Eagles Victorious in Home Opener, 66-58
Thursday, November 20, 2008

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU men's basketball team bounced back after losing their season opener at Kansas, knocking off the North Carolina Central Eagles, 66-58, in the 2008-09 home opener. Delvin Franklin led the Eagles with 15 points (5-6 FG, 3-4 3-pt FG), while Kyle Marks added 12 points and 5 rebounds. FGCU shot 50% from the field and made 18 of 25 free throws on the night.

The FGCU Eagles got off to a quick start as Delvin Franklin knocked down a pair of three's and Christian Wolf scored a lay-up to give FGCU an 8-0 edge just over five minutes into the game. With 9:56 left in the half, FGCU had extended that lead to 19-6. However, NCCU closed out the half on a 15-6 run, including six consecutive points from Jamar Briscoe to end the half. Despite 9 first-half turnovers and being out-rebounded 16-15, FGCU took a 25-21 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Vincent Davis knocked down a three for NCCU on the first possession to trim the lead to a single point. That was as close as North Carolina Central would come to leading in the game. After exchanging baskets, FGCU went on an 18-2 run to open up a comfortable 45-28 lead. But, much like the first half, NCCU would not go away, and after a Michael Glasker steal led to a J’Mell Walters lay-up, the lead was down to just three points at 59-56 with 1:21 to play. After a Reed Baker miss, Jamar Briscoe stepped out of bounds, giving the Eagles the ball with just under 40 seconds to play. Ben Vega was fouled and connected on one of two free throws to extend the lead to four. NCCU's Philip Branch missed a three on the next possession, and Kyle Marx pulled down the board for FGCU, all but sealing the victory. Two more Vega free throws made it a six point game with just over 20 seconds remaining. A Stevy Worah-Ozimo dunk made it 62-58 with 16 seconds left, but Reed Baker knocked down all four of his free throws to finish off the victory.

For North Carolina Central (0-3), Vincent Davis led the team with 18 points (8-17 FG) and 7 rebounds, while Jamar Briscoe added 14 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Stevey Worah-Ozimo also contributed 13 points and 5 offensive rebounds.

For FGCU (1-1), Reed Baker and Christian Wolf each scored 9 points, while Ben Vega and Derrick O’Neil chipped in 7 apiece. O’Neill also pulled down 7 boards, and Baker added 6 rebounds. Reggie Chambers led FGCU distributing 5 assists with just 1 turnover in 11 minutes.

This game can be seen locally on tape delay this Friday, November 21 at 11:00 PM on WRXY. Click HERE to find out what channel WRXY is on your cable or satellite provider.

FGCU will be back on their home court next week as they will serve as one of three host schools for the conclusion of the O'Reilly Auto Parts College Basketball Experience Classic. On Tuesday the Eagles lost at Kansas, 85-45, in their first game of the CBE Classic. Starting Monday, Bradley, Richmond, UMKC, and FGCU will play each other in a round-robin format for three days inside Alico Arena. The first game on Monday will feature UMKC against Bradley, to be immediately followed by FGCU against Richmond. Tip-off for the UMKC-Bradley game is scheduled for 5:00 PM, with the FGCU-Richmond game tentatively set for 7:00 PM.