@FGCU_MBB Hosts Kennesaw State On Senior Day Looking To Remain In 1st Place
|Stats at a Glance||KSU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.482 (27-56)||.406 (26-64)|
|3P FG Percentage||.522 (12-23)||.368 (7-19)|
|FT Percentage||.333 (2-6)||.613 (19-31)|
KOUASSI - 1
Kennesaw State (6-22, 3-12 A-Sun)
DUNK CITY, Fla. – Coming off an impressive 75-61 win over Mercer to move into a first-place tie with the Bears in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the FGCU men’s basketball team (18-10, 12-3 A-Sun) hosts Kennesaw State (6-22, 3-12 A-Sun) for Senior Day on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in front of a near sold-out Alico Arena.
WHAT TO KNOW
• FGCU’s lone senior, Chase Fieler, will be honored prior to tipoff as he plays his final regular-season home game.
• Fans are encouraged to wear blue to create a ‘Blueout’ atmosphere in Alico Arena.
• There are an extremely limited amount of seats remaining (roughly 70), not including standing-room-only tickets. The ticket office will be open beginning at Noon Sunday, and fans with any further questions may contact the Alico Arena Ticket Office at 239-590-7145.
• O’Brien Hyundai is the presenting game sponsor.
• Part 1 of the Best of the Nest Shootout finals will take place at halftime.
• Boxes will be available in the lobby as donations to the on-campus Harry Chapin Food Bank continue to be accepted.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, and fans can access the production free of charge by following the link at the top of this release or logging on to WatchESPN.com. David Moulton will handle the play-by-play duties with J. Webb Horton serving as the analyst.
ESPN Radio 99.3 FM will also carry the game locally with Mark Miller on the call. Fans outside the area can access the broadcast online by clicking the link at the top of the release or by utilizing the iRadioNow mobile app. Live in-game and behind-the-scenes updates will be available through Twitter (@FGCU_MBB) and Instagram (@FGCU_MBB), and live stats can be accessed by following the link at the top of the release.
SETTING THE STAGE
FGCU and Mercer are tied for first place with three regular-season games remaining. If both teams win out, the first tiebreaker will be record against the third-place team, which will be either USC Upstate or ETSU. Both teams are currently tied for third at 10-7 and will face each other on Upstate’s home court next Friday night. If FGCU and Mercer both win their final three games and Upstate defeats ETSU, the Eagles will clinch the No. 1 seed and have home-court advantage throughout the A-Sun Tournament. If the same scenario plays out but ETSU defeats Upstate, Mercer will earn the No. 1 seed.
WHAT WE DO KNOW
FGCU can only finish first or second in the league standings. The Eagles have guaranteed themselves the right to host a quarterfinal tournament game on Tuesday, Mar. 4, at 7 p.m. With a win, FGCU would also host a semifinal matchup on Thursday, Mar. 6, at either 6:30 or 8:30 p.m.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• FGCU, which leads the A-Sun in defense (66.5/game), held Mercer to a season-low-tying 61 Friday, 20 of which came in the final four minutes.
• Jamail Jones recorded his first career double-double against Mercer with 11 points and a career-high 13 rebounds.
• Bernard Thompson scored just seven points Friday, but in the process became only the second player in program history to tally 1,300 career points.
• Brett Comer needs only 35 points to reach 1,000 for his career; he would become FGCU’s third player this year to reach the milestone.
• An Alico Arena record crowd of 4,664 witnessed the Mercer game, the ninth sellout and fourth standing-room-only sellout of the season.
Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) helped lead FGCU to its first A-Sun Championship last year and a trip to the Sweet Sixteen. Along the way, his polarizing dunks – including the iconic alley-oop from Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) in the win over Georgetown – secured the Dunk City moniker. Over the course of his career, Fieler has transcended the FGCU program as he won 10 games as a freshman, 15 as a sophomore and is now on the verge of back-to-back 20-win seasons.
Fieler ranks in the program’s top 5 all-time in 10 different statistical categories. He will graduate as FGCU’s all-time leader in rebounding (656), blocked shots (127), games played (127) and games started (110). Additionally, he currently ranks 4th in points (1,204), 4th in field goals made (448), 4th in free throws made (208) and 5th in steals (198).
