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Hall Sparks Mercer Past FGCU, 75-66
|Florida Gulf Coast||32||34||66|
|Stats at a Glance||MUM||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.587 (27-46)||.373 (22-59)|
|3P FG Percentage||.500 (11-22)||.333 (8-24)|
|FT Percentage||.556 (10-18)||.737 (14-19)|
FIELER - 1
FORT MYERS, Fla. – A 12-0 Mercer run early in the second half and a 20-point night from sophomore point guard Langston Hall proved to be the difference, as a late FGCU run wasn’t enough as it fell to the Bears, 75-66, on Monday night at Alico Arena.
The loss snaps a season-high three-game win streak for the Eagles, who are now 11-11 overall and 6-5 in the Atlantic Sun, good for a tie for fourth place. Mercer (17-17) holds on to its tie for first place with Belmont in the A-Sun at 9-2.
Junior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) turned in his third double-double of the season with team-highs of 15 points and 13 rebounds. Redshirt junior Eddie Murray (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) was the only other Eagle in double figures with 12, including 10 in the first half.
Brown hauled in seven offensive rebounds to highlight a season-best 18 offensive caroms by the Eagles, but it came on a night in which the Green and Blue shot under 40 percent for just the third time this year. FGCU shot a season-low 37 percent (22-59) from the field and 33 percent (8-24) from three, categories in which it leads the A-Sun.
Hall’s 20 points came on the strength of 5-of-9 from three-point land en route to leading the Bears to a season-high 11 treys (11-22). The top defensive team in the A-Sun, Mercer was also efficient on the offensive end, shooting 59 percent (27-46) from the field while passing out 18 assists on 27 field goals.
Following a breakaway dunk by freshman Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) that brought the Eagles within one, 43-42, Mercer went on a crucial 16-3 run that started with 12 consecutive points and saw the Bears score on eight straight possessions.
With Mercer owning its largest lead of the game (18), 68-50, with 8:16 remaining, FGCU began to chip away at the deficit by holding Mercer to just one point over the next 6:51. A three-pointer by freshman Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid) started and ended a 12-1 run for the Eagles that brought the home team within seven, 69-62, with under four minutes to play.
Unfortunately, that was as close as the Eagles would get, as a three-pointer by Bud Thomas – the team’s season-high 11th – with 1:25 remaining pushed the lead back to double figures despite it being Mercer’s lone field goal over the final eight minutes of the game.
Freshman point guard Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) finished a helper shy of his fourth double figure assist game of the season to go along with eight points and a season-high four steals. Sophomore Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) added eight points, while Thompson finished with seven and five rebounds.
FGCU will be back in action when it opens the final month of the regular season with a two-game A-Sun road trip to Jacksonville. The Eagles will take on Jacksonville University on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 3:15 p.m. Live audio of the game can be heard on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com with Voice of the Eagles Tom James on the call.