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Stetson Fends Off FGCU, 86-80, in A-Sun/CSS Friday Night Game of the Week
|Florida Gulf Coast||34||46||80|
|Stats at a Glance||STET||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.563 (27-48)||.380 (30-79)|
|3P FG Percentage||.444 (8-18)||.350 (14-40)|
|FT Percentage||.774 (24-31)||.667 (6-9)|
PEREZ - 5
MCINERNEY - 5
PEGG - 5
TEAM - 5
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Junior Adam Pegg poured in a game-high 23 points to lead five players in double figures for Stetson, as the Hatters built a lead as large as 24 before fending off a late FGCU rally to hand the Eagles an 86-80 loss in front of an Alico Arena crowd of 2,352.
The loss dips FGCU’s record to 13-14 on the season and 8-8 in the A-Sun with two regular season games remaining. The Hatters snap a four-game losing streak to the Eagles with the win and move to 6-10 in the conference.
Pegg now has six 20-point outings in A-Sun play, including two against FGCU, as he knocked down 10-of-15 from the field to lead a 56 percent (27-48) shooting night for Stetson. On the flipside, the Eagles shot just 38 percent (30-79) and were 14-of-40 from three-point land.
Trailing 71-47 with 8:22 to play, the Eagles turned to some full court pressure defense in hopes of slowing down the Stetson offense that was unstoppable the first 32 minutes. The full court pressure paid off, as Stetson committed five turnovers over the next seven minutes while FGCU used five three-pointers, including three from freshman Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid), to mount a comeback.
Cvjeticanin’s third three of the run followed by freshman Dante Holmes’ (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances/Oldsmar Christian) floater capped a 24-6 spurt for the Eagles that brought the home team within six, 77-71, with 1:28 to play.
A rare four-point play by freshman Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) and a three-pointer by sophomore Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) with 16 seconds left cut the score to 84-80 – the closest the Eagles had been since the 3:55 mark of the first half.
Despite scoring 15 points over the final eight minutes, Stetson was able to hold onto its sixth A-Sun win of the year by knocking down 9-of-10 from the free throw line over the final 1:04. The free throw line proved to be the biggest difference in the game, as the Hatters went 24-of-31 from the stripe while the Eagles made 6-of-9.
Four FGCU freshmen finished in double figures for the second time this season, led by double-doubles from Thompson and freshman Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS). Thompson produced game-highs of 17 points and 12 rebounds, including eight offensive caroms, for his second double-double. Comer nearly finished with a triple-double, going for 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds over 32 minutes.
All of Cvjeticanin’s 15 points came from beyond the arc, as the sharp-shooting 6-foot-9 Croatian went 5-of-10 from distance to lead a 47-point night from the bench. Holmes’ 11 points also came off the bench, giving the four freshmen a combined 54 points.
The Eagles almost overcame their 38 percent shooting night by grabbing a season-high 23 offensive rebounds that turned into a 25-8 edge in second chance points. Led by Comer’s fourth double figure assist game, the Green and Blue finished with a 17-to-12 assist-to-turnover ratio, while Stetson’s was an impressive 22-to-14.
FGCU will have six days off from game action before closing out the regular season with a two-game A-Sun road swing. The Eagles will open the trip at third place USC Upstate (17-10, 10-4) on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.