Earlier this year the 6-8 forward became the first player in FGCU history to score 1,000 career points and grab 600 career rebounds. Furthermore, he also became the first player in the Division-I era of the program to score 30 points in a game when he tallied exactly that amount in the 7 a.m. game on ESPN2 against Hartford.
Boasting eight career double-doubles, only two other active players in the A-Sun have more, and his 11 career double-figure rebounding games – eight of which have come this year – also rank 3rd among all active A-Sun players.
LOOKING TO GET OVER .500
FGCU is currently 59-59 all-time in the A-Sun, and with a win will get its all-time conference record above .500 for the first time since the program’s first D-I season in 2007-08. The last time the Eagles had an all-time A-Sun record above .500 was when they were 4-3 following an 87-80 road win at then-member Gardner-Webb on Jan. 26, 2008.
SCOUTING KENNESAW STATE
• FGCU won the first meeting this year against Kennesaw State, claiming an 83-62 win in Georgia last month to bounce back from a loss at Mercer two days earlier.
• Kennesaw State is coming off 67-63 win at Stetson Friday night.
• The win against the Hatters was the second in three contests for the Owls, who had lost eight in a row prior to that.
• Delbert Love leads KSU at 11.7 points per game, while Orlando Coleman is the lone other double-figure scorer at 10 per outing. Coleman also averages 6 rebounds per game to pace the Owls.
• Kennesaw corralled 15 offensive rebounds in the first meeting between the two teams, tied for the second most FGCU has allowed in any A-Sun game this year.
• Only two teams in the nation have turned the ball over more times this year than Kennesaw State, which commits a league-high 16 giveaways per game.
• The Owls look to make up for their turnover problems as they rank in the top 75 nationally with 172 steals, coming out to an average of nearly seven per contest.
Kennesaw State is 0-11 when shooting less than 40 percent from the field. In A-Sun play, FGCU is only allowing its opponents to connect at a 38.9-percent clip from the floor, the best in the league.
• FGCU held a 26-23 halftime lead over Mercer and is now 13-0 on the year when leading at the half.
• The Eagles out-rebounded Mercer, the A-Sun’s leader in rebounding differential, by a season-best 19 boards, 48-29.
• FGCU scored 49 points in the second half against the Bears compared with the 26 it tallied in the first half; the +23 scoring difference is the largest in any game this year.
• Additionally, the 23.4 field-goal percentage increase from the first half (35.7 percent, 10-28) to the second half (59.1 percent, 13-22) is the best this season.
CLOSING IN ON HISTORY
Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) needs just one steal to tie and two steals to break FGCU’s all-time steals record of 194 held by Bryan Crislip. Additionally, the junior needs only five field goals to tie and six to break the program’s all-time field goals made mark of 462 held by Ryan Hopkins.
Dating back to last year, FGCU has won 18 of its past 19 home games, and boasts a 27-2 record at Alico Arena since the start of the 2012-13 campaign: (Losses: Lipscomb, Iona). Last year, 10 of FGCU’s 11 losses came away from Alico Arena, and so far this season only one of the Eagles’ losses have occurred inside the friendly confines of The Nest where they are 12-1.
FGCU is better in every key statistical category at home than on the road with the exception of free-throw shooting. The Eagles are connecting at a 67.8-percent clip (158-233) in their 13 road games (5-8) and 64.2 percent (174-271) at home. FGCU’s lone home loss came at the hands of hot-shooting Iona at the end of Thanksgiving break. The Gaels are 18-8 on the year and in first place in the MAAC at 15-2.
FGCU hits the road for its final two regular-season games next week at Lipscomb (13-14, 8-8 A-Sun) on Feb. 27 and at Northern Kentucky (8-20, 4-12 A-Sun) on Mar. 1. The game against the Bisons in Nashville is set to tip at 6 p.m. local time (7 p.m. Eastern) on ESPN3, while the contest against the Norse is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip.
For Atlantic Sun Conference Championship ticket information and sales, visit the Alico Arena Ticket Office, call 239-590-7145 or log on to FGCUAthletics.com.
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