FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team looks to get back on the winning track when it returns to Alico Arena for a pair of home games this week.
After dropping South Region games last week against Valdosta State (9-2) and No. 8 Florida Southern (10-3), it doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles. FGCU (8-6, 6-5 South Region) will meet its second straight top-20 opponent when it hosts No. 19 Lynn University (10-3) on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The Eagles welcome the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish (4-14) to Alico Arena on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
The Eagles will be facing a Lynn squad that will be looking to avenge a 72-67 loss to FGCU back on December 3. The then No. 9 Knights watched the Eagles overcome a 17-point second-half deficit to pull out the upset win. Senior forward Leon Woodstock (Miami, Fla.) scored a then career-high 17 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds to spark the FGCU comeback. FGCU is 3-1 all-time against Lynn but all four meetings have been decided by five points or less. Five players average at least 10 points a game for Lynn, led by senior Marcus Hayes at 17.4 points per game.
Palm Beach Atlantic will meet FGCU for just the second time. The Eagles knocked off the Sailfish 94-83 in 2003-04. It will be the first of two meetings between the two teams this year. FGCU will travel to West Palm Beach on February 2. Derek Barnes leads PBA with 12.8 points per game.
FGCU has been led by senior forward Marcus Watts (North Port, Fla.), who has posted back-to-back double-doubles to become the first Eagle player to do so since Robinson Tisme in 2002-03, who had three straight double-doubles. Watts leads the team in scoring at 13.5 points per game and has scored in double figures in 13 games. He also leads the team in rebounding at 6.5 per game. Junior guard Beau Bauer (Walton, Ind.) is second in scoring at 12.1 points per game and leads the team in assists (37) and steals (21). Woodstock averages 11.5 points and 6 rebounds per contest while sophomore forward Adam Liddell (Auburn, Ind.) grabs 6.1 boards per contest.
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: FGCU extended its consecutive game streak with at least two made three-pointers to 104 games last week…Three players are shooting better than 50% from the floor – Watts (.529), Woodstock (.514) and sophomore Casey Wohlleb (.500)…Three players shoot at least 80% from the foul line – Wohlleb (.833), Woodstock (.828) and sophomore Brendan Rooney (.818)…Bauer has played more minutes than any other Eagle (366)…FGCU is just 8 of its last 43 from beyond the three-point arc…The Eagles had as many assists (13) as turnovers at Florida Southern, just the third time that has happened this year…Senior Gabe Pean tied his season-high with five assists at FSC and had nine points, his second-highest scoring total this year…Wohlleb returned to the lineup last Saturday after missing four games with an elbow injury…Bauer has scored in double figures in six straight games while Watts has had 10 or more points in seven straight games…FGCU is now 1-2 against Sunshine State Conference teams.