FGCU Closes Out Non-Conference Play at Maine
Friday, December 21, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@Pierson_SID)
Thompson is second in the nation with four 20-point games on the road.
Thompson is second in the nation with four 20-point games on the road.
Florida Gulf Coast (8-5)
Maine (4-8)
12/22/2012 | Orono, Maine (Alfond Arena) | Attendance: 980
Florida Gulf Coast275178
Stats at a GlanceFGCUMAINE
FG Percentage.405 (30-74) .509 (28-55)
3P FG Percentage.207 (6-29) .429 (6-14)
FT Percentage.571 (12-21) .815 (22-27)
Offensive Rebounds189
Defensive Rebounds2133
Total Rebounds3942
Bench Points1712
Statistical LeadersFGCUMAINE
PointsBROWN - 17
Edwards - 27
ReboundsTEAM - 8
Edwards - 11
AssistsCOMER - 8
Lawton - 5
Edwards - 5
StealsCOMER - 3
Mesghna - 3
Edwards - 3
BlocksCOMER - 1
Fraser - 2
Allison - 2

FGCU (8-4) at Maine (3-8)
Coaching Matchup: Andy Enfield (23-21; 2nd Season) vs. Ted Woodward (103-144; 9th Season)
Date: Saturday, December 22, 2012
Time: 2:00 P.M. EST
City: Orono, Maine
Site: Alfond Arena (5,712)
Live Audio & Video: GOBLACKBEARS.com
Live Stats: GOBLACKBEARS.com
Twitter: @FGCU_MBB
Twitter Hashtags: #FGCU/#WeAreFGCU/#ASUNMBB
Current Streak: W2
On The Road: 1-4
Vs. Maine: 1-0
Last Meeting: FGCU 84, Maine 72 - Dec. 29, 2011 - Fort Myers, Fla.
Vs. America East: 1-0
Up Next: at Kennesaw State - Dec. 31 (A-Sun Opener)

Winners of four of its last five and six of its last eight, FGCU will finish off its non-conference slate with a Saturday matinee at Maine in the end of a home-and-home between the two programs. The Eagles’ 8-4 record is the most non-conference wins in the program’s brief six-year Division I history. Just outside the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25, FGCU is in the top 50 of the RPI, according to seven different media outlets, ranking as low as No. 37 in three rankings.

#0 Brett Comer (G)
• A-Sun leader & 25th nationally in assists per game (5.9)
• Averaging 7.6 assists over the last three games
• Team leader in assists in 11 of 12 games and 40 of 44 for career
#2 Bernard Thompson (G)
• Tops in the nation in total steals (39) and 5th in steals per (3.2)
• Ranks 6th in the A-Sun in scoring (15.0)
• Second in the nation with four 20-point games on the road
#5 Christophe Varidel (G)
• Made first start of the season last game vs. Southeastern
• Averaging 14.5 points over the last two games
• Third all-time in FGCU history with 152 three-pointers
#20 Chase Fieler (F)
• College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week on Monday
• Reached double-digits in six of last seven; leading scorer last three
• Team leader with 28 dunks out of 51 made field goals
#23 Eddie Murray (F)
• Started the last two games (2-0)
• Has more offensive rebounds (20) than defensive (17)
• Third on the team with six dunks

• A-Sun leader with eight wins; a program D-1 non-conference record
• Hasn’t trailed in four of the last five games; behind just 4 minutes and 9 seconds in the last 100 first half minutes over that span
• In the top 40 of the RPI, according to seven media outlets
• Just outside the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 Poll
• The only team to beat ACC member Miami (7-1) this season

Outlet (Date) - RPI (SOS)
Real Time (12/19) - 37 (29)
ESPN Insider (12/20) - 44 (29)
CBS Sports (12/20) - 38 (24)
Rivals (12/19) - 37 (20)
StatSheet (12/20) - 37 (22)
CollegeHoopsNet.com (12/20) - 38 (22)
WarrenNolan.com (12/20) - 38 (24)
Dolphin (12/20) - 70 (--)
Sagarin (12/20) - 79 (28)
Massey (12/19) - 96 (91)
Pomeroy (12/19) - 103 (33)

Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Florida, the Eagles (8-4) are tied with No. 5 Florida (8-1) for the most victories in the state.

(Records as of 12/20)
Florida: 8-1
FGCU: 8-4
Miami: 7-1
UCF: 6-3
USF: 6-3
Florida State: 6-4
Seven schools: Five wins or fewer

With an RPI as low as 29 and an A-Sun-leading eight wins, including ACC foe Miami’s lone loss, FGCU was predicted as the No. 13 seed in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament by ESPN.com’s Joe Lunardi in his Dec. 11th Bracketology.

Despite ranking as high as No. 37 in the RPI and in the top 50 in a total of seven media outlets’ RPIs, FGCU remained just outside the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll last Monday for the third consecutive week. The Eagles came in at No. 28, receiving 42 votes to sit 27 behind No. 25 North Dakota State.

8-0 when leading with five minutes left
7-0 at Alico Arena
7-0 when leading at the half
6-0 when out-rebounding its opponent
5-0 when shooting 50 percent or better from the field
4-0 when senior Sherwood Brown leads the team in scoring

The Black Bears enter Saturday’s contest with a 3-8 record, losing four of their last five contests, and coming off a 94-69 road loss at Marist on Dec. 16. Maine was tabbed to finish fifth in the America East Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Maine returns three starters from a team that went 12-17 last season. Maine makes its living in the paint as it ranks second in the America East in rebounding margin (+1.5), blocks per game (4.5) and offensive rebounds per game (12.9).

