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Brown’s Big Night Leads @FGCU_MBB to 73-54 A-Sun Win Against Northern Kentucky
|Florida Gulf Coast||43||30||73|
|Stats at a Glance||NKU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.333 (18-54)||.500 (26-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.345 (10-29)||.444 (12-27)|
|FT Percentage||.571 (8-14)||.818 (9-11)|
COMER - 3
GRAF - 3
COMER - 2
JACKSON - 1
Senior becomes first FGCU player to record four straight double-doubles
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) scored 16 of his career-high 29 points in the first half and became the first FGCU player to record a double-double in four straight games as he led the Eagles to a 73-54 Atlantic Sun win over Northern Kentucky (NKU) on Saturday at Alico Arena.
The Eagles shook off their first losing streak of the season to improve to 13-8 overall and 5-3 in the A-Sun heading into next Friday’s conference showdown with first place Stetson (9-10, 6-2 A-Sun) at Alico Arena. The game will tip at 7:05 p.m. and be televised on Comcast Sports South (CSS).
“Sherwood played tremendous tonight on both ends of the floor, but it was his defense and the rest of the team’s effort on that end that I was really happy with,” said head coach Andy Enfield. “We challenged our guys after giving up 80-plus points the last two games and they responded. That’s the type of effort defensively they have to give every night to be successful in league play.”
FGCU held the Norse to 29 percent (7-24) from the field in the first half in which it jumped out a 43-23 lead at the break. For the game, NKU shot 33 percent (18-54), as the Eagles improved to 7-0 when holding an opponent under 60 points.
The Norse (4-11, 2-5 A-Sun) entered the game second in the A-Sun in scoring defense (60.5) and tops in three-point defense (.291), but FGCU became the fifth team to reach the 70-point plateau against NKU while shooting 50 percent (26-52) from the field and 12-of-27 from three-point land.
Brown was a major part of FGCU’s efficient night on the offensive end, going 11-of-17 from the field, including 5-of-8 from three, while adding 10 rebounds to his 29-point night for his fourth consecutive double-double. The 20-point game was Brown’s second straight and fourth of the season, as he moved within 15 points of 1,000 for his career.
A strong opening four minutes on the defensive end allowed FGCU to never trail in the contest, as it held NKU scoreless on its first seven possessions, forcing three turnovers. A pair of redshirt sophomore Eric McKnight (Raleigh, N.C./Princeton Day Academy/Iowa State) dunks accounted for half the points to the quick start.
Still holding the lead at 15-14 just over nine minutes into the game, the Eagles used three consecutive three-pointers and four total during an 14-4 run that allowed it to build a double figure lead that it would keep over the final 5:47 of the half and the entire second period. Junior Christophe Varidel (Versoix, Switzerland/Worcester Academy) knocked down back-to-back threes to close the run and was 3-of-4 from deep in the opening 20 minutes.
Brown scored FGCU’s final six points of the first half and his second old-fashioned three-point play with four seconds left pushed the halftime score to 43-23. The 20-point halftime lead was FGCU’s largest of the season and the 10th time in 11 home games that is led at the break.
The Green and Blue never trailed in the game for the seventh time this season, as Brown put any threat of an NKU comeback out of question by scoring 13 of the team’s 18 points from the 10:30 mark of the second half until he came out of the game for good with 2:22 remaining.
Varidel hit his fourth triple of the game in the second half to contribute his eighth double figure outing of the year with 12 points off the bench. Junior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) upped his career-long double-digit scoring streak to seven games with 10 points.
NKU was led by senior Eshaunte Jones’ 22 points and seven rebounds in 36 minutes off the bench.