(13-9, 7-2 A-Sun)
(4-18, 1-8 A-Sun)
1/25/2014 | Kennesaw, Ga. (KSU Convocation Center) | Attendance: 1671
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||KSU|
|3P FG Percentage||.300
KENNESAW, Ga. – The FGCU men’s basketball team (13-9, 7-2 Atlantic Sun Conference) never trailed and received a game-high 24 points from Chase Fieler as the Eagles ran away from host Kennesaw State (4-18, 1-8 A-Sun) at the KSU Convocation Center Saturday afternoon, 83-62.
Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) tallied 18 of his points as part a first half in which FGCU netted a season-high 46 points and shot a year-best 62.1 percent (18-29). Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) added 16 points while Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) scored 15 and issued five assists to move within three helpers of 7th place on the A-Sun’s all-time list. Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS/Georgia Tech) contributed 10 points on a perfect 5-5 from the floor and grabbed five rebounds.
FGCU raced out to an 8-0 lead, never led by fewer than four after that and held a double-digit lead the final 17 minutes of the contest as the Eagles bounced back from a loss Thursday night at Mercer. With the win, FGCU remains in sole possession of second place in the A-Sun standings, one game behind Mercer.
“We talked about it on Thursday night when we got back to the hotel and we talked about it again yesterday that today was a bit of a character game after playing the way we did at Mercer – how do we respond?” head coach Joe Dooley said. “And I think we responded well. They did a good job in practice yesterday and it carried over into the game today.”
Kennesaw State entered the game 0-15 when scoring 67 points or fewer, and the Eagles moved that record to 0-16 as they locked in defensively in the second half to allow the Owls only 25 points in the stanza. FGCU entered Saturday’s matinee allowing opponents to score just 66 points per game, the best defense in the A-Sun. FGCU is now 10-2 on the campaign when holding its opponents to 67 points or less.
The 83 points are tied for the second-most this year by the Eagles, while Fieler’s performance is his best since the second contest of the season when he scored 30 against Hartford. FGCU’s lone senior knocked down a career-high-tying 9-9 from the free-throw line as the Green and Blue as a team shot a season-best 91 percent (20-22) from the charity stripe.
FGCU controlled the paint – aided by a season-high-tying seven dunks – with a 42-24 edge off points in the key. The Eagles are now 21-0 in their last 21 games when out-scoring their opponents by at least 15 points in the paint, dating back to the 2011-12 campaign.
Kennesaw State was led by 15 points each from Willy Kouassi and Nigel Pruitt as Yonel Brown added 11 off the bench. Nine different Owls scored as FGCU limited KSU to 36 percent from the floor (19-53). The Eagles have now won five in a row over Kennesaw State, out-scoring the Owls by 73 points in that stretch.
Fieler added a team-best seven rebounds and Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy/Iowa State) grabbed six, but KSU won the battle on the boards, 36-33. Fifteen of those were of the offensive variety as the Owls netted 14 second-chance points.
FGCU returns to The Nest to start its longest homestand of the year with three straight contests at Alico Arena. Stetson comes to town on Friday, Jan. 31, for a 7 p.m. meeting which will be broadcast on CSS. After the contest with the Hatters, FGCU hosts Jacksonville (Feb. 6) and UNF (Feb. 8).
GAME NOTES: Dajuan Graf scored six points and had two assists and two steals in 28 minutes off the bench … McKnight added four points, while Filip Cvjeticanin netted six early points on two 3-pointers … KSU went 19-32 (59.4 percent) from the free-throw line … FGCU took care of the ball as it committed just nine turnovers, its second single-digit turnover game in A-Sun play (Northern Kentucky, 7) … Comer had three steals as FGCU had nine as a team, four above its season average … all 12 players dressed saw game action for the Green and Blue.
All 2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.
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