FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team continues its five-game road trip with a pair of games in Georgia this weekend. The Eagles will travel to Albany State on Saturday and West Georgia on Monday. Both games can be heard via internet broadcast.
FGCU (10-9, 7-6 South Region) will look to rebound after losing a pair of games in Hawaii. The Eagles fell 92-77 to Hawaii Pacific and 82-74 to BYU-Hawaii after a home win over Barry University early last week. FGCU has improved its shooting, particularly from beyond the three-point arc. The Eagles hit nine 3-pointers against BYU-Hawaii to match their second-highest total of the season. However, FGCU must do a better job of protecting the ball. In the past two games, FGCU has committed 36 turnovers, including 23 steals by the opposition.
FGCU ranks 21 in the country in rebounding margin at 7.2 per game and 62nd in the country in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 41.7% shooting from the floor. Senior forward Leon Woodstock (Miami, Fla.) remains among the top players in the country in free throw percentage (82.9). Three players are scoring better than 12 points per game. Senior forward Marcus Watts (North Port, Fla.) averages a team-high 12.9 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. Woodstock and junior guard Beau Bauer (Walton, Ind.) both average 12.2 points per game. Woodstock is also second on the team in rebounding with six per game while Bauer leads the team in both assists and steals.
Albany State, a member of the Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, has posted a 7-6 record but returns home after a three-game road trip. ASU has won two of its first three home games this season. The Rams are one of the top defensive teams in the South Region. They hold opponents to just 40% shooting from the field, which ranks 21st in the nation. In addition, their scoring defense in 88th nationally, allowing just 68 points per game. Offensively they are led by Frank Pinson, who averages 17.7 points per game and is the team’s top 3-point shooting threat as well as the team leader in steals. He ranks among the top players in the SIAC in all three areas. Travon McGruder scores at an 11.8 clip and leads the team in rebounds and blocks.
On Monday night, the Eagles will face a West Georgia team that is one of the best offensive units in the South Region and ranked No. 9 in the latest South Region ranking. The Braves are 41st in scoring in Division II at 79.8 points per game and 35th in scoring margin. UWG is shooting 46.8% from the field and averages better than seven 3-point field goals per game. Senior transfer Michael Ford leads UWG at 25.8 points per game, and has scored 109 points in his past three games, including a single-game record 49 points in a win over North Alabama.
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: Freshman Cecil Avant, a 5-foot-6 walk-on guard from Pembroke Pines, Fla. has joined the FGCU active roster...FGCU extended its consecutive game streak with at least two made three-pointers to 109 games last week…Their nine three-pointers against BYU-Hawaii was one shy of the team-high 10 made against Florida Memorial…Watts (.543) and Woodstock (.509) are both hitting better than 50% from the field…Three players shoot at least 80% from the foul line – Wohlleb (.871), Woodstock (.824) and sophomore Brendan Rooney (.800)…Watts and Bauer are the only players to start every game…FGCU will play seven of its final nine games at Alico Arena, where it is 7-5 this season….FGCU must win 10 of its last 11 games to post its fourth straight 20-win season…FGCU is 2-4 against teams ranked among the top eight teams in their respective region in Division II…Three of their home losses have been to regionally ranked teams…Watts had a nine-game streak of scoring in double figures snapped against Barry but scored at least 10 points in 16 games… Woodstock had a seven-game double-digit scoring streak snapped on Monday…Bauer has the longest current double-figure scoring streak of four games…Sophomore Casey Wohlleb had 15 points against BYU-Hawaii, his first game in double figures since scoring a career-high 18 points versus Nova…He has 21 rebounds in his last four games…Senior point guard Gabe Pean had a career-high 18 points in the loss to Hawaii-Pacific…Watts posted his fifth double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds at Hawaii-Pacific.