FGCU Falls in Overtime to Lipscomb; Nine-Game Home Win Streak Halted
|Florida Gulf Coast||38||32||8||78|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.545 (30-55)||.435 (30-69)|
|3P FG Percentage||.500 (9-18)||.250 (8-32)|
|FT Percentage||.581 (18-31)||.625 (10-16)|
BROWN - 20
THOMPSON - 2
FIELER - 2
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind a career-high 29 points from Deonte Alexander, Lipscomb rallied to force overtime and out-scored the FGCU men’s basketball team 17-8 in the extra frame to hand the Eagles their first home loss of the season in the form of a 87-78 defeat Thursday night at Alico Arena.
The Eagles led by as many as 16 in the first half and 13 with just over 12 minutes to play, but couldn’t fend of the Bisons’ rally en route to falling to 12-8 on the season and 4-3 in the Atlantic Sun. Lipscomb snapped FGCU’s Division I program record nine-game home win streak to move to 7-10 and 2-4 in league action.
“When a good player gets going, he becomes a great player and Alexander was a great player for the last seven minutes of regulation and the five minutes of overtime,” said head coach Andy Enfield. “We made poor decisions tonight with the ball and we have to reverse that.”
FGCU’s loss came despite 20-point and 10-rebound nights from both senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) and junior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS), who accounted for 51 percent of the team’s points and 50 percent of the rebounds. Brown’s 20 points and 10 rebounds make him the first player in the program’s D-1 era to record three straight double-doubles. Fieler set career-highs in nearly every category with 20 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for his second career double-double.
Alexander’s 29 points were the most FGCU has given up to a player this season, as Lipscomb’s starters scored all but two of the team’s points. Alexander finished 6-of-11 from three, while the Bisons shot 55 percent (30-55) for the game and got to the free throw line 15 more times than the home Eagles.
FGCU did out-rebound Lipscomb by a 44-32 margin, as the Bisons entered the game second in the A-Sun on the glass. Led by Fieler’s six offensive boards, the Eagles owned a 21-6 edge in second chance points thanks to 17 offensive caroms, but were undone by their 8-of-32 performance from three-point land.
Trailing 5-4 early on, FGCU used a quick 8-0 run to take a 14-8 lead by the first media timeout of the game. The Eagles came away with points on six of their first eight possessions, beginning with a put-back from Fieler and ended by a three-pointer from the 6-foot-8 junior.
The FGCU lead was in-and-out of double figures until a 9-0 spurt just before the eight-minute media resulted in the home team’s largest lead of the game, at 34-18 with 5:51 to play. Brown accounted for six of the points, including a transition dunk off a sophomore Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) steal that forced Lipscomb to call timeout.
Head coach Scott Sanderson’s timeout did the trick, as the Bisons responded by limiting FGCU to just four points the rest of the half, while closing the deficit to 38-33 at the break thanks to scoring the last nine points. Brown and Fieler accounted for 20 of the 38 points in the half for the Green and Blue, while eight of the nine players scored.
FGCU scoring drought didn’t carry over into the second half, as it opened with the first five points of the period and forced the Bisons to call timeout trailing 43-33 after 2:12 had gone by.
The Green and Blue’s lead reached largest in the second half at 54-41 with 12:18 to go, but Lipscomb fought all the way back with a 15-2 run that knotted the score at 56-56 with 7:13 to go. Alexander tied the game at 56-56 with a three-pointer that started a run of 13 points for the senior in the final seven minutes of regulation.
FGCU didn’t relinquish the lead right away despite the big run, building its lead back to two possessions before the Bisons eventually took their first lead of the game with 2:58 on the clock and the score 66-64.
Both teams had a chance to win the game in the final 43 seconds with the score tied at 70-70, but Brown’s three attempt for FGCU was off and Alexander’s layup as time expired rimmed out.
The overtime period belonged to Lipscomb, who was playing its first extra frame of the season, while it was third in seven A-Sun games for the Eagles. The Bisons scored the first 11 points of overtime to cruise to the 87-78 final.
Sophomore point guard Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) was the third FGCU player in double figures with 10 points and seven assists, becoming the third player in program history to hit the 300 career assist plateau. Thompson was held to eight points, but increased his season steal total to 53 with two thefts.
Lipscomb freshman Stephen Hurt made it three double-doubles in the game with 16 points and 12 rebounds, as the three-time A-Sun Newcomer of the Week now leads the league with six double-doubles.
FGCU will now turn its attention to its first-ever meeting with A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky on Saturday. Tipoff at Alico Arena is slated for 5:15 p.m. while the game can be seen live on A-Sun TV.
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