FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University men’s basketball team travels to the Lone Star State to face Prairie View A&M on Thursday (Nov. 19) at 8:00 p.m., in Prairie View, Texas, and SMU (Nov. 21) at 8:00 p.m., in Dallas. Prairie View A&M is coming off a 69-62 loss to Cincinnati on Monday, while SMU dropped an 80-68 decision to Texas A&M on Monday. Meanwhile, FGCU dropped their season opener this past Friday to No.2 Michigan State.
The Eagles (0-1, 0-0 A-Sun) look to snap a 20-game road losing streak this week. FGCU’s last win on the road came on Jan. 26, 2008 at Gardner-Webb, with the Eagles winning 87-80. Chad Lutkenhaus was the only current Eagle that played in that game.
The Series vs. Prairie View A&M
FGCU and Prairie View A&M will meet for the first time on Thursday.
Know Your Opponent: Prairie View A&M
Prairie View A&M is 1-1 after defeating Schreiner University (Nov. 14), 91-47, in the season opener and falling to Cincinnati (Nov. 16), 69-62, in its first road game of the season.
The Panthers led by 15 points at one point in the first half and were still leading the Bearcats with 10 minutes remaining in the game before Cincinnati’s late charge earned them their first victory of the season.
Prairie View A&M shot 37.1 percent from the field against Cincinnati, going 23-of-62.
The Panthers, who where 78th in the nation in steals per game last year, earned seven steals against the Bearcats and caused 17 turnovers in the loss.
Players to Watch
Senior forward Darnell Hugee, the team’s top returning scorer and rebounder, led the Panthers with 16 points and two blocks against Cincinnati. Christopher Jones, a senior guard, also scored in double figures with 10 points and posted seven assists in 37 minutes.
The Series vs. SMU
FGCU and SMU will meet for the first time on Saturday.
Know Your Opponent: Southern Methodist
The Mustangs come into the game with a 0-2 record after falling to South Florida (Nov. 13), 68-61, in the season opener and losing to Texas A&M (Nov. 16), 80-68.
In the loss to Texas A&M, Mouhammad Faye, a senior forward, scored 21 points while Paul McCoy added 20 for SMU.
The Mustangs shot 50.0 percent from the field against Texas A&M, going 27-of-54.
Last season, SMU was 9-8 when playing at Moody Coliseum on their way to a 9-20 season record and a 3-13 record in conference play.
The Mustangs were eliminated by the Cougars of Houston in the first round of the C-USA tournament last season, 85-76.
Players To Watch
Last season, a first-year player led SMU in scoring in 27 of 30 games, which was the highest percentage in the nation. McCoy led 12 times as a freshman, Derek Williams led in scoring 10 times as a junior, Faye three times as a junior, and Robert Nyakundi led twice as a redshirt freshman
McCoy, a sophomore guard, averaged 13.4 points per game en route to becoming the first freshman to ever lead SMU in scoring. McCoy earned two C-USA Rookie of the Week honors and was selected preseason All-Conference USA by Blue Ribbon Yearbook for the 2009-10 season.
FGCU Last Week
FGCU opened its 2009-10 campaign Friday night (Nov. 13) with a 97-58 loss to No. 2 Michigan State at the Breslin Center. The game marked the highest ranked opponent that FGCU has faced, and the second consecutive season that the Eagles have opened up against a ranked opponent. Last season, FGCU opened the season at No. 23 Kansas.
FGCU started off strong, scoring the game’s first four points. Derrick O’Neil scored the first basket after he stripped Kalin Lucas and took it the length of the court for the easy layup. Forward Anthony Banks added his first points of the night after another O’Neil steal early in the first half. In the first four minutes of the contest, the Eagles forced four Spartan turnovers.
The game saw seven lead changes in the first half, as the Eagles scored four more go-ahead baskets until Durrell Summers’ dunk off Chris Allen’s lob put the Spartans ahead 18-17 midway through the first half.
Michigan State finished the half on a 21-6 run, and entered the locker room with 44-27 lead.
In the second half, the Eagles would only come within nineteen points as the Spartans went on to win their 33rd straight home opener and 40th nonconference game in a row at the Breslin Center.
Banks led the Eagles (0-1) with 10 points and junior guard Reed Baker scored nine.
After the two-game road trip to Texas, the Eagles will travel south to face Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. on Nov. 25 at 7:00 p.m.