FORT MYERS, FLA. – Sophomore Adam Liddell scored a career-high 21 points and grabbed a school-record 18 rebounds Friday evening to lead Florida Gulf Coast University to a 87-79 win over NAIA Apprentice School at Alico Arena.
The Eagles won their third consecutive game and improved to 13-11 overall. The Builders fell to 4-16 overall despite a school-record 43 points from senior guard Charles Holiday, the most points scored by any player in the four-year history of Alico Arena.
But Liddell (Auburn, Ind.) was equal to the task, setting several records on the way to posting his third straight double-double. The 6-foot-7 forward knocked down 8-of-16 from the floor, including a three-pointer and 4-of-7 from the line. He also added a career-high five assists on several highlight reel passes in transition. The 18 rebounds topped the previous record of 16 rebounds set by Robinson Tisme (’04) against Calumet College in January, 2003. Liddell joins Tisme as the only Eagles to ever post a double-double in three straight games.
Getting there wasn't easy. Leading by two points with 4:52 remaining to play, 71-69, the Eagles held Holiday and the Builders scoreless over the next four minutes and pushed the lead to 80-69. FGCU hit seven straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
The Eagles had led by as many as 16 points early in the second half after opening up a four-point halftime lead with an 18-6 run to start the final half. On the strength of five consecutive three-point field goals by Holiday, who hit nine shots from beyond the arc in the game, the Builders exploded for a 30-16 run to pull within two.
In addition to Liddell, two other Eagles scored at least 20 points, marking the first time in school history that three FGCU players scored 20 or more points in the same game. Junior guard Beau Bauer (Walton, Ind.) tied for team-high honors with 21 points on 9-of-17 shooting, including two three-pointers, while sophomore Brendan Rooney (Fort Myers, Fla.) added a career-high 20 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a trio of three-pointers and 7-of-8 from the foul line. Freshman Cecil Avant (Pembroke Pines, Fla.) chipped in with 15 points.
FGCU returns to action next on Monday when they travel to Nova Southeastern at 7:30 p.m. The game can be heard live via the internet.