(13-13, 7-6 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast
(18-8, 10-3 A-Sun)
2/9/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 3753
|Florida Gulf Coast||31||43||74|
|Stats at a Glance||UPST||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.250
Eagles extend win streak to six games; stay in first place in the A-Sun
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) finished with a game-high 21 points and FGCU held its second straight opponent under 50 points as it cruised to a 74-49 Atlantic Sun win over USC Upstate Saturday evening in front of a crowd of 3,753 fans on Alumni Weekend.
The Eagles extended their program Division I record win streak to six games in front of a national audience on ESPN3 and kept sole possession of first place in the A-Sun standings at 10-3 while pushing their overall record to 18-8.
“I want to thank our local fans, visiting alumni and great student section for making the atmosphere tonight electric,” said head coach Andy Enfield, as FGCU improved to 13-1 at home this season. “We didn’t play well in the first half, but we came out with a lot of intensity in the second half and that affected us on both ends of the floor. USC Upstate is a very talented team so I’m pleased that were able to keep the momentum of our win streak going.”
A 14-0 run midway through the first half in which the Eagles held USC Upstate scoreless on 10 straight possessions helped the Green and Blue take a 31-25 lead into the half before out-scoring the Spartans 43-24 in the final frame. FGCU shot 50 percent (17-34) in the second half, gathering eight of its 12 steals in the game that led to 15 of its 25 points off turnovers.
Brown was FGCU’s offensive bright spot in the first half, accounting for 12 of the team’s 31 points before ending the contest with his fifth 20-point game in the last seven outings. The Orlando, Fla. product has led the team in scoring in four of the six games on the win streak, while fellow senior Eddie Murray (North Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) and sophomore Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points each.
Although both Thompson and Murray reached double figures in points, their biggest contributions came in other areas. Thompson, who entered fifth in the nation with 67 steals, added five more to his total that directly resulted in seven of FGCU’s 25 points off 21 USC Upstate miscues. Murray, on the other hand, helped the Eagles climb out of a 13-3 deficit on the glass to start the game and finish with a 38-37 edge with a team-high seven caroms, including four offensive. Murray also had a trio of dunks that were part of FGCU’s 36-22 advantage in the paint.
Foul trouble slowed down the Green and Blue’s usual up-tempo attack in the first half, as sophomore point guard Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS), who is 15th in the nation in assists per game (6.3), played only 10 minutes due to two fouls. Comer returned in a big way in the second half, having a direct hand in 21 of the team’s 43 points, while accounting for seven of the eight assists in the final frame. Comer finished with eight points and nine assists to help the Eagles finish with 13 or less turnovers for the fifth time during the win streak.
Coming in as the second-best scoring team in the A-Sun behind FGCU (73.9), USC Upstate’s 49 points were a season-low and 24 below its average as it shot 37 percent (19-52) from the field. The A-Sun’s third-leading scorer and Preseason Player of the Year, Torrey Craig was limited to seven points and forced into seven turnovers. Junior Ricardo Glenn finished with team-highs of 17 points and nine rebounds.
USC Upstate closed to within one possession, 33-30, early in the second half (17:33), but only scored 15 points over the next 13:40. FGCU scored 38 points over the 13:40 span, never trailing in the second half and building a lead as large as 26, 71-45, with 3:53 remaining.
FGCU will now hit the road for its first-ever trip to A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky (8-12, 6-6) on Thursday, Feb. 14. Game time at the Bank of Kentucky Center is slated for 7 p.m. Fans can get live updates by follow @FGCU_MBB on twitter.