FORT MYERS, Fla. – Junior guard Beau Bauer layed in a missed shot with one second remaining to lift FGCU to an 80-78 win over Kentucky State Monday night in NCAA Division II South Region men’s basketball action in front of 2,049 at Alico Arena.
Bauer (Walton, Ind.) tipped in a missed 10-foot jumper in the lane by freshman guard Cecil Avant (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) as the Eagles pulled out a win in a game that featured five ties and 10 lead changes in the second half. FGCU trailed by one, 77-76, with 2:42 to play after KSU forward Kenny Jones hit a short jumper. Sophomore Adam Liddell (Auburn, Ind.) answered with a jumper in the lane to give the Eagles a 78-77 lead with 2:25 left. Thorobreds guard Ronnie Todd Jr. was fouled by Avant but converted just 1-fo-2 from the line to tie the game at 78-all.
Liddell had a chance to give the Eagles the lead but missed two free throws with 1:49 left. Each team came away empty on their next two possessions before Bauer rebounded a Todd miss with 34 seconds left. But FGCU came out of a timeout and with less than 10 seconds on the clock, Avant drove the lane and had his shot blocked by Daniel Hawkins into the hands of Bauer for the game-winner.
Bauer finished with a career-high 28 points on 11-of-18 from the field, including 4-of-9 from 3-point territory. It was the most points in a single-game for an Eagles player this season. He also set a career-high with nine rebounds. Liddell posted his second straight double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Sophomore Brendan Rooney (Fort Myers) scored a career-high 17 points while sophomore Yavney Neptune (Port Charlotte, Fla.) added 10 points off the bench.
KSU (8-11) was led by Kyle Allen’s 18 points, while leading scorer Kenny Jones was held to 10 points.
FGCU shot 56.7% from the field while KSU connected on 43.9% and nailed 11 3-pointers. FGCU had a 42-26 advantage on the boards.
FGCU returns to action Friday night when they host Newport News Apprentice, an NAIA school in Virginia, at 7:30 p.m.