12/1/2013 | Alico Arena (Fort Myers, FL) | Attendance: 3779
|Stats at a Glance||ION||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.519
Iona (2-2) @ FGCU (4-2)
Sunday, Dec. 1 | 2:03 PM | Alico Arena (4,633)
Talent: David Moulton (PxP) | J. Webb Horton (Analyst)
Game Notes: FGCU | Iona (Printable)
DUNK CITY, Fla. – Coming off a loss at NC State on Tuesday night, the FGCU men’s basketball team (4-2) returns to the friendly confines of Alico Arena looking to get back on track against fellow 2013 No. 15 NCAA Tournament seed and up-tempo Iona (2-2) at 2 p.m.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• In its four wins, FGCU has held its opponents to 38-percent field-goal shooting, but in its two losses foes have shot 53 percent.
• The meeting with Iona will be the second-straight game against a 2013 NCAA Tournament team.
• NC State had 17 second-chance points on Tuesday night, nearly 12 over the average FGCU was allowing coming into the game.
• Dajuan Graf continues to lead FGCU in plus/minus statistics with a +38, +12 better than the next closest player.
• The game will be just FGCU’s third all-time against a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) – Loyola (Md.) twice.
PROTECTING THE NEST
Last year, 10 of FGCU’s 11 losses came away from Alico Arena, and so far this season both of the Eagles losses have occurred outside the friendly confines of The Nest. Dating back to last year, FGCU has won nine home games in a row, and boasts an 18-1 record at Alico Arena since the start of the 2012-13 campaign.
Looking further into the Eagles’ home-court advantage, FGCU has not lost a non-conference game at Alico since the 2010-11 season, a stretch of 15 straight wins at home. The Green and Blue went 5-0 in 2011-12, 7-0 in 2012-13 and is 3-0 so far in 2013-14.
For the second time this year, FGCU will be looking to bounce back from a loss with a victory, something it has already accomplished once. In fact, only twice since the beginning of the 2012-13 season have the Eagle dropped consecutive games. Additionally, FGCU has not lost consecutive non-conference games since the 2011-12 year.
POINTS IN THE PAINT
NC State scored 54 points in the paint on Tuesday night, the most points in the paint FGCU has allowed in a single game in the Division-I era (2007-08). The previous high was just 42, set by multiple opponents. Conversely, in FGCU’s four wins, it has tallied at least 34 points in the paint itself, but in its two losses it has scored just 16 (Nebraska) and 22 (NC State).
• Iona is based in New Rochelle, N.Y., about 20 miles north of New York City.
• Iona won the MAAC last season and was seeded, like FGCU, No. 15 before falling to Ohio State in the NCAA Tournament Second Round.
• The up-tempo Gaels – who were also in the NCAA Tournament in 2012 – were the second-highest scoring team in the country last year (80.7 points per game) and led the nation in scoring two years ago (83.3).
• So far this year Iona is averaging 75 points per game and has already attempted 100 3-pointers in just four games, making 32 of them.
• Sean Armand leads Iona in scoring at 20.3 points per game and assists with 11.
• Armand is the reigning MAAC Player of the Week after pouring in 30 points in a win over George Mason and setting the Iona program record for career 3-pointers with 264.
• The Gaels’ two losses have come at Cleveland State – which nearly defeated Kentucky last week – and at No. 2 Kansas.
• Iona has not played since Nov. 23 against George Mason.
A CLOSER LOOK
As mentioned earlier, FGCU has been a drastically different team at home than on the road. While some of that has to do with the competition level, FGCU is 3-0 in Alico Arena but just 1-2 away from home. Here’s a further breakdown on the Eagles on the road compared with at home:
Points Per Game: 72.0/62.3
Defensive Points Per Game: 54.0/76.7
Field Goal Percentage: 53.8/39.0
Defensive Field Goal Percentage: 35.6/51.2
3-Point Percentage: 43.3/27.7
Rebounds Per Game: 39.0/29.7
Free-Throw Percentage: 46.0/74.2
The only category in which FGCU has been significantly better on the road than at home is free-throw shooting as the Eagles are connecting at just 46 percent (23-50) at home but do so at a 74.2-percent clip (46-62) on the road.
Furthermore, in all three of FGCU’s road games, both Chase Fieler and Nate Hicks have been in early foul trouble as each starter has picked up two fouls in all three games after just eight minutes of action. For Fieler, the Eagles lone senior has picked up both of his fouls within the first five minutes of the game starting.
PLAYER QUICK HITTERS
Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid): Has 97 career 3-pointers and is just three makes away from becoming only the ninth player in program history with 100 3s.
Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS): Returned to the FGCU lineup against NC State to play a season-high 35 minutes and set a season high with three steals, scoring 12 of his 14 points in the second half … moved into sole possession of 5th place on the all-time scoring list with his 14 points versus the Wolfpack and now has 950 career points, 50 shy of becoming just the 4th player in program history with 1,000 career points.
Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS): Surpassed the 900-point plateau and sits only 94 points away from cracking the 1,000-career point milestone … Fieler leads FGCU in scoring at 14.7 per game (88 points total), but has been whistled for more fouls (20) than anyone else on the roster.
Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS): 26 of his 33 assists on the season have come at home.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Until its 15-turnover game against Ave Maria last Saturday, FGCU had posted three straight games of single-digit turnovers (8 vs. Hartford, 8 @ Furman, 9 vs. Eckerd). Dating back to the beginning of the program in the 2002-03 season, never had an FGCU team even had back-to-back single-digit turnover contests.
Against Ave Maria in its most recent home game, FGCU set an Alico Arena attendance record with a sellout, standing-room only crowd of 4,633. That number surpassed last year’s record of 4,552 in the season opener against Miami. FGCU has now had 4,000 or more spectators in three straight games for the first time in program history, with three of the four largest crowds ever already occurring in the first three home games of the season.
The Eagles travel across the state to Miami to take on FIU next Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will air nationally on FOX Sports 1, representing FGCU’s third national TV broadcast of the year already. Additionally, the Dirty Birds will be making their first road trip of the season, and more information about the migration can be acquired by emailing Gabby Montecalvo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the men’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUMBB.