FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU men’s basketball team picked up its second straight win with a 64-53 victory over Stetson on Wednesday night at Alico Arena. Freshman Anthony Banks led the Eagles with 21 points and ten rebounds, his fourth double-double of the season.
With the win FGCU improves to 7-13 and 4-7 in the A-Sun, while the Hatters drop to 5-14 and 3-8 in the A-Sun.
The Eagles jumped out to a 7-1 lead in the game’s first 3:34, including layups from Derrick O’Neil (Moreno Valley, Calif.) and Anthony Banks (Lantana, Fla.). After Stetson cut the lead to two (12-10, 12:35), the Blue and Green rattled off 10 straight points to take a 22-10 lead with 6:12 left in the first half. Banks would cap the first half with a pair of layups, giving FGCU a 31-20 advantage at intermission.
Banks’ scoring streak continued as he accounted for the Eagles’ first five points out of the locker room. Including his four points at the end of the first half, Banks scored nine straight FGCU points over a span of 4:07.
Hunter Miller (Nashville, Tenn.) made a perfect behind-the-back pass to Banks with 15:58 to play for an easy layup, giving the Eagles a 15-point lead (39-24). The Blue and Green would score just two points over the next 5:47, allowing the Hatters to whittle the lead down to just seven points (41-34) with 10:11 left in regulation.
The Eagles would again extend the lead to double-digits after Reed Baker’s (Naples, Fla.) three with 8:22 remaining, putting FGCU in front 49-38. Stetson would cut the lead to just five points (55-50) after Mark Lohuis’ three-pointer with 3:14 on the clock. However, Banks would go on yet another scoring streak landing three straight layups to put the Blue and Green ahead 61-51 with 1:11 remaining in the game, and securing a 64-53 win for the Eagles.
FGCU was led by Banks who recorded his fourth double-double of the year with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Banks also shot 9-of-12 from the field and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Baker added 19 points including 4-of-6 from behind the arc, and O’Neil collected 10 boards to go along with seven points.
Ridge Graham led the Hatters with 14 points and six boards while A.J. Smith added 10 points.
FGCU hits the road for a pair of A-Sun games this weekend, beginning with a visit to Kennesaw State on Saturday, January 30, at 7:30 p.m. Then on Monday, February 1, the Blue and Green travel to Macon, Ga., as they take on the Bears of Mercer University in a game scheduled for a 9 p.m. tip. The Mercer game can also be seen live in Southwest Florida on CSS (Comcast channel 70).
The Eagles land back at home on Thursday, February 4, for a doubleheader against the Buccaneers of ETSU. Tip-off for the women’s game is set for 5:15 p.m.