Looking To Continue Home Dominance, @FGCU_MBB Set To Host ETSU Saturday Night
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.294 (20-68)||.518 (29-56)|
|3P FG Percentage||.300 (9-30)||.400 (8-20)|
|FT Percentage||.591 (13-22)||.750 (24-32)|
HARRIS - 3
JONES - 2
ETSU (9-9, 2-3 A-Sun)
DUNK CITY, Fla. – Winners of 22 of its past 24 home games, the FGCU men’s basketball team (11-8, 5-1 Atlantic Sun Conference) returns to Alico Arena Saturday night at 7:30 to battle ETSU (9-9, 2-3 A-Sun) looking remain at the top of the league standings.
WHAT TO KNOW
PRESENTING GAME SPONSOR: Naples Fort Myers Greyhound Track
FOOD DONATION: Boxes will be available in the lobby as donations to the on-campus Harry Chapin Food Bank continue to be accepted.
SETTING THE STAGE
FGCU erased a 10-point second-half deficit and earned a 63-60 win over USC Upstate on Thursday night. The victory kept FGCU tied atop the league ledger with Mercer as the top-two teams in the preseason polls continue to match one another. ETSU is coming off a 64-58 loss at Stetson Thursday in which the Hatters outscored the Buccaneers in the second half by nine points.
A sellout, standing-room-only crowd is expected yet again, and students especially are encouraged to arrive early in order to ensure their seats. FGCU by far leads the A-Sun in home attendance at more than 4,000 per game – 1,600 more on average than any other team – and Thursday’s contest marked the second-largest crowd in program history with 4,580 in attendance.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 as opposed to WINK TV as previously scheduled, and fans can access the production by following the link at the top of this release or logging on to WatchESPN.com. Tom James will handle the play-by-play duties with J. Webb Horton serving as the analyst.
Live in-game and behind-the-scenes updates will be available through Twitter @FGCU_MBB, and live stats can be accessed by following the link at the top of the release or by logging on to the men’s basketball schedule page on FGCUAthletics.com.
With three rebounds, Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) will become FGCU’s all-time leading rebounder, surpassing the current record of 589 held by Sherwood Brown. Fieler enters action with 587 career boards, one of only three FGCU players with at least 400 rebounds.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• Brett Comer suffered a broken nose in the closing seconds versus Upstate but is expected to play Saturday.
• Comer did not issue an assist against the Spartans Thursday, marking the first time in his career (88 games) he has not had an assist.
• Bernard Thompson recorded a season-high four steals against USC Upstate and now has seven in the past two games after only 11 in his first 15 contests.
• Thursday marked the third time this year that FGCU has erased a double-digit deficit to come back and win.
• Eric McKnight grabbed five offensive rebounds opposite USC Upstate, tied for the most by any FGCU player in a game this year.
In the first 11 games of the year, Dajuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy) had 17 assists and 11 turnovers. While certainly a respectable ratio, the sophomore has been on a completely different level the last eight games, particularly in A-Sun action. Over that eight-game stretch he has issued 25 assists and turned the ball over five times. In league play, he’s passed out 21 assists against only two turnovers for a 10.5 ratio. The next best performance by a player in conference action is 2.5.
FGCU is 5-1 in A-Sun play for the first time in program history. The next-best start through six games was last year’s 4-2 mark.
ETSU leads the all-time series with FGCU, 8-3. The Eagles are 3-3 against the Buccaneers at Alico Arena and 0-5 on the road in Johnson City, Tenn. Last year, FGCU dropped an 85-75 decision on the road before responding with a 67-43 victory at home a few weeks later. The 43 points were the fewest FGCU allowed all of last year, with a program-record 13 blocks aiding greatly in that defensive effort.
• ETSU has four players averaging double digits: Rashawn Rembert (15.1), A.J Merriweather (11.3), Jalen Riley (11.3) and Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (11.1).
• Rembert is ranked 52nd in the nation in 3-point field goal attempts with 114, 28th in the country in total 3-point field goals made (48) and 26th in 3-point percentage (43.9).
• ETSU was picked to finish 6th in the A-Sun Preseason Coaches Poll and 5th in the A-Sun Preseason Media Poll.
• The Bucs check in inside the top-60 nationally in free throw attempts (451, 56th), free throws made (319, 46th), turnover margin (+2.3, 58th) and total steals (140, 32nd).
• ETSU was the last team to defeat Stephen F. Austin on Nov. 23, 66-58; since then SFA has won 13 straight games and now owns a 16-2 record.
• Bucs head coach Murray Bartow (UAB ‘85) is in his 11th season at ETSU and has a record of 197-143 during his tenure.
• ETSU has nine NCAA Tournament appearances in program history.
• The Bucs have had an all-conference selection in each of the last 13 seasons.
• ETSU won the A-Sun Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
FGCU scored just 16 points in the paint against USC Upstate on Thursday, representing the first time the Eagles have scored fewer than 20 points in the key and won a game since the 2011-12 season. The Green and Blue tallied only 14 points opposite Mercer in the A-Sun semifinals on March 2, 2012, but still earned a 62-58 win to advance to their first conference championship game in their first season eligible.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
66.1: FGCU leads the A-Sun in scoring defense, surrendering only 66.1 points per game.
10.2: The difference in FGCU’s rebound margin in its 11 wins (+5.5) and eight losses (-4.7).
6: The ranking difference between FGCU’s overall free-throw shooting percentage on the year and in A-Sun play. The Eagles rank last (10th) on the season at 65.5 percent, but are 4th in conference action at 70.9 percent from the charity stripe.
2.5: How many more offensive rebounds, on average, FGCU grabs in A-Sun play than on the overall season. FGCU leads the A-Sun with 12 offensive rebounds per game in league action, but ranks last on the year with 9.5 offensive caroms per outing.
FGCU heads to Georgia for a pair of games next week. First up is a marquee matchup with Mercer in Macon on Thursday night, Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. The Eagles will then have a quick turnaround as they play Kennesaw State on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Noon.
All 2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. 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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