(6-16, 4-6 A-Sun)
(14-9, 8-2 A-Sun)
1/31/2014 | Alico Arena (Fort Myers, FL) | Attendance: 4633
|Stats at a Glance||STET||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.350
Stetson (6-15, 4-5 A-Sun)
@ FGCU (13-9, 7-2 A-Sun)
Friday, Jan. 31 | 7:05 PM | Alico Arena (4,633)
TV: CSS (486 HD | 70 SD)
PxP: Matt Stewart | Analyst: Sonny Smith
PxP: Mark Miller
DUNK CITY, Fla. – Coming off a 21-point win at Kennesaw State last Saturday, the FGCU men’s basketball team (13-9, 7-2 Atlantic Sun Conference) returns to Alico Arena to begin its longest homestand of the year on Friday night in the CSS Game of the Week against in-state foe Stetson (6-15, 4-5 A-Sun) at 7 p.m.
WHAT TO KNOW
• Another capacity crowd is expected, and fans – especially students – are encouraged to pick up their tickets in advance and arrive early to guarantee a seat.
• Fans are encouraged to wear blue T-shirts to create a Blueout atmosphere at Alico Arena.
• Spectators are also encouraged to wear crazy hats against the Stetson Hatters. Prizes will be awarded for the most ridiculous hats.
• Pita Pit and Frantz Eyecare are the presenting game sponsors.
• Boxes will be available in the lobby as donations to the on-campus Harry Chapin Food Bank continue to be accepted.
• Friday is Admitted Students Night as select future FGCU students will be in attendance.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The game will be FGCU’s eighth TV contest of the year already, and fourth on CSS. Fans in Southwest Florida can access CSS in high definition on channel 486 or in standard definition on channel 70. Matt Stewart will handle the play-by-play duties with Sonny Smith serving as the analyst. The broadcast will also be available on ESPN3 (subject to blackout) by following the link at the top of this release
ESPN Radio 99.3 FM will also carry the game with Mark Miller on the call. Fans can also access the broadcast online by clicking on the link at the top of the release. Live in-game and behind-the-scenes updates will be available through Twitter @FGCU_MBB, and live stats can be accessed by following the link at the top of the release.
SETTING THE STAGE
FGCU has reached the mid-way point of its A-Sun schedule and is one game behind first-place Mercer (8-1) and two games clear of third-place UNF (5-4). The Eagles won the first meeting of the year against Stetson in DeLand earlier this month, 68-55, in a game which was also broadcast on CSS. The Hatters enter action in a three-way tie with Northern Kentucky and Jacksonville for sixth place in the league ledger.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• FGCU out-scored Kennesaw State in the paint Saturday, 42-24, and is now 21-0 in its last 21 games when finishing +15 in the paint.
• Chase Fieler scored 24 points at KSU, the most points by the senior against an A-Sun opponent in his career.
• The Eagles netted 46 first-half points against the Owls Saturday, the most they’ve scored in the opening 20 minutes this year (40, Iona).
• FGCU committed just nine turnovers at Kennesaw State, the second time in A-Sun play it has posted single-digit turnovers (7, NKU).
• FGCU has thrown down 17 dunks in the last three games, including a season-high seven each against ETSU and KSU.
Last year, 10 of FGCU’s 11 losses came away from Alico Arena, and so far this season only one of the Eagles’ losses have occurred inside the friendly confines of The Nest where they are 8-1. Dating back to last year, FGCU has won 14 of its past 15 home games, and boasts a 23-2 record at Alico Arena since the start of the 2012-13 campaign. (Losses: Lipscomb, Iona).
FGCU is better in every single key statistical category at home than on the road with the exception of free-throw shooting. The Eagles are connecting at a 69-percent clip (127-184) in their 11 road games (4-7) and 65.3 percent (113-173) at home. The Green and Blue will have three straight games at home starting with Friday’s matchup.
FGCU has shot 75 percent or better from the free-throw line in each of the last four games, a feat it only accomplished five previous times all season. The Eagles were the worst free-throw shooting team in the league in non-conference play, connecting at just a 63.1 percent clip. However, in A-Sun action FGCU is shooting 74.6 percent, the second-best performance in the conference.
Individually, FGCU has two players – Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) and Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) – who both rank in the top-5 in free-throw percentage in A-Sun play. Thompson is at 86.7 percent (39-45) while Fieler is at 84.6 percent (22-26). FGCU is the only school with two players in the top 5.
• Stetson is coming off an 87-49 loss at Mercer last Saturday; the Hatters were riding a three-game winning streak heading into the contest.
• Stetson’s 62.1 points per game average ranks 333rd out of 345 Division-I programs; the Hatters also rank 330th in the nation in scoring margin at -9.5.
• The Hatters are ranked 282nd in the country with 634 total rebounds, compared with 780 from FGCU (36th nationally).
• Stetson is 1-9 on the road, with the lone win coming at Kennesaw State.
• Head coach Corey Williams has been playing with a lighter rotation as of late, only rotating six primary players in Willie Green, Brian Pegg, Kentwan Smith, Raymone Andrews, Aaron Graham and Hunter Miller. Against Mercer those six logged all but three of the total minutes played.
• Pegg has been named A-Sun Newcomer of the Week this year and Green is shooting 55 percent from the field – good for 44th in the country; Green (16.8) and Smith (14.2) are both averaging more than 14 points per game in A-Sun action.
• The Hatters lost more than 64 percent of their scoring from last year while the Eagles return 64 percent of their scoring from a season ago.
FGCU leads the all-time series with Stetson, 8-6. The Eagles are 4-2 at home, 3-4 on the road and 1-0 at a neutral site. The Eagles knocked the Hatters out of the A-Sun Tournament last year in the quarterfinals, giving FGCU a two-game winning streak against Stetson heading into Friday’s matchup.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
9: Fieler went 9-9 from the free-throw line against Kennesaw State, matching his career high for made free throws.
83: FGCU’s 83 points opposite the Owls on Saturday was tied for the second most in a game this year; two of the Eagles three highest-scoring contests this season have occurred in the last three outings.
84: The amount of games Fieler has started consecutively; the senior has a program-record 104 career starts.
91: The Eagles’ percentage from the free-throw line (20-22) at Kennesaw State, the best on the year.
122: Fieler will break Eddie Murray’s program record of 121 games played when he takes the court on Friday.
231: Thompson enters play tied with Reed Baker (2008-11) on the program’s all-time free throws made list with 231.
Prior to this year, FGCU had never had a player make at least five shots in a game without a miss in program history. However, Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy/Iowa State) – who has only played in the last 10 games – has done that on two separate occasions already this year. Against Stetson on Jan. 5 he went 7-7 from the field, and then opposite ETSU on Jan. 18 he went 5-5.
Not to be out-done, Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS/Georgia Tech) duplicated McKnight’s performance last Saturday against Kennesaw State, going 5-5 from the field.
DID YOU KNOW?
FGCU defeated Stetson in a triple overtime game in the 2010-11 season, 111-103. The 111 points are the most FGCU has scored as a Division-I team.
FGCU hosts Jacksonville and UNF next Thursday, Feb. 6, and Saturday, Feb. 8, respectively. The Eagles will be looking to avenge one of their two A-Sun losses against the Dolphins. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN3.
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.
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.