FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team will try to end the 2005-06 on a winning note as it hosts a pair of regional foes at Alico Arena this weekend to close out the season. FGCU, which has won seven consecutive games to improve to 17-11, will host Morehouse College (15-11) on 7 p.m. on Friday and Albany State (15-10) at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
FGCU, which is 11-6 against South Region competition, is coming off its first National Independent Tournament Championship in three years. The Eagles beat the District of Columbia 76-44 in the first round before dispatching Upper Iowa 78-69 in the semi-finals. FGCU beat North Greenville 72-59 in the finals for their first Independent Tournament title after falling in overtime of the finals in each of the past two years.
Junior guard Beau Bauer (Walton, Ind.) scored a game-high 18 points and pulled down a career-high 10 rebounds in the championship game to earn the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. He connected on 7-of-18 from the floor, including a pair of three-pointers, to lead a balanced FGCU attack. Sophomore forward Adam Liddell (Auburn, Ind.) who was named to the all-Independent Tournament team, added 14 points and six rebounds while sophomore Brendan Rooney (Fort Myers, Fla.) also had 14 points. Freshman point guard Cecil Avant (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) had nine points.
FGCU ranks 27th in the country in rebounding margin at 5.7 per game and 31st nationally for field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 41.1% shooting from the floor. Bauer leads the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game while Liddell leads the team with 6.9 rebounds per game. Avant is tops with 3.8 assists per game.
Both Bauer and Liddell have seven consecutive games scoring in double digits. Liddell also has grabbed at least 10 rebounds in four of the past seven games. Rooney has scored in double figures in seven of his last nine games.
Morehouse and Albany State are both members of the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. It is the first meeting between Morehouse and FGCU while the Eagles lost 48-46 at Albany State on January 28.