Florida Gulf Coast
1/24/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1625
|Florida Gulf Coast||41||60||101|
|Stats at a Glance||LU||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.185
van der Kooij
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind another torrid shooting night from the field that included a season-high 13 three-pointers, the FGCU men’s basketball team defeated visiting Longwood in convincing fashion, 101-58, in a non-conference contest Tuesday night at Alico Arena.
The win is the fourth in five games for the Eagles, who even their record at 10-10 on the season, equaling their win total from all of last year. The 100-point outing is FGCU’s second since joining Division I in 2007-08, while it also set a record for its largest win in D-1 history.
After scoring a season-best 92 points in a win at Stetson four days ago, the Eagles bested that mark by hitting 59 percent (40-68) of its shots from the field, highlighted by 13-of-23 from long range. Over the last two games, FGCU is shooting 61 percent (73-119) from the floor and averaging 96.5 points.
Five players reached double figures for the sixth time in the last 10 games for the Blue and Green, led by junior Sherwood Brown’s (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) 20-point and 10-rebound night. Brown’s third career 20-point game and second double-double saw the Orlando product knock down 8-of-13 from the floor in just 18 minutes.
Sophomore sharpshooter Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) continued to provide a big spark off the bench with 17 points on 4-of-5 from three-point land. Varidel was one of three double figures off the pine, as the FGCU bench turned in a season-best 49 points compared to just eight from the Lancers. It marked the 17th time in 20 games the bench has supplied a double figure scorer, while freshmen Dante Holmes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy/Oldsmar Christian) and Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid) contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Ball movement was a big part of FGCU’s seventh shooting performance of 50 percent or better from the field, as it passed out a season-high 24 assists. Freshman Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) accounted for half of the assists, dropping a season-best 12 to go along with seven points. The A-Sun leader in assists per game (5.7), Comer also has a league-high three double-digit assist outings. On top of the season-high assists, the Eagles committed a season-low 12 turnovers and turned 12 Longwood miscues into 22 points.
FGCU’s best defensive effort in the last five games also saw Longwood shoot 34 percent (21-62) and 5-of-27 from three. The Lancers were also limited to just eight second chance points due to the Eagles clearing 37 defensive rebounds that led to a 46-29 edge on the glass.
After a slow opening four minutes from both teams, FGCU broke the game open with a 9-0 run that featured three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to give the Eagles a 13-4 lead. Freshman Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) opened the long range barrage followed by one from Cvjeticanin and the first of Varidel’s three treys in the opening 20 minutes.
Longwood cut the deficit to as low as three, 21-18, with 8:15 left in the half, but the Green and Blue buckled down on the defensive end the rest of way. FGCU limited the Lancers to 10 points and 3-of-12 from the field over the final 8:15.
FGCU fed off its strong defense, closing the half on a 7-2 run that featured a breakaway dunk from Comer and an old-fashioned three-point play by Brown to lead the Eagles into the locker room with a 41-28 lead. Led by Varidel’s 12 points, the bench owned a 19-2 edge, while the Eagles shot 50 percent (15-30) from the field.
The Eagles never gave up their double figure lead at any point in the second half and eventually took their largest lead of the season (45) twice over the final 2:31.
Entering the game as Longwood’s leading scorer and rebounder, senior Antwan Carter lived up to the billing with team-bests of 18 points and nine rebounds before fouling out. Sophomore Tristan Carey, a La Salle transfer, was the only other player in double figures with 14, as the Lancers fell to 7-14 on the season.
Thompson was the fifth Eagle in double figures with 11 points for his team-leading 15th double-digit outing. Sophomore Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) narrowly missed giving the Green and Blue a season-best six players in double figures with his nine points and seven rebounds.
FGCU will turn its attention back to Atlantic Sun action this weekend when it continues its three-game homestand over six days with pair of league showdowns. The Eagles will begin by hosting Kennesaw State on Saturday, Jan. 28 at 5:15 p.m.