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FGCU Falls to ETSU, 84-71, in Regular Season Finale
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||ETSU|
|FG Percentage||.448 (26-58)||.509 (29-57)|
|3P FG Percentage||.333 (10-30)||.538 (7-13)|
|FT Percentage||.563 (9-16)||.543 (19-35)|
DUBOSE - 1
Eagles earn No. 6 seed in A-Sun Tournament
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Behind a balanced scoring attack that featured four players with at least 15 points, ETSU led from start to finish as it handed FGCU an 84-71 loss Saturday afternoon on the final day of the Atlantic Sun regular season action at the MSHA Athletic Center.
With the loss, FGCU (13-16, 8-10) earns the No. 6 seed in next week’s Atlantic Sun Tournament held on the campus of Mercer in Macon, Ga. The Eagles will take on third-seeded USC Upstate (20-11, 13-5) in the quarterfinal round on Thursday, Mar. 1, at 8:30 p.m. ETSU (16-13, 10-8), who won its third straight, will be the No. 4 seed and will take on No. 5 seed North Florida (16-5, 10-8) in the other Thursday game at 2:30 p.m.
After being honored prior to the game, ETSU seniors Isiah Brown, Tommy Hubbard Adam Sollazzo made sure they went out with win, combining for 54 points, 22 rebounds and 11 assists. Sollazzo, a Tampa native, scored his 1,000th career point during his 19-piont afternoon that also featured eight rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Like ETSU, the Eagles had four players reach double figures, led by freshman Bernard Thompson’s (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) 21st double figure game of the season. Thompson finished with 14 points and a game-high eight rebounds, while classmate Filip Cvjeticanin (Zagreb, Croatia/American School of Madrid) scored all 13 of his points in the final 13 minutes on 4-of-8 from long range.
The Bucs jumped out to a 10-0 lead less than three minutes into the game, forcing FGCU head coach Andy Enfield to call the first of three timeouts he would go on to use in the opening 20 minutes. ETSU continued to roll, though, holding a double-digit lead for all but 1:40 the rest of the half en route to producing a 40-26 edge at the break. The difference in the first half was 13 ETSU points off 14 FGCU giveaways compared to the Eagles scoring zero points off five Bucs’ turnovers.
The second half featured much of the same, as ETSU built its largest lead (22), 68-46, with 7:34 left to play.
Behind seven consecutive points from Cvjeticanin, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers, the Eagles went on a 12-4 run in the final minutes to cut it to a nine-point deficit, 78-69, with 1:09 left, but came no closer as they suffered their third straight loss heading into the program’s first-ever A-Sun Tournament.
Lost in the big night from ETSU’s senior class was the performance of junior Marcus Dubose, who poured in a game-high 23 points. Dubose was the catalyst to ETSU’s fast start, knocking down 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in the first half for 16 points. The Bucs entered the game shooting a shade under 30 percent from three, but knocked down 7-of-13 for the game.
FGCU shot a respectable 45 percent (26-58) from the field, but was hampered by 20 turnovers that led to 22 ETSU points. For the third straight game the Eagles scored 20 second chance points, hauling in 14 offensive rebounds to give them 59 offensive caroms over the last three games.
Junior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) and freshman Dante Holmes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy/Oldsmar Christian) were the final two Eagles in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Redshirt junior Eddie Murray (North Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) added seven points and seven rebounds.
FGCU Athletics is offering ticket packages for the A-Sun Tournament at Mercer. Fans can get ticket booklets that include admission into every game of the men’s and women’s tournament (14 games) for $75. All tickets are general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FGCU ticket office Monday-Friday, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 239-590-7145, in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by ordering online at www.fgcuathletics.com/tickets. Tickets through the FGCU ticket office must be purchased by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27.