FGCU Looks For Season Sweep of In-State Rival Stetson
Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stetson (7-21, 5-12) at FGCU (7-19, 4-12)
DATE: Monday, Feb. 21, 2011
CITY: Fort Myers, Fla.
SITE: Alico Arena (4,500)
TIP-OFF: 7:30 p.m. ET
TALENT: Tom James (Play-by-Play)
J. Webb Horton (Color Analyst)
SERIES: Stetson leads, 4-3
LAST MEETING: FGCU 111, Stetson 103 - 3OT - Jan. 25, 2011
LAST GAME: FGCU 47, Stetson 39 - Feb. 14

Coming off another sound defensive effort in a home win, FGCU caps the first of its back-to-back A-Sun weekends at Alico Arena by hosting in-state rival Stetson on Monday evening. The Eagles defeated Campbell, 47-39, on Friday night and have held their last two opponents at home under 40 points. FGCU will also be going for its second season sweep of A-Sun opponent this season after taking both from Campbell. Monday's game is the first of four in a span of eight days to close the season for the Eagles.

FGCU prevailed in the longest game in program history against the Hatters earlier this season, taking a 111-103 decision in triple-overtime. It marked the first win for the Eagles at the Edmunds Center, but they now return to Alico Arena where they are 2-1 against the Hatters. Six of the seven meetings in the rivalry have been decided by 10 points or less, while the home team has won five times. Sophomore Anthony Banks is averaging 17 points and nine rebounds over three games against Stetson, including a then career-high 24 points in the Jan. 25th meeting.

FGCU's current two-game home win streak has been fueled by a resurgence on the defensive end. Over the last two games at Alico Arena, the Eagles have held their two opponents to under 40 points and an average of 38.5 for the entire 40 minutes. Looking further, FGCU his limited those teams to 27 percent (28-104) shooting from the field, including 6-of-34 from three, while holding a 84-55 edge on the glass.

Stetson enters on a heartbreaking three-game losing streak that includes an overtime loss at Mercer, two-point defeat at Kennesaw State and three-point loss against Campbell. Despite the streak, the Hatters are just a half-game behind Campbell in the race for the eighth and final A-Sun Tournament berth at 5-12 in league. Currently in his 11th season as head coach, Derek Waugh announced on Saturday that he will step down at the end of the season. With one year left on his contract, Waugh will stay with the athletic department in an assistant athletic director role. Waugh will lead the program with young talent, as a trio of underclassmen led Stetson in scoring. Sophomore Ridge Graham leads the team at 12.4 points per game, while freshman Corey Walden's 12 points are second among freshmen in the A-Sun.

• Most points in a game by an A-Sun team (against a DI team) since ETSU defeated Mercer 112-89 on 2/27/07.
• Most points in a game by an A-Sun team vs. any team since Lipscomb defeated Oakland City 121-54 on 11/15/2008.
• First 3 OT game in the A-Sun since Jacksonville defeated Stetson, 98-94, on Jan. 3, 2008.
• The 214 combined points is the most in an A-Sun game since at least 1996-97 …the previous high over that span was 211 (107-104 FAU vs. JU on Dec. 4, 2005 in 2 OT.
• FGCU shot a program record 60 free throws.
• FGCU's 111 points were a program Division I record and the third-most in the nine year history.

Several program records fell during FGCU's 111-103 triple-overtime win at Stetson on Jan. 25 - the longest game in program history. The 111 points scored were a Division I record for the Blue and Green and the third-best total in the nine-year history as they took a record 60 free throws (41-60). The two teams combined 214 points were the most in a single game FGCU has participated in.

The second half of the season has been a youth movement for the Eagles, as underclassmen have led the team in scoring the last 13 games and 15 of out the last 16. Freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL has been the catalyst, leading the team in scoring eight times over the 16. Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS has reached double figures in 20 of the last 22 games. Banks has led the team in scoring six times over the span of 16 games.

Freshman CHRISTOPHE VARIDEL sits third in the A-Sun in three-pointers per game at a 2.58 per game clip (top 50 nationally). Out of Varidel's 91 made field goals on season, 67 have come from beyond the arc. Varidel has made three or more trifectas in a game 15 times and is second among all freshmen in three-pointers made. Validating his shooting prowess, Varidel ranks eighth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage at 37.9.

Redshirt sophomore ANTHONY BANKS has been on a strict offensive rebounding diet, collecting a staggering 95 offensive boards this season, including nine against ACC foe Miami which equaled his career-best. Banks leads the A-Sun in offensive rebounds per game (3.65). He has grabbed five or more offensive rebounds in a game eight times this season and 17 for his career. He ranks 10th in the A-Sun at 6.3 caroms per contest.

With four games remaining, junior MARLON RIVERA is just 12 assists and nine steals away from becoming the first player in FGCU history to accumulate 150 rebounds, 150 assists and 50 steals all in the same season. Rivera has led the team in rebounding 10 times, assists on 24 occasions and steals 11 times.

The versatility of ANTHONY BANKS is on full display again this season. Banks leads the team in scoring at 14.8 points per game while also leading in rebounding (6.3) and offensive rebounds (95). Banks has led the team in scoring 11 times, rebounding nine times and both in the same game on seven occasions. He's reached double figures in a team-best 23 games while accumulating four double-doubles and five 20-point outings.