DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.- FGCU held on for an exciting 60-57 win in their Division I opener on Monday night. The Eagles built a 17 point lead and escaped from Daytona with a three point win.
FGCU scored the first four points on short jumpers by Adam Liddell (Auburn, Ind.) and Casey Wohlleb (Boca Raton, Fla.). After a shot by Dewayne Pettus cut the Eagles lead to 4-2, FGCU responded with a 13-0 run that included three triples. The Wildcats answered with a 9-0 run of their own to cut the lead to 17-11 with 10:42 to play. FGCU regained momentum and out-scored the Wildcats 14-7 over the last nine minutes to take a 31-18 lead into the intermission.
FGCU was dominant on the glass in the first half, outrebounding the Wildcats 25-13 including a 14-6 advantage on the offensive end. The Eagles shot 43.3% from the floor while limiting BCU to 35.0% from the field and 1-for-8 from downtown.
FGCU was able to maintain a 10 point lead until just under the eight minute mark. Up 48-38, FGCU allowed the Wildcats to go on 14-3 run to take a brief 52-51 lead with 2:41 to play. Liddell hit a short jumper in the paint to give the Eagles a one point lead then sunk a pair of free-throws to give the Eagles a three point lead. FGCU would go 5-of-6 from the line including three from Kyle Matheney (Winter Park, Fla.) to ice the game and give FGCU a 60-57 win in their first Division I game.
John Holmes led all players with 19 points before fouling out. Dewayne Pettus added 12 for the hosts.
Casey Wohlleb scored a team-high 15 while Landon Adler added 12 and nine boards before fouling out. Liddell added 10 points on the evening. Rob Quaintance dished out four assists and added five steals and a block to help the Eagles to their first Division I win.