FORT MYERS, Fla. – Thanks to a 7-0 run to close out the game, the FGCU Eagles narrowly escaped with a 50-44 win on Friday night. Derrick O’Neil and Reggie Chambers each scored a game-high 11 points for the Eagles, and O’Neil also added a game-high 8 rebounds in the win.
At the onset, the UNF Ospreys came out looking much better than their 3-15 record indicated. Cortez Riley scored 5 and Germaine Sparks scored 4 as the Ospreys opened the game on a 9-2 run. UNF held that lead for the rest of the first half, extending it to as much as 11 points after a Stan Januska 3-pointer with 3:06 to play in the half. The Ospreys would carry an 11-point advantage into the half, leading 26-15.
In the second half, FGCU scored the first four points to cut the lead to 26-19. UNF responded to bring the lead back up to 10 points at 30-20 with 17:02 left in the game. The Eagles then went on a 13-2 run, capped by a pair of Derrick O’Neil free throws, giving the Eagles their first lead of the game, 33-32. A jumper from Kyle Groothuis quickly gave the lead back to the Ospreys, but two more O’Neil free throws switched the lead once again. With 7:39 to play, Eni Cuka knocked down a three for the Ospreys, giving UNF a 37-35 lead. FGCU’s Ed Rolax came back to hit a jumper, and Reggie Chambers hit a pair of free throws on the next possession, giving FGCU the lead once again. But Cuka would respond again, connecting on another three with exactly 4:00 to play, giving the Ospreys a 41-39 lead. The score remained that way until a Reggie Chambers layup with 2:20 left, tying the game for the fifth time. UNF’s Germaine Sparks hit one of two free throws to regain the lead, but Reggie Chambers came up big again, driving the length of the court for another layup, giving the lead back to the Eagles with 1:49 to play. The Ospreys would again respond, this time in the person of Stan Januska; his layup with 1:27 to play gave UNF a 44-43 lead. On FGCU’s next possession, Derrick O’Neil drove to the basket for a layup, giving the Eagles a 45-44 lead with 59 seconds left. At that point, the Eagles defense took over, shutting down the UNF offense for the remainder of the contest. The Eagles converted on 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to earn the 50-44 victory.
For the Ospreys (3-16, 1-8), Eni Cuka and Stan Januska each scored a team-high 10 points. Cortez Riley added 7 points and dished out a game-high 5 assists. Germaine Sparks pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds in addition to adding 5 points.
For the Eagles (9-12, 5-5), Derrick O’Neil and Reggie Chambers each scored a game-high 11 points. O’Neil also added a game-high 8 boards and a team-high 3 assists. Chambers added 6 rebounds and a team-high 3 steals. Kyle Marks scored 9 points and rejected a game-high 3 blocks.
The Eagles will be back in action inside Alico Arena on Sunday evening, taking on Jacksonville University. Sunday is Cub Scouts Day, where all Cub Scouts in uniform or with a badge will be admitted for free along with siblings who are 10 and under. Parents of Scouts can purchase tickets at the discounted rate of just $6. Tip-off is set for 5:00 PM.