dropping its season opener at Nebraska, FGCU has responded with two straight wins, most recently a 70-69 triumph at Furman Friday night.
FGCU led by one, 68-67, with less than a minute remaining, but Furman took the lead with 41 seconds left. On the Eagles’ ensuing possession, they drained the clock trying to get a good look before Comer was fouled after driving the lane and attempting a shot. The career 66 percent free-throw shooter concluded a stellar night by hitting both, and the Paladins final heave from 40 feet fell off the front of the rim.
INSIDE THE RUN
FGCU trailed by nine, 61-52, with less than 6 minutes remaining. Here’s a closer look inside FGCU’s 16-6 game-winning run over the final 6 minutes of action:
*FGCU shot 5-of-9 from the field (55.5 percent) compared with 21-of-57 (36.8 percent) for the rest of the game.
*Furman shot 2-of-8 (25 percent) compared with 23-of-46 (50 percent) for the other 34 minutes.
*10 of the Eagles’ 16 points came in the paint on layups, while Furman only had two points in the paint.
*The Paladins turned the ball over three times, leading directly to nearly a third of FGCU’s 16 points (five), while the Eagles did not give The Rock away at all.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
With just eight turnovers versus Hartford on Tuesday morning and only eight more at Furman on Friday night, FGCU became the first team in program history (dating back to 2002-03) to post back-to-back single-digit turnover games. The Eagles committed 16 giveaways at Nebraska in their season opener, leading directly to 22 Cornhusker points. In the past two games combined, FGCU has only surrendered 16 points off turnovers.
ATTACKING THE GLASS
FGCU corralled 19 offensive rebounds in its win at Furman, tied for the second-most in the D-I era in a non-conference game. The record of 22 was actually set in the Eagles’ first D-I game at Bethune-Cookman on Nov. 12, 2007. The 19 offensive caroms versus the Paladins led to 12 second-chance points, double the six FGCU had combined to total in its first two games of the campaign.
*This is just the second meeting between the two schools; Eckerd edged then Div. II-affiliated FGCU in the 2005 NCAA Championship South Regional (First Round), 81-79.
*FGCU Director of Operations Joey Cantens is an Eckerd alum; he was a three-year letterwinner in the program and received his degree in 2009.
*Nine letterwinners and three starters return to an Eckerd team which finished 20-8 overall and 11-5 in the Sunshine State Conference.
*The Tritons played in the First Round of the NCAA Championship South Regional in 2012-13, the program’s 11th appearance.
*Former 2011-12 Sunshine State Conference Player of the Year and All-American Lance Kearse attended Fort Myers H.S. before starting his collegiate career at VCU and transferring to Eckerd.
*Eckerd was picked to finish fifth in the Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll.
*Sophomore Jerrick Stevenson was the SSC Freshman of the Year in 2012-13.
*Head coach Tom Ryan is in his 18th year at the helm of the Tritons and he collected his 328th career win in EC’s home opener Saturday night against American International College.
PLAYER QUICK HITTERS
Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS)
Posted a team-high 21 points, including the game-winning free throws with 5.2 seconds left, at Furman … tied a career-high by going 8-9 from the free-throw line, and for just the fifth time in 72 career games he did not lead the Eagles in assists.
Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS)
Finished one rebound shy of his third career double-double as he posted 10 points and nine rebounds at Furman despite playing just five minutes in the first half because of foul trouble.
Marcus Blake (Miami, Fla./American Heritage HS)
Scored his first basket since January 2012 with a putback against Furman … also played a career-high-tying seven minutes for the third straight game to start the year.
Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS)
Recorded his first two steals of the year, attempted a career-high 21 field goals and issued a career-best six assists in a win at Furman on Nov. 15.
Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy)
Played a career-high 39 minutes at Furman (Nov. 12) and grabbed at least seven rebounds for the third straight game to start his career in the Green and Blue after transferring from Marquette.
After not having a dunk in its season opener at Nebraska, FGCU has thrown down five in the past two games, including four in the second half against Hartford this past Tuesday. Fieler leads the dunkers with four on the year while Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS) has the other.
The dunks have also increased FGCU’s point total in the paint as after recording just 16 in its opener at Nebraska, the Eagles have tallied 38 and 40, respectively, against Hartford and Furman. Last year FGCU averaged 34 points in the paint each game.
FGCU lands back at The Nest on Saturday, Nov. 23, as it will face Ave Maria at 7 p.m.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.
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