#ProtectTheNest; @FGCU_MBB Turns in Record-Setting Home Season
Thursday, April 11, 2013 | by Patrick Pierson (@Pierson_SID)
The sellout crowd of 4,552 fans rushed the court after FGCU's home-opening win vs. Miami.(Photo by J. Meric)
The sellout crowd of 4,552 fans rushed the court after FGCU's home-opening win vs. Miami.(Photo by J. Meric)

DUNK CITY, Fla. – FGCU will celebrate the historic 2012-13 men’s basketball season on Monday, April 15th when it hosts its postseason banquet at Alico Arena. During the 10 days leading up to the banquet, FGCUATHLETICS.com will highlight 10 accomplishments and moments of the Green and Blue’s record-setting campaign that let the nation in on the best kept secret in college athletics and created #DunkCity.

Thursday is look at FGCU’s 15-1 record at Alico Arena that began with a win over eventual ACC Regular Season Champ Miami. The 15 wins at Alico Arena equaled the most home wins by an A-Sun team in the last five years.

• Nine-game home win streak to start the year was the longest in the program’s Division I history.
• Led from start to finish 8 of 16 games.
• Trailed for a total of 67:04 out of 645 minutes of action.
• Out-scored opponents by 14.5 points per game
• Forced 17.1 turnovers per game, leading to 10.3 steals.
• Dominated inside, out-scoring opponents 600-340 in the paint, good for a 16.3 per game difference.
• Shot 47.3 percent while opponents shoot 36.0 percent.
• Defeated current ACC champ Miami in the home opener, limiting the Canes to just 29 percent (16-55) shooting.
• Led at the half in 15 of 16 games.
• Trailed by double figures at home three times, winning two of those contests - Miami and Toledo.

FGCU’s success and up-tempo style caught on quickly as the SWFL community and student body crowds grew throughout the season. Led by its voicetrous student section the “Dirty Birds,” FGCU had four crowds of 3,000+ fans and five more over 2,000. Looking back, FGCU had just 15 crowds of 2,000+ over the previous four years, including three of 3,000+.

Behind a 40-14 edge in points in the paint and a 21-3 game-changing run in the middle of the first half, FGCU erased an early 10-point deficit en route to a 63-51 win over Miami in the home opener. • The win was the Eagles’ first over an ACC school, as the Hurricanes received nine votes in that week’s Associated Press Top 25 poll. • FGCU made its living in the paint, attacking the taller Miami lineup to the tune of 40 points inside on a series of layups and six total dunks. Making his debut in front of the FGCU faithful, sophomore Eric McKnight had team-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds, out-dueling Miami center Reggie Johnson, who went 2-for-8 from the field for six points. • Joining McKnight in double figures was senior Sherwood Brown and sophomore Bernard Thompson, who had 14 and 13 points, respectively. Brown finished 7-of-15 from the field and paired his 14 points with seven rebounds, while Thompson had nine of his 13 in the second half and had a game-high four steals.