Florida Gulf Coast
(19-8, 11-3 A-Sun)
(8-13, 6-7 A-Sun)
2/14/2013 | Highland Heights, Ky. | Attendance: 3386
|Florida Gulf Coast||24||36||60|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||NKU|
|3P FG Percentage||.263
Eagles stay in first place in the A-Sun at 11-3
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Junior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) and sophomore Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) combined for 28 of FGCU’s 36 second half points, as the Eagles shook off a second half deficit to extend their win streak to seven games with a 60-53 Atlantic Sun triumph at Northern Kentucky Thursday night at the Bank of Kentucky Center.
Trailing 46-41 with under 10 minutes to play in the game, FGCU turned to Fieler and Thompson who scored every point of the team’s 19-7 run to close the game to lead it to its third straight A-Sun road win, a first in program history.
The win keeps the Eagles (19-8) in sole possession of first place in the A-Sun at 11-3 with four regular season games remaining heading into Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. EST tilt at Lipscomb (9-15, 4-9) that can be seen nationally on ESPN3. NKU entered with wins in four of its last five, but slip to 8-13 and 6-7 in the A-Sun in its inaugural season in Division I.
“Tonight wasn’t pretty, but a road win is a great win,” said head coach Andy Enfield, who has seen his squad give up just 48.3 points per game in the last three contests. “We didn’t execute well on the offensive end and they had a lot to do with that, but we used our defense for the third straight game to come away with a win.”
Playing in front of a ton of family and friends who made the trip from West Virginia, Fieler turned in an efficient 32 minutes on the floor with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-9 from the field, eight rebounds and two blocks. Most of Fieler’s family donned t-shirts with his name and number on it along with the hashtag #DunkTank commemorating his team-best 41 dunks on the year. Fieler didn’t disappoint, as he brought his season total of dunks to 45 with four in the second half, including three alley-oops from sophomore Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS).
“I’m really happy for Chase to get the opportunity to play in front of this many family and friends,” Enfield said of the junior who has scored in double figures 19 times this season after doing so just 15 times over his first two years. “He played great tonight and to do so in front of his family is great.”
Thompson finished behind Fieler with 18 points, but poured in 15 in the second half, including a trio of three-pointers. The Conyers, Ga. product was also efficient, knocking down 6-of-10 from the field while also dishing out three assists and with his pair of steals moved just four away from the program record of 78.
FGCU limited NKU to just 39 percent (19-49) from the field and extended its streak to six consecutive halves without giving up more than 30 points. The Norse had as many field goals (5) as turnovers (5) in the second half, as the Eagles out-scored the home team 36-30 in the final 20 minutes.
Eight first half turnovers prevented FGCU from getting into any offensive rhythm in the first half and led to an 8-0 edge in points off miscues for the Norse. The Green and Blue flipped that advantage in the second half, committing just three turnovers while owning a 9-0 advantage in points off turnovers.
For the game, FGCU shot 44 percent (23-52) from the field and won the battle of the boards 37-26 that included 11 offensive rebounds and a 13-3 edge in second chance points. Senior Sherwood Brown (Orlando, Fla./Olympia HS) equaled Fieler’s game-high of eight rebounds and supplied four on the offensive end.
Senior Eshaunte Jones led NKU and finished with a game-high 20 points on 6-of-15 from the field, while Chad Jackson supplied 13 points and seven rebounds