PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team opened its first of two games in the Lone Star State with a 69-54 loss to Prairie View A&M on Thursday night at the William Nick Building. Reggie Chambers (Miramar, Fla.) tied a career-high with 20 points on the night.
FGCU moves to 0-2 on the season, while Prairie View A&M improves to 2-1.
The Panthers opened up the scoring on a three-pointer by Tim Meadows at the 19:25 mark.
The Eagles responded with a 7-0 run capped by a Charlie Lytle (Clearwater, Fla.) jumper to put FGCU ahead 7-3 with just over 16 minutes remaining in the first half.
After a Kyle Marks (West Palm Beach, Fla.) dunk that put the Eagles up 9-7, Alex Richmond hit a three to give the Panthers 10-9 lead with 12 minutes remaining.
Junior guard Reed Baker (Naples, Fla.) put the Eagles up 12-10 after he hit his only three of the night.
FGCU held on to a slim two-point lead until Dorian McDaniel hit a jumper at the 7:24 mark that tied the game at 14.
The Eagles would only score five more points before entering the half, and went into the locker room trailing by a score of 21-19. At the break, the Eagles shot just 19.4 percent, while the Panthers shot 25 percent.
“We didn’t get comfortable,” said head coach Dave Balza.” We took to many low percentage shots, and it showed in the first half.”
In the second half, the Panthers came out and scored 12 of the first 17 points, and took a 33-24 lead with 12:02 remaining in the game.
The Eagles would only come within nine points in the remainder of the second half, and drop their second road game of the year.
FGCU shot just 29.3 percent (17-for-58) from the floor and converted just four of its 17 attempts (23.5 percent) from beyond the arc while also committing 15 turnovers.
Chambers’ 20 points tied a career-best that he set last season against Belmont on Jan. 5, 2009.
Two other Eagles finished the night in double-figures, Baker collected 13 points, while Marks finished with 10.
FGCU returns to action on Saturday (Nov. 21) against SMU to wrap up their two-game stint in the Lone Star State. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m.