Maine is led by Canadian guard Justin Edwards and Scottish forward Alasdair Fraser. Edwards, a 2011-12 America East All-Rookie team member, leads the team in scoring at 17.1 points per game, which ranks him fourth in the America East, and he also leads Maine in steals (2.1). Fraser, a 2012-13 America East Preseason All-Conference member, is second on the team in points (12.2) and tops in rebounding (9.5) and blocks (18) this season, marks that are second and third, respectively, in the America East.

Saturday’s matchup features two teams that lead their respective conference in steals. Maine leads the America East at 8.0 thefts a game, while FGCU leads the A-Sun with 9.75 putting them 24th in the NCAA.

Senior SHERWOOD BROWN and sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON give FGCU one of the top backcourts in the Atlantic Sun and the third-best scoring tandem in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 28.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.
• One of two combos in the A-Sun to both rank in the top 10 in scoring ... Thompson ranks fifth (14.7), while Brown is seventh (13.7).
• Both reached the 20-point plateau at Samford, combining for 43 points, including 26 in the second half.
• The duo has reached double figures in same game nine times with FGCU going 5-4.
• Brown or Thompson has led the team in scoring in seven of the 12 games and have been the top two scorers on six occasions.
• Combine to score an average 35.8 points on the road

A-Sun Top Scoring Tandems
Craig/Rodgers (USC Upstate) - 29.8 ppg
Cummings/Love (Kennesaw St.) - 28.5 ppg
Thompson/Brown (FGCU) - 28.4 ppg
Pegg/Perez (Stetson) - 28.1 ppg
Smith/Wallace (UNF) - 27.7 pgg

Sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON registered 57 steals as a freshman in 2011-12 - good for third in the A-Sun and fifth-best in program single-season history - and is on pace to shatter that total and the program record this season.
• National leader with 39 steals
• Leads the A-Sun and ranks fifth in the nation in steals per game (3.3)
• Had a career-high of five steals at No. 9 Duke, vs. Toledo and vs. Loyola-MD.
• Current streak of 12 games with a steal, including seven straight with at least two.
• Has a steal in 40 of 44 career games, including 31 multi-steal performances.
• Just four steals shy of 100 in 44 career games.

After leading the A-Sun and finishing second among freshmen nationally in assists per game in 2011-12, sophomore BRETT COMER is out to defend his league assist crown.
• Leads the A-Sun and is 25th in the nation in assists per game (5.9).
• Averaging 7.6 assists over the last four games.
• Only A-Sun player this season with multiple games of 10 or more assists.
• Ranks third in the A-Sun in assist/turnover ratio (+1.5).
• One assist shy of 250 for his career.
• Has a steal in all but one game this season and 15 of his last 16 contests.
• Scored in double figures three of the last four games.

Senior SHERWOOD BROWN became the second straight Eagle to win the A-Sun Player of the Week on Nov. 27. Brown’s A-Sun Player of the Week honor followed sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON’S on Nov. 20. Brown has also been the College Sports Madness’ A-Sun Player of the Week two times, while junior CHASE FIELER garnered the award from the media outlet this past Monday.

Over the last eight games, junior CHASE FIELER has been FGCU’s top rebounder (5.4) and third-leading scorer at 13.1 points per contest.
• Named the College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week on Monday.
• Reached double figures in seven of the last eight games, including a career long four-game stretch.
• Has led the team in scoring a team-best four times, including the last three, after leading the team in points just two times over the first 66 games of his career.
• Scored a career-high 18 points, including 15 in the second half, at Iowa State and followed with 18 points in the win over FIU.
• Third on the team in scoring (10.5) and tied for third on the club in rebounding (4.8) - figures are 17th and 20th in the A-Sun.
• Named to the Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament team.
• Team leader with 28 dunks out 51 made field goals, including nine slams in the last two games.

A CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major All-American a year ago, sophomore BERNARD THOMPSON has a quartet of 20-point games on the road this season and was named the A-Sun Player of the Week on November 20.
• National leader with 39 steals.
• Team’s leading scorer (14.7) and 5th in the A-Sun.
• Second in the nation with four 20-point games on the road.
• Tied for the team lead with 10 double figure performances.
• Thompson is averaging 20.0 points per game in four road games with 24 points at No. 9 Duke, 21 points at VCU, 21 points at Samford and 20 points at St. John’s.
• Highlighted by a career-high six three-pointers at No. 9 Duke, - tied for the most threes in the A-Sun this season - he ranks 3rd in the A-Sun in three-point percentage (.409).
• Averaging 8.7 points in the second half that is boosted by 15 points in the final 20 minutes at No. 9 Duke and at VCU, 14 at St. John’s and two other double-digit performances.

FGCU is 7-0 at Alico Arena this season and 16-5 all-time at home under second-year head coach Andy Enfield.
• Seven-game home win streak is the second-longest in Division I history, just behind the eight-game streak in 2008-09.
• Out-scoring opponents by 13.7 points per game and limiting the opposition to 57.4 points per contest.
• Forcing 18.0 turnovers per game, leading to 10.7 steals.
• Dominating inside, out-scoring opponents 280-142 in the paint, good for a 19.7 per game difference.
• Defeated ACC foe Miami in the home opener, limiting the Canes to just 29 percent (16-55) shooting.

FGCU is armed with a long and athletic lineup that has been aggressive at the rim and in the paint this season. The Eagles are averaging 35.7 points in the paint this season, including 60 dunks.

Player - Dunks
Chase Fieler - 28
Eric McKnight - 13
Eddie Murray - 6
Sherwood Brown - 5
Leonard Livingston - 5
Bernard Thompson - 3

• FGCU has reached the 40-point plateau in points in the paint in four games, including the last two in which it has a combined 97 points.
• Been held below 30 points in the paint just one time.
• Eagles had a season-high nine dunks against Southeastern and eight against Toledo.
• Scored a season-high 51 points in the paint against FIU, including the first 14 of the game.