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Comer Reaches 1,000 As Lipscomb Downs @FGCU_MBB; Remains In First-Place Tie
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||LIP|
|FG Percentage||.412 (21-51)||.500 (30-60)|
|3P FG Percentage||.308 (8-26)||.500 (15-30)|
|FT Percentage||.750 (21-28)||.773 (17-22)|
SMITH - 21
McKNIGHT - 1
GRAF - 1
DENNY - 2
SMITH - 2
FIELER - 1
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS & MORE COMING FRIDAY
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – FGCU guard Brett Comer surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career as part of a 27-point night, but the Eagles (19-11, 13-4 Atlantic Sun Conference) suffered a crucial road loss at Lipscomb (14-14, 9-8 A-Sun) Thursday night, 92-71. Despite the setback, FGCU remained in a first-place tie with Mercer (22-8, 13-4 A-Sun) as the Bears loss at home in overtime to UNF.
Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) knocked down a career-best five 3-pointers as he tallied the second-most points of his career. The junior scored 19 of his points in the first half – including four of his 3-pointers – as he now has 1,010 points. He became the third different FGCU player this year to surpass the milestone, and the Eagles are now one of only eight teams in the nation who start three different 1,000-point scorers.
The UNF (15-15, 9-8 A-Sun) win at Mercer leaves the top-two teams in the league ledger in the same position as they were entering the contest. The Eagles travel to Highland Heights, Ky., to face Northern Kentucky (9-20, 5-12 A-Sun) on Saturday, while Mercer hosts Jacksonville (12-16, 8-9 A-Sun). An FGCU win and Mercer loss gives the Eagles their first-ever regular-season title. Likewise, an FGCU loss and Mercer win gives the title to the Bears.
FGCU and Mercer split their season series, so if the two teams finish tied, the first tiebreaker will be record against the third-place team, which will be either USC Upstate or ETSU. Those two teams, which are both 10-7 in the league, square off at Upstate on Friday at CSS. If FGCU and Mercer finish tied and Upstate defeats ETSU, the Eagles will clinch the No. 1 seed and have home-court advantage throughout the A-Sun Championship. If the same scenario plays out but ETSU defeats Upstate, Mercer will earn the No. 1 seed. FGCU went 2-0 against Upstate and 1-1 versus ETSU, while Mercer went 1-1 opposite Upstate and 2-0 against ETSU.
The Eagles allowed a season-high 92 points and season-high 15 3-pointers as the Bisons shot 50 percent (15-30) from beyond the arc. FGCU scored the first bucket not even 10 seconds in, but Lipscomb – which leads the A-Sun and ranks 11th in the nation in 3-pointers made – responded with a 3 and never trailed the rest of the night, leading by double figures for the final 35 minutes.
“I give Lipscomb a lot of credit; from start to finish they controlled the tempo and shot the ball terrific,” FGCU head coach Joe Dooley said. “They put us on our heels and we never were able to respond.”
Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) grabbed a career-high-tying 14 rebounds to go along with eight points. Both Fieler (second-leading scorer, 13.7 ppg) and leading scorer Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) (15.6 ppg) were plagued with foul trouble throughout the night as Thompson played only 12 minutes before fouling out with a season-low five points.
Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy/Marquette) narrowly missed his third straight double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds, while Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy/Iowa State) added 10 points and five rebounds.
After allowing Lipscomb to shoot 58.8 percent (20-34) from the floor in the first half, FGCU limited the Bisons to 38.5 percent (10-26) in the second half. Lipscomb turned 14 FGCU turnovers into 15 points as the Bisons finished with just seven turnovers and 18 assists. Comer led the Eagles with five assists, the 24th time he’s paced the club in that category this year.
FGCU can still only finish 1st or 2nd in the league standings. The Eagles have guaranteed themselves the right to host a quarterfinal tournament game against either the 7th or 8th seed on Tuesday, Mar. 4, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. With a win, FGCU would also host a semifinal matchup on Thursday, Mar. 6, at either 6:30 or 8:30 p.m. on CSS. The championship final will take place at the home of the highest-remaining seed on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 9.
Current and future season-ticket holders, in addition to FGCU students, can now secure their tickets for all those games by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office or by calling 239-590-7145. Student tickets are free, courtesy of FGCU picking up the $5 charge. All other prices vary, and ticket information can be found ON FGCUAthletics.com. Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, Mar. 1.
FGCU will now travel on Friday before closing the regular season with the team it opened the conference slate against, Northern Kentucky. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m. Saturday in the city just over the border from Cincinnati. After the tilt with the Norse, the Eagles will return to Alico Arena to open its A-Sun title defense in the quarterfinal round of the tournament on Tuesday, Mar. 4, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
GAME NOTES: Dajuan Graf scored seven points and grabbed three rebounds … Filip Cvjeticanin added six points on a pair of 3-pointers … Jones dished out three assists … FGCU shot 41.2 percent (21-51) from the floor … the Eagles shot 75 percent (21-28) from the free-throw line.
For Atlantic Sun Conference Championship ticket information and sales, visit the Alico Arena Ticket Office, call 239-590-7145 or log on to FGCUAthletics.com.