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FGCU Uses Hot Shooting Night to Defeat Kennesaw State, 92-74
|Florida Gulf Coast||39||53||92|
|Stats at a Glance||KSU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.476 (30-63)||.604 (29-48)|
|3P FG Percentage||.375 (9-24)||.438 (7-16)|
|FT Percentage||.385 (5-13)||.794 (27-34)|
BROWN - 2
CANTINOL - 1
FORT MYERS, Fla. – A season-high six players reached double figures led by 17 points from 6-foot-9 sharpshooting freshman Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid), as the FGCU men’s basketball team picked up its third win in a row with a 92-74 Atlantic Sun triumph over Kennesaw State in front of 2,810 fans at Alico Arena Saturday night.
The win gives the Green and Blue and season sweep of the Owls (3-19, 0-10) and moves the Eagles to 6-4 in the A-Sun. FGCU’s three-game win streak is its longest of the season and its 11 wins (11-10) equal a program Division I record.
Cvjeticanin’s 5-for-6 night from three-point land was a microcosm of the type of shooting performance the Eagles put on, surpassing the 50-percent clip for the third straight game. FGCU finished 29-of-48 from the field (60.4%) and knocked down 27-of-34 at the free throw line to break 90 points for the third straight game.
At least five players reached double figures for the seventh time in 11 games for FGCU, while Cvjeticanin’s 17 points off the bench marked the 11th occasion the Eagles’ leading scorer has come off the pine. Sophomore Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) scored a career-high 15 points to lead four starters in double-digits.
Kennesaw State was led by A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Markeith Cummings, who scored 20 points. Junior Aaron Anderson recorded his league-high eighth double-double with 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
With the score tied 47-47 at the 12:35 mark of the second half, FGCU broke the game open over the next four and half minutes thanks to a 19-4 run. The game-changing spurt was capped by back-to-back three-pointers by Cvjeticanin, while Fieler had five points and two assists during the run that gave the Eagles a 66-51 lead with 7:01 remaining.
FGCU never forfeited its double figure lead the rest of the way, scoring 53 points in the second half on 15-of-24 from the floor and 20-of-23 at the charity stripe. The Eagles have scored at least 50 points in the second half three straight games.
Junior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) continued his strong play with 14 points and a team-high six rebounds. Over the last two games in which he’s played a total of 46 minutes, Brown has 34 points and 16 rebounds.
The freshmen trio of Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS), Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) and Dante Holmes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances/Oldsmar Christian) rounded out the four freshmen double-digit scorers. Thompson’s team-best 16th double figure game featured 12 points, while both Comer and Holmes had 11 points apiece. Comer coupled his 11 points with seven assists and five rebounds.
Fresh off a 101-point night at Longwood, FGCU struggled offensively early on until a pair of three-pointers by Cvjeticanin sparked an 8-3 run that ended with a long range field goal from the Croatian to give the Eagles their first lead of the game, at 13-11.
Cvjeticanin’s final three was in the midst of 10 straight FGCU points that helped the home team not only take its first lead, but hold onto it the rest of the half. The Eagles’ lead reached as high as nine, 36-27, with 1:28 remaining.
Kennesaw State scored the game’s next five points, but the Eagles were able to stop its momentum heading into the half when Thompson hit a half-court shot at the buzzer for a 39-32 lead. FGCU overcame the slow start to shoot 58 percent (14-24) in the opening 20 minutes.
Thompson’s half court heroics didn’t seem to faze the Owls, though, as the visitors opened the second half with seven straight points to tie the game at 41-41 and again at 47-47.
Kennesaw State shot a solid 48 percent (30-63) from the floor and owned an 18-9 edge in second chance points on 14 offensive rebounds.
FGCU will wrap up its three-game homestand on Monday night against first place Mercer (16-7, 8-2). Gametime at Alico Arena is slated for 7:05 p.m.