(9-11, 6-3 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast
(14-8, 6-3 A-Sun)
1/25/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 3002
|Florida Gulf Coast||48||48||96|
|Stats at a Glance||STET||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.208
Brown becomes third player in program history to reach 1,000 points
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind a dominating performance on both ends of the court that featured a 59 percent shooting performance and 31 points off turnovers, the FGCU men’s basketball team led from start to finish in a convincing 96-65 win over Stetson in the A-Sun/CSS Friday Night Game of the Week in front of 3,002 fans at Alico Arena.
The 31-point win is the Green and Blue’s second-largest in conference play since joining the league in 2007, as the Eagles (14-8, 6-3 A-Sun) sit a half-game out of first place in the A-Sun standings at the midway point of conference action. FGCU and Stetson (9-11, 6-3 A-Sun) are now tied for second behind Jacksonville (6-2) who plays Saturday at 5 p.m. at USC Upstate on ESPN3.
“We are 6-3 through the first half of our league and 14-8 overall so I’m very pleased. We have played well on both sides of the ball and we are playing great as a team,” said head coach Andy Enfield. “The last two games we’ve had a renewed commitment to defense and now the test is, can we do it on the road. We have nine games left, if we keep up this intensity, we should be fine.”
All five starters reached double figures for the second time this season, led by senior Sherwood Brown’s (Orlando, Fla./Olympic HS) third consecutive 20-point outing. The starting five all shot above 50 percent to ignite a 37-of-63 performance from the field for the Eagles. FGCU’s season-high night from the floor featured 44 points in the paint and 31 points off of 21 Stetson turnovers.
Sophomore Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS), who entered 12th in the nation in total steals, had a lot to do with FGCU’s 31 points off turnovers, as he set a career-high with six thefts. Thompson six steals are the third-best total in program D-1 history, while the Eagles had 12 steals as a team. Thompson also had 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
In the midst of his 7-of-14 night from the field that resulted in 21 points, Brown became the third player in the 11-year program history to surpass 1,000 points, while he moved seven rebounds closer to becoming the first player to add 500 rebounds. Junior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) was a human highlight-reel with a pair of crowd-pleasing dunks and a pair of blocks, but also added 19 points on 8-of-10 from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from long range.
FGCU received solid point guard play from sophomore Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) and freshman Dajuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy), who combined for 12 assists and just one turnover. Comer added 13 points to his six-assist night with no giveaways over 22 minutes, while Graf had six assists in 15 minutes. As a team, the Eagles equaled a season-high with 21 assists to just 12 turnovers.
Fieler opened the game with a three-pointer just five seconds in and FGCU led from that point forward, going a full 40 minutes without trailing for the eighth time this year. Leading 23-16 halfway through the first 20 minutes, the Eagles went on a 9-0 run that was fueled by seven straight from Brown that gave the Green and Blue a double figure lead it wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way.
FGCU built a 48-29 lead at the break, marking the 11th time in 12 games at Alico Arena this season that its held a halftime lead. Over its last two home games, the Eagles have led by a combined 39 points at the half.
As a team, Stetson shot 41 percent (24-59) from the floor and their 65 points were almost six below its season average. The Hatters were undone by the previously mentioned 21 turnovers that included 15 in the first half and a 5-of-24 night from beyond the arc. The second-best scoring duo in the A-Sun, Adam Pegg and Chris Perez combined to score 38 points, but also committed 10 turnovers. Pegg finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Redshirt sophomore Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy) rounded out the double figure scorers for the Eagles with 10 points and three blocks, while senior Eddie Murray (North Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) produced nine points and five rebounds off the pine to give the Green and Blue a productive rotation of bigs.
The Eagles will begin the second half of the A-Sun regular season with a trip to Jacksonville for a pair of games, beginning with a showdown at North Florida (8-13, 3-5 A-Sun) on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7:00 p.m.