11/23/2013 | Alico Arena (Fort Myers, FL) | Attendance: 4633
|Stats at a Glance||AMUMBB||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.421
Ave Maria (2-2) @ FGCU (3-1)
Saturday, Nov. 23 | 7 PM | Alico Arena (4,633)
DUNK CITY, Fla. – In search of its fourth consecutive win, the FGCU men’s basketball team (3-1) concludes its mini two-game homestand with a Saturday night matchup against local NAIA foe Ave Maria (2-2) at 7 p.m. from Alico Arena.
The game, originally scheduled to appear on ESPN3, will instead air for free on ASun.TV as final preparations are made for ESPN3 broadcasts. Live stats are also available on FGCUAthletics.com, in addition to Twitter updates through @FGCU_MBB.
TWEETABLES: 5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less
• This will be the fourth all-time meeting between FGCU and Ave Maria, with the Eagles holding a 3-0 edge.
• FGCU has won those three games by a combined 76 points, including last year’s 32-point victory, 86-54.
• Monday night’s crowd of 4,124 against Division-II Eckerd was the third-largest in program history.
• The only two larger crowds were last year’s home opener versus Miami and this season’s home opener opposite Hartford.
• Redshirt junior center Nate Hicks set the program’s single-game blocks record with eight Monday while adding 12 points and nine rebounds.
MOVING ON UP
With his 15-point performance Monday night against Eckerd, Chase Fieler – the reigning Atlantic Sun Conference Player of the Week – moved up two spots on the program’s all-time scoring list from 9th to 7th with 878 career points. That total puts him right behind teammate Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) who is in 6th place with 936; the guard did not dress versus Eckerd as he rested an ankle injury that he played through the first three games of the year.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
FGCU will look to continue a program record for protecting the ball as the Eagles have had three straight games of single-digit turnovers (8 vs. Hartford, 8 @ Furman, 9 vs. Ave Maria). Dating back to the beginning of the program in the 2002-03 season has an FGCU team even had back-to-back single-digit turnover contests.
PLAYER QUICK HITTERS
Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS): Has 16 total assists and just three turnovers in FGCU’s two home games; scored a team-high 18 points versus Eckerd, tying a season best with six made field goals.
Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS/Georgia Tech): Was one rebound and two blocks shy of the program’s first triple-double versus Eckerd as he had career highs in points (12), rebounds (9) and blocks (8).
Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde HS/Marquette): Has grabbed at least seven rebounds in all four games to start his career in the Green and Blue.
Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid): Started his first game of the year against Eckerd and chipped in a season-high 12 points on a season-best four 3-pointers.
Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS): Had a season-high three assists versus Eckerd while making a season-best six free throws on a career-high 10 attempts.
Marcus Blake (Miami, Fla./American Heritage HS): Had his first steal of the season versus Eckerd and has grabbed two rebounds in back-to-back games.
Dajuan Graf (Charlotte, N.C./Phillip O. Berry Academy): Grabbed a season-high three rebounds and added a season-best four assists versus Eckerd, while playing a career-high 34 minutes off the bench and finishing with the best +/- on the roster at +23.
SCOUTING AVE MARIA
• Ave Maria is an NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) school which competes in the Sun Conference and has an enrollment of roughly 1,000.
• Founded in 2003, the university moved to its permanent campus in Ave Maria (20 minutes east of Naples) in 2007.
• Ave Maria dropped its first three games but is coming off a 61-60 win over Edward Waters Thursday night in its home opener.
• Matt Chattin surpassed the career 1,000-point plateau in that game as he scored a team-best 23 points.
• Chattin leads the Gyrenes with 22.5 points per game, and Wendell Powell is the lone other double-figure scorer at 10.3 per outing.
• Powell paces Ave Maria in rebounding at 6.5 a game while Jelani Bonner corrals an average of 5.3 per contest.
• Head coach Ken Dagostino played at Iona – FGCU’s next home opponent – and was the captain of the 2006 MAAC championship team which lost in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament to 4th-seeded LSU.
FGCU heads to Raleigh to battle ACC member NC State on Tuesday night at 7. The Eagles land back at The Nest next Sunday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. for a prime matchup versus Iona. The New York-based school has made consecutive NCAA Tournament berths, led the nation in scoring two years ago and finished second in the country in scoring last season.
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.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.