FORT MYERS, Fla. – In one of the most anticipated road trips in school history, the Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team looks to extend its two-game winning streak with a pair of games in Hawaii over the weekend.
The Eagles will face Hawaii-Pacific on Saturday night and BYU-Hawaii on Monday night. Monday night's game will be broadcast via the BYU-Hawaii web site. It will be the first time that FGCU has faced either school.
FGCU (10-7, 7-6 South Region) has improved tremendously over the past two games to snap a four-game losing streak that included back-to-back losses to a pair of top-20 nationally ranked opponents. FGCU has shot just over 43% from the floor in the two wins, breaking out of a slump beyond the arc to connect on 36% of its three-point field goal attempts. Defensively, the Eagles have held the last two opponents to a combined 26.8% shooting percentage. The Eagles defeated Barry 58-40 in its only game last week as junior guard Beau Bauer and senior forward Leon Woodstock combined for 29 points. Woodstock added 12 rebounds to post his second double-double this season.
Hawaii-Pacific (3-13) is under first-year head coach Kyle Wells and competes in NCAA Division II as a member of the Pacific West Conference. The school is located in Honolulu and has an enrollment of 8,900. They are led by 6-foot-0 senior guard Donnell Dobbins, who averages 13.7 points per game, and 6-foot-9 senior center Audrius Peciukas, who scores 11.0 points and grabs 7.7 rebounds per contest. The Sea Warriors have lost three straight, including a three-point loss in overtime to Hawaii-Hilo. As a team, they have scored an average of 71 points but allowed 78.9 per game.
On Monday the Eagles meet one of the top teams in the West Region when they face BYU-Hawaii. The Seasiders have won four of their last six games and are sixth in this week’s NCAA Division II West Region rankings, but fell to Seattle University, ranked seventh in the region, on Thursday night.
Located in Laie, BYU-Hawaii has an enrollment of 2,400 and also competes as a member of the Pacific West Conference. They are led by 6-foot-6 senior forward Austin Smylie, who averages 22.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. They score better than 75 points per game but give up 77.4 points per game.
FGCU ranks 19th in the country in rebounding margin at 7.1 per game and 66th in the country in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 40.7% shooting from the floor. Two Eagles have moved into the top-75 nationally in individual statistical categories. Senior forward Marcus Watts (North Port Fla.) is 70th in field goal percentage (54.1) and senior forward Leon Woodstock is 50th in free throw percentage (84.4). Watts averages a team-high 13.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. Woodstock is second on the team in both categories, averaging 12.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest. Junior guard Beau Bauer, who leads the team in both assists and steals, is the third player in double-figure scoring at 11.9 points per game.
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: FGCU extended its consecutive game streak with at least two made three-pointers to 106 games last week…Three players are shooting better than 50% from the floor – junior Thomas Owens (.585), Watts (.541) and Woodstock (.533)…sophomore Casey Wohlleb (.500)…Three players shoot at least 80% from the foul line – Wohlleb (.846), Woodstock (.844) 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 13 games to post its fourth straight 20-win season…FGCU is 2-3 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…Woodstock has the longest current double-figure scoring streak of five games…Senior guard Gabe Pean has 12 assists in his last four starts…Watts has four games with at least 10 rebounds while Woodstock and sophomore Adam Liddell have three each.