Late Push Helps FGCU Fend Off Jacksonville, 77-66
Monday, January 09, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@pierson_sid)
Play Video Freshman Bernard Thompson had game-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
Freshman Bernard Thompson had game-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
Jacksonville (2-14, 0-5 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (7-9, 3-3 A-Sun)
1/9/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1273
Florida Gulf Coast403777
Stats at a GlanceJUFGCU
FG Percentage.424 (25-59) .521 (25-48)
3P FG Percentage.263 (5-19) .500 (7-14)
FT Percentage.611 (11-18) .769 (20-26)
Offensive Rebounds106
Defensive Rebounds2027
Total Rebounds3033
Bench Points1630
Statistical LeadersJUFGCU
PointsMcDOUGALD - 16
ReboundsGRAHAM - 6
TEAM - 6
AssistsCABELL - 6
StealsCABELL - 2
BlocksPOWELL - 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. – A 9-0 run over the final 4:02 of the game and balanced scoring attack that featured five players in double figures highlighted a 77-66 Atlantic Sun win for FGCU over a feisty Jacksonville squad on Monday night at Alico Arena.

Freshman Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) provided game-highs of 16 points and seven rebounds, scoring eight of the nine points during the decisive run. During the final 4:02, FGCU held Jacksonville scoreless on eight possessions, breaking down into 0-of-4 from the field, 0-of-2 from the free throw line and three turnovers.

FGCU evens its mark in the A-Sun at 3-3, while its sixth home win of the season moves its overall record to 7-9. The loss is JU’s second in a row against the Eagles, as it falls to 2-14 (0-5).

Junior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) provided a big spark off the bench, going for 15 points and six rebounds on a night that saw FGCU out-score JU 30-16 off the pine. Bench scoring differential and foul shooting plagued the Green and Blue two days ago in its overtime loss to UNF, but the Eagles rebounded on the stripe, as well, knocking down 20-of-26 in a physical affair that saw the two teams combined for 40 fouls.

The A-Sun’s leader in field goal percentage and three-point percentage, FGCU knocked down 52 percent (25-48) from the field and 7-of-14 from beyond the arc to up both averages. Thompson and Brown made a combined 4-of-6 from deep, while freshman Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid) knocked down both of his threes en route to his second straight double figure outing off the bench.

Jacksonville was led by sophomore Keith McDougald who made 7-of-14 from the field to finish with 16 points. Delwan Graham accounted for 13 of JU’s 16 bench points, while also contributing a team-high six rebounds in 19 minutes.

FGCU picked up its play on the defensive end in the second half and held its ninth opponent of the season to 42 percent or below from the field. The Dolphins’ 42.4 percent night (25-59) was hurt by a 5-of-19 performance from three-point land. JU did grab 10 offensive rebounds, but that figure is three below its season average that is second in the A-Sun.

A fast-paced first half featured five lead changes in the first eight-plus minutes until freshman Dante Holmes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances/Oldsmar Christian) converted an old fashioned three-point play to give the Eagles a 19-17 edge with 11:32 on the clock. Holmes’ layup capped seven points in the opening 8:28 for the Baltimore native.

After a JU bucket tied the game, 19-19, back-to-back three-pointers in a span of 35 seconds by Brown and Cvjeticanin gave FGCU its first two-possession lead of the game, 25-19, at the 10:39 mark.

With the score tied for the fifth time in the half, 29-29, FGCU built its biggest lead of the opening frame on the strength of a trio of three-pointers. A deep three by Thompson as the shot clock wound down started the run in which Thompson added a second long range field goal and was capped by sophomore Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) three-pointer with 2:31 left that made it 38-31.

JU was able to cut it to a four-point game, 40-36, at the half, marking the ninth time this season the Green and Blue have taken a lead into the locker room. FGCU’s lead was built on a 54-percent (15-28) shooting clip that included 5-of-10 from three.

FGCU never relinquished its lead in the second half, but Jacksonville was able to climb within one, 58-57, at the midway point before eventually working it down to a 68-66 game with 4:02 to play.

Freshman Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) reached double figures for the seventh time this season with 10 points and five assists. Fieler was the fifth player in double-digits for the Eagles, turning in a solid all-around game with 10 points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.

A two-game A-Sun road trip to Nashville is up next for FGCU, who will play its next three contests away from the friendly confines of Alico Arena where it is 6-2. The Eagles will open their staying in the “Music City” on Saturday, Jan. 14, against Lipscomb. Gametime is slated for 7:30 P.M. ET.