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@FGCU_MBB Looks To Avenge #ASunMBB Loss, Squares Off Against Jacksonville Thursday
|Stats at a Glance||JU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.370 (27-73)||.656 (40-61)|
|3P FG Percentage||.217 (5-23)||.500 (6-12)|
|FT Percentage||.571 (12-21)||.737 (14-19)|
HAYWOOD - 4
MCDOUGALD - 4
SLAWSON - 2
HOLDER - 1
SLAWSON - 1
MURRAY - 1
FIELER - 1
BLAKE - 1
Jacksonville (9-13, 5-6 A-Sun)
DUNK CITY, Fla. – Looking to move back into a first-place tie in the Atlantic Sun Conference standings, the FGCU men’s basketball team (14-9, 8-2 A-Sun) will be seeking to avenge an earlier-season loss to Jacksonville (9-13, 5-6 A-Sun) when the Eagles host the Dolphins in the friendly confines of Alico Arena Thursday at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
WHAT TO KNOW
• B & I Contractors is the presenting game sponsor and is hosting College of Engineering Night. B & I has donated $20,000 to support academic and athletic scholarships at FGCU.
• 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 pink, and $10 T-shirts will be available as all proceeds go to cancer-cure research as part of Coaches vs. Cancer.
• There is a student pre-game event at The ROC beginning at 5 p.m., complete with Mr. and Ms. FGCU competitions.
• Boxes will be available in the lobby as donations to the on-campus Harry Chapin Food Bank continue to be accepted.
• The FGCU women’s soccer team will be recognized at halftime for winning its conference-record fourth straight regular-season title.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, and fans can access the production free of charge by following the link at the top of this release or logging on to WatchESPN.com. David Moulton will handle the play-by-play duties with J. Webb Horton serving as the analyst.
ESPN Radio 99.3 FM will also carry the game locally with Mark Miller on the call. Fans outside the area can access the broadcast online by clicking 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
With a win, FGCU will move back to the top of the A-Sun standings and into a first-place tie with idle Mercer at 9-2. The Bears – who play just one game this week on Friday at Kennesaw State – fell at USC Upstate on Sunday, 80-61. The Eagles are two games ahead of third-place USC Upstate (6-4), which has won four straight games. FGCU travels to Upstate next week before hosting Mercer the following Friday (Feb. 21) in a made-for-TV rematch on ESPNU.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• Filip Cvjeticanin will serve the second of his three-game suspension for a violation of team rules.
• Chase Fieler recorded the 6th double-double of the season and 8th of his career with 15 points and a career-best 14 rebounds versus Stetson.
• Bernard Thompson (1,219) needs just 23 points to surpass Sherwood Brown (1,241) for second place on the program’s all-time scoring list.
• FGCU went 7-2 in January, its best record in January since going 8-0 as part of a 27-6 season in 2006-07, the Eagles’ final year in Division II.
• Thompson hit the game-winning 3-pointer against Stetson Friday with 2.4 seconds remaining, giving FGCU a 71-68 win.
FGCU leads the A-Sun in scoring defense, surrendering only 65.9 points per game. Jacksonville is fourth in the A-Sun in scoring offensive at 75 points per game, but second in league-only games at 77.3 per contest.
All of JU’s A-Sun wins have come when scoring more than 75 points. In their five league wins the Dolphins are averaging 86.6 points per game and have only been held under 86 in one of those contests, and that came at the hands of FGCU in a 76-69 Eagles’ setback. FGCU is 8-1 in the A-Sun when holding opponents to 75 points or less, with the lone loss being a 68-55 decision to Mercer.
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 9-1. Dating back to last year, FGCU has won 15 of its past 16 home games, and boasts a 24-2 record at Alico Arena since the start of the 2012-13 campaign. (Losses: Lipscomb, Iona).
FGCU is better in every 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 64.3 percent (126-196) at home. FGCU is in the middle of a season-long three-game homestand.
