FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s basketball team knocked off the Ave Maria Gyrenes in an exhibition game at Alico Arena, 89-58. Delvin Franklin led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points, and freshman point guard Reggie Chambers had an impressive debut, scoring 13 points to go along with 6 assists and 2 steals. E.J. Ciaccio led the Gyrenes with 14 points and Tim Snyder chipped in a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, along with 4 blocks.
After Ave Maria took an early 5-2 lead, the Eagles answered with an 8-0 run capped by steal and layup by Reggie Chambers. A couple minutes later the Eagles widened the gap with a 12-0 run, including 2 3-pointers from junior Ben Vega. With 8:36 to play in the first half and the Eagles leading 31-14, junior Derrick O’Neill took over. In the span of just under 40 seconds, O’Neill recorded a dunk, a steal, an assist, and a block. At the 6:05 mark the Gyrenes went on a 13-0 run to pull within 6 points with 2:15 to play until halftime. The Eagles answered back with a 6-0 run to go into the half with a 43-31 lead.
The Eagles came out and dominated the second half, outscoring the Gyrenes 28-7 through the first ten minutes of the half. Kyle Marks started the half with an alley-oop dunk off a beautiful pass from Reggie Chambers. The Eagles never looked back, outscoring Ave Maria 46-27 in the second half.
For the Gyrenes, E.J. Ciaccio scored 14 points including 4-8 from 3-point range. Daniel Vivas had 8 points and4 assists, along with 7 turnovers. Ave Maria turned the ball over 32 times in the game, 19 of which were steals by the Eagles. For FGCU, Ben Vega had 14 points, including 4-4 from 3-point range. Kyle Marks added 12 points, and Ed Rolax had 9 points and 8 rebounds. Derrick O’Neill ended up with 6 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, and 4 assists.
The Eagles open up the regular season against the defending national champion Kansas Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas, on November 18th at 9:00 PM. The game will be broadcast nationwide on ESPNU.
Tonight’s game against Ave Maria can be seen on WRXY this Saturday at 10:00PM. Click here to find out what channel WRXY is on your cable or satellite provider.