(16-8, 8-3 A-Sun)
(12-12, 7-4 A-Sun)
2/2/2013 | Swisher Gymnasium | Attendance: 899
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||JU|
|3P FG Percentage||.421
Eagles extend win streak to four games; take over sole possession of first
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The FGCU backcourt of senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) along with sophomores Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) and Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) combined to score 59 points to lead the Eagles to their fourth straight Atlantic Sun win at Jacksonville, 81-78, on Saturday afternoon at Swisher Gymnasium.
The game pinned two of the A-Sun’s four teams that entered the day in a tie for first place, as FGCU parlayed its program-best fourth straight conference win and USC Upstate’s (13-11, 7-4) loss to Northern Kentucky into sole possession of the top spot at 8-3.
The Green and Blue, who now sit a half-game up on idle Mercer (14-9, 7-3), are now 16-8 overall, setting a program record for Division I wins. Jacksonville, who had won five of its last six, is now 12-12 on the year and 7-4 in the A-Sun.
"This was an extremely physical game and its tough place to play, so I’m very happy with the win,” said head coach Andy Enfield. “Both of the games on this trip required our guys to be tough and resilient, and I’m proud of them for stepping up.”
Comer had 12 of his game-high 21 points in the second half while adding five rebounds, five assists and two steals to lead the trio that nearly became the first three players in FGCU’s Division I history to score 20 points in the same game. Brown had 11 points by the second media timeout of the game, finishing with his fourth 20-point game in the last five contests by hitting 4-of-6 from three with nine rebounds. Thompson’s 18 points featured a perfect 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line.
For the first time in three games, FGCU was held below 50 percent from the field (22-49), but made up for it at the free throw line by making 29-of-35. Jacksonville was just as impressive from the stripe, going 26-of-32 as the physical game featured 47 fouls and a trio of technical fouls.
Jacksonville had four players in double figures, led by freshman Jarvis Haywood’s 16 points, as the balanced attack for the Dolphins made up for the loss of leading scorer Keith McDougald, who was ejected with 8:20 to go in the opening half after he scored 10 of the team’s first 17 points. Junior Dylan Fritsch provided a huge spark off the bench with four three-pointers en route to 15 points.
FGCU trailed for only 81 seconds in the game, but fell behind 9-6 before a 13-0 run spun the one-possession deficit into a double figure lead, 19-9, with 12:41 left in the first half. Brown had a trio of three-pointers during the run, while junior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) had the other four points.
With the Green and Blue still leading 25-17 with 8:20 to play, a foul underneath on the Eagles resulted in all 10 players on the court congregating in the paint. Technical fouls were issued to both JU’s Glenn Powell and Comer of FGCU, while McDougald was ejected with a non-fighting flagrant 2 foul.
Both teams shot a series of free throws after the technical fouls were issued and when the dust settled, FGCU held a 30-19 lead. Despite being down its leading scorer, JU responded with a 9-2 run, but couldn’t take the lead, as FGCU owned a 46-42 lead after a fast-paced opening 20 minutes. The Eagles four-point halftime lead ran their streak to 10 straight games without trailing at the break.
FGCU’s lead reached as high as 10, 68-58, with 11:04 on the clock, but the Dolphins were able to close to within one, 79-78, with 1:16 left. JU was unable to score the rest of the way, though, as FGCU went 2-for-4 at the line in the final minute, but came away with consecutive defense stops to close the game. The final stop came as the buzzer sounded when Russell Powell’s three-point bid to tie the game sailed wide, clinching FGCU’s five straight win over Jacksonville.
FGCU will be back in action on Thursday, Feb. 7, against ETSU at Alico Arena where it is 11-1 on the season. Gametime is slated for 7:05 p.m., while fans can watch the action live for free on A-Sun.TV or listen on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com with David Moulton and J. Webb Horton on the call.