• Jacksonville snapped a four-game losing streak with a 95-77 win over Northern Kentucky on Saturday.
• JU is 0-11 this year when trailing at the half and 0-7 when allowing opponents to shoot at least 50 percent from the field.
• The Dolphins have the top-two leading scorers in A-Sun play in Jarvis Haywood (18.1) and Keith McDougald (16.7).
• Ninth-year head coach Cliff Warren is the all-time winningest coach in JU basketball history. He has won two regular-season A-Sun titles, and was the A-Sun Coach of the Year in 2008-09.
• JU grabbed 41 rebounds last time out against FGCU – the most boards the Eagles have given up in conference play this year.
• The Dolphins are 7-2 when out-rebounding their opponent, but are only 3-11 when getting out-rebounded.
• JU has 10 players averaging at least 13 minutes per game, Haywood leads the conference in overall scoring (17.4 ppg) and Vince Martin is third in the league in assists (4.9) and paces the A-Sun in steals at 2.1 per outing.
Jacksonville leads the all-time series against FGCU, 8-5. JU won the first seven meetings between the two after the Eagles joined the A-Sun in 2007-08. The Dolphins’ 76-69 win over FGCU last month stopped a five-game winning streak in the series for the Green and Blue. FGCU is 3-3 in Alico against JU.
LAST TIME VS. JU
Despite a double-double performance from Fieler, FGCU dropped its first league game of the year against Jacksonville at Veterans Memorial Arena on Jan. 11, 76-69.
Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) led a trio of FGCU double-figure scorers with a game-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) added 18 points and a team-best four assists, while Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) contributed 17 points, six rebounds and a game-best three steals.
Jacksonville – which received a first-place vote in the A-Sun Preseason Media Poll – led at the half, 42-35, and quickly extended to a 13-point edge just more than six minutes into the second half. The Eagles then started to chip away and went on a 10-2 run over a five-minute span to make it a five-point game, 57-52, with under 10 minutes remaining. The Dolphins responded with a 12-4 stretch – capped by a 3-pointer – to go back up 13, 69-56, with 4:41 left, all but knocking FGCU out of the game.
FGCU leads the A-Sun in home attendance at 4,157 per game – nearly 40 percent more than the next closest team (ETSU, 2,499). In its five A-Sun games, FGCU is averaging 4,344 fans per game – 31 percent more than the 2,982 Mercer is averaging over five games. Finally, in just 10 home games this year (41,566), FGCU has already surpassed its entire home attendance total from last year when it hosted 16 games (36,648).
NUMBERS TO KNOW
2: Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy/Marquette) scored 13 points against Stetson, just his second double-figure scoring performance in the last 17 games.
3: Comer’s reverse layup against Stetson landed at No. 3 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays Friday night, the fourth FGCU play on the top 10 already this year.
13: FGCU is the only team in the A-Sun with three players in the top-13 of the league scoring rankings: Thompson (6th, 15.3), Fieler (12th, 13.7) and Comer (13th, 13.5).
32: The Eagles average 32 points per game in the paint.
122: Fieler broke Eddie Murray’s (2008-13) program record of 121 games played on Friday opposite Stetson.
233: Thompson surpassed Reed Baker (2008-11) on the program’s all-time free throws made list (231) with two makes against the Hatters.
Fieler enters play Thursday as the A-Sun’s leading rebounder at 7.6 per game. Eight of the senior’s 11 career double-figure rebounding games have come this year, including six in the past 11 games, leading to four double-doubles in that same stretch. The 6-8 forward has created a sizeable advantage on the program’s all-time rebounding list as he’s grabbed 628 compared with the previous record of 589 by Sherwood Brown.
FGCU remains at home to conclude its mini three-game homestand with a 7 p.m. tipoff against UNF on Saturday. The game will be shown on ESPN3, and a limited number of tickets remain.
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.