FGCU Holds on to Beat Alcorn State to Advance to Championship Game
|Florida Gulf Coast||26||24||50|
|Stats at a Glance||ASU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.375 (18-48)||.346 (18-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.176 (3-17)||.071 (1-14)|
|FT Percentage||.600 (9-15)||.565 (13-23)|
Nicholas - 7
Nicholas - 7
Nieves - 1
Nicholas - 1
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind 16 points from junior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS), the FGCU men’s basketball team overcame a rough shooting night to hold on for a 50-48 win over Alcorn State on Wednesday night in the semifinals of a four-team tournament hosted by FGCU that is part of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Eagles (3-2) advance to play Toledo (1-3) on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. with the winner earning an automatic invitation into the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis held in the Bahamas. The Rockets picked up their first win over the season in the first game of the night, defeating Samford (1-4), 82-69.
Fieler’s 16-point night was just one off his career-high, as he went 5-of-14 from the floor and 6-of-7 from the free throw line to go along with five rebounds. Junior Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) provided a big spark off the bench with 10 points, including nine points in the first half.
Both teams managed just 18 made field goals each, while FGCU’s edge came in points off turnovers where it turned 20 Alcorn State miscues into 23 points. The 20 turnovers by the Braves also led to a 34-20 edge in points in the paint for the Green and Blue.
Points came at a premium for both sides in the opening 20 minutes, but it was a 9-0 run over the final 5:30 of the half that gave FGCU a 26-15 lead at the break. Over the scoreless streak, the Eagles forced the Braves into three turnovers and 0-fo -6 from the field. Varidel and Fieler combined for 16 of the team’s 26 points.
Alcorn State matched its point total from the entire first half (15) just 6:07 into the second period, using an 11-1 run to take the lead, 37-36, with 9:18 left in the game.
The lead changed hands three times in the next five minutes and eventually yielded a 45-45 tie game with 4:03 on the clock. The Eagles built a three-point edge, 48-45, with less than three minutes to play, but then proceeded to go two possessions without any points allowing Alcorn State to tie the game again at 48-48.
Coming out of a 30-second timeout, FGCU got the ball inside to senior guard Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS), who drew the foul and made 1-of-2 at the line to give the home team a 49-48 lead.
After a big defensive stop, Varidel came up with a big rebound and was fouled, but made just 1-of-2 to keep it just a two-point game, at 50-48. Alcorn State worked the ball around to Anthony Evans in the right corner, but his shot for the win rimmed out and the buzzer sounded. Evans was Alcorn State’s go-to-guy all night, finishing with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-17 from the field in 39 minutes. LeAntwan Luckett was Alcorn’s other double figure scorer with 13 points.
Sophomore Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy/Iowa State) turned in a productive 31 minutes that featured six points, a game-high eight rebounds, including five offensive, and two blocks. Brown and sophomore Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) were both held to single-digits for the first time this season with seven points each. Brown equaled a career-high with four steals.
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