12/19/2013 | Starkville, Miss. (Humphrey Coliseum) | Attendance: 5902
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||MS|
|3P FG Percentage||.167
- 15||Craig Sword
- 9||Roquez Johnson
- 3||Dre Applewhite
FGCU (5-5) @ Mississippi State (7-2)
Thursday, Dec. 19 | 9 PM (EDT) | Humphrey Coliseum (10,575)
Talent: Richard Cross (PxP) | Richard Williams (Analyst)
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Coming off a difficult 68-66 double-overtime loss to the University of South Florida Tuesday night in which FGCU nearly executed a full-court play with .3 seconds remaining, the Eagles (5-5) head to Mississippi State to battle the Bulldogs (7-2) in the second game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic on Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern on CSS.
Against USF Tuesday, Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) and Nate Hicks (Panama City Beach, Fla./J.R. Arnold HS) each set Division-I program records as Thompson tallied 32 points on a D-I program-tying 13 made field goals, while Hicks grabbed a record 19 rebounds.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• Chase Fieler has recorded consecutive double-doubles (10 points, season-high 11 rebounds at USF).
• Thompson has led FGCU in scoring 20 times during his career, but Tuesday marked the first time the junior has led the Eagles this year.
• FGCU will be in search of its 200th all-time win; the Eagles own a 199-154 record since the start of the program in 2002-03.
• 21 of Filip Cvjeticanin’s 27 made field goals this year (78%) have come from the 3-point line, and 105 of 144 for his career (73%).
• Fieler’s back-to-back double-doubles are the first for FGCU since Brett Comer had a pair in the NCAA Tournament.
MORE THOMPSON & HICKS
Thompson entered the USF game just eight points shy of 1,000 for his career, and far surpassed that as he broke Fieler’s (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) record of 30 set last month. The junior became the fourth player in program history to reach the milestone and just the second in the D-I era (2007-08), with the other being 2013 graduate Sherwood Brown. Thompson matched Fieler’s D-I record of 13 made field goals, coming on 23 attempts, as the 32 points are the 8th most all-time and just five shy of the all-division record of 37 set by two players on three occasions during the first two years of the program’s existence (2002-04).
As for Hicks, the redshirt junior matched the all-time program record for rebounds and set the D-I program record as all 19 of his boards came on the defensive end. The Georgia Tech transfer did not score a point, but added five blocks and helped guide the Eagles to a 51-43 rebounding edge over the taller Bulls. Hicks matched the 19 boards Adam Liddell pulled down in FGCU’s final Division-II season in 2006-07.
SCOUTING MISSISSIPPI STATE
• Mississippi State is coming off a 78-65 win at home Tuesday against Florida A&M as part of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.
• This is the first-ever meeting between FGCU and Mississippi State. FGCU is 0-1 all-time against the SEC, losing last year’s game in the Sweet Sixteen to Florida.
• MSU is 1-0 this year against the Atlantic Sun Conference, having beaten Kennesaw State, 78-55.
• Both of the Bulldogs losses this year have been by double digits – at Utah State and home against TCU.
• MSU leads the SEC and began the week ranked 21st in the nation in steals per game at 9.3.
• The Bulldogs entered the week ranked 331 out of 345 teams in the country in free-throw percentage at 63.5.
• MSU doesn’t take a lot nor make a lot of 3-pointers as it ranks 326th in the nation in total 3-pointers made (41), and 319th in the country in 3-pointers attempted (138).
• Current teammates Craig Sword and Roquez Johnson were teammates at Carver High School in Montgomery, Ala., where they won a state championship together. Now, the two are in the top-4 at MSU in scoring as Sword is averaging 15.3 points and Johnson 9.2. Second is Gavin Ware at 10.8 and Colin Borchert chips in with 9.3 an outing.
ODDS & ENDS
51: The amount of rebounds FGCU pulled down against USF, the most in a single game since 53 versus Lipscomb during the 2011-12 season.
1: Tuesday’s game was the first in program history that finished in double overtime; FGCU has now played 14 overtime games (5-9 record), 12 of which were one overtime contest and one which went to triple OT.
13.6: Thompson’s points-per-game average entering Tuesday’s game, which was third on the team. He now leads FGCU at 15.9 per outing, 1.8 better than anyone else.
4.4: Hicks’ rebound-per-game average coming into the game at USF, which also was third on the roster. He’s now tied for second at 5.9.
40: USF’s total points in the paint against the Eagles Tuesday, more than 10 over the average FGCU was allowing coming in.
RECAPPING THE FINAL PLAY
The USF game ended on a full-court heave by Jamail Jones (Atlanta, Ga./Montverde Academy) and basket by Fieler with .3 seconds remaining, but officials ruled that Fieler’s shot was not a tip-in.
With a 7-3 defender guarding Jones on the in-bounds play, the Marquette transfer heaved a pass nearly 100 feet with his right hand perfectly onto a cutting Fieler along the baseline. FGCU’s lone senior leapt in the air, turned his body to face the basket, received the ball and tossed up an effort which hit the side of the rim and bounced through the net.
Officials immediately ruled the basket no good, but then looked at the replay to see if – in their judgment – Fieler had caught the ball and then shot it, something not allowed with .3 seconds or less remaining. Using the replay, officials upheld their original call.
Fieler’s shot left his fingertips before the light on the backboard came on; however, NCAA rules dictate that a player cannot catch and shoot a ball with .3 seconds or less on the clock – it can only be a tip-in. If the clock had .4 on it, Fieler’s shot would have counted, forcing what would have been FGCU’s second triple-overtime game in history.
FGCU will head to Las Vegas and Orleans Arena on Friday and begin play in its final two Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic games on Sunday and Monday. The Eagles will first play Florida A&M at approximately 5:30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday before taking on either Sacred Heart or Radford on Monday at 2:30 or 5:30 p.m. Eastern.
Hosting more than 200 events each year, Orleans Arena is located just west of the Las Vegas strip and was named the #1 mid-size arena in the USA by Venues Today magazine earlier this year.
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the men’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_MBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUMBB.
2013-14 men’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly, and only a limited amount remain. New this year are mini-plan packages for all games, and individual-game tickets are now on sale. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.