(5-8, 0-2 A-Sun)
(8-7, 2-0 A-Sun)
1/1/2014 | Alico Arena (Fort Myers, FL) | Attendance: 3368
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.360
Lipscomb (5-7, 0-1 A-Sun)
@ FGCU (7-7, 1-0 A-Sun)
Wednesday, Jan. 1 | 5:03 PM | Alico Arena (4,633)
PxP: David Moulton | Analyst: J. Webb Horton
DUNK CITY, Fla. – Coming off a conference-opening win over Northern Kentucky Monday night, the FGCU men’s basketball team (7-7, 1-0 Atlantic Sun Conference) will look to avenge a pair of losses to Lipscomb (5-7, 0-1 A-Sun) last year while seeking its first-ever 2-0 league start when it hosts the Bisons in Alico Arena on New Year’s Day at 5 p.m.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3, and fans can access the production free of charge by following the link at the top of this release or logging on to WatchESPN.com. David Moulton will handle the play-by-play duties with J. Webb Horton serving as the analyst. Live in-game and behind-the-scenes updates will be available through Twitter @FGCU_MBB, and live stats can be accessed by following the link at the top of the release or by logging on to the men’s basketball schedule page on FGCUAthletics.com.
SETTING THE STAGE
Lipscomb was the only team to defeat FGCU twice last year, a major reason why the Eagles failed to win the regular-season title, finishing one game behind 14-4 Mercer. Lipscomb won the first matchup in overtime, 87-78, before completing the sweep in Nashville, 84-74.
Last year, 10 of FGCU’s 11 losses came away from Alico Arena, and so far this season only one of the Eagles setbacks have occurred inside the friendly confines of The Nest. Dating back to last year, FGCU has won 11 of its past 12 home games, and boasts a 20-2 record at Alico since the start of the 2012-13 campaign, with the lone losses coming to the Bisons last year and Iona in November.
FGCU has never started an A-Sun schedule with two straight wins. In all six of their seasons as a conference member, the Eagles have began each year 1-1, with the exception of 2010-11 when they opened 0-2.
Senior Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) surpassed 1,000 career points (1,009) as part of a 14-point, nine-rebound performance, while Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) added 10 points and Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) finished with a game-high 17 points to guide a balanced FGCU attack to a 60-56 win over NKU.
Holding a one-point lead, 52-51, with less than five minutes to play, FGCU went on a 5-0 spurt in 26 seconds to take control of the game. It started with an acrobatic Comer finish in transition as the guard flipped the ball up high off the backboard with an NKU defender draped over him. He hit the free throw to complete the three-point play, and then the nation’s leading returning steals leader, Thompson, had a theft at the other end and went coast-to-coast.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• Comer, who leads the A-Sun in assists at 5.5 per game, is just one away from 500 helpers for his career.
• FGCU committed a season-low seven turnovers against NKU, its first single-digit performance since a stretch of three in a row Nov. 12-18.
• On Tuesday, head coach Joe Dooley announced that true freshman Logan Hovey will redshirt and not play for the Eagles this year.
• The FGCU defense, which leads the A-Sun allowing just 66.2 points per game, forced NKU into three shot-clock violations.
• Thompson enters the game needing just 16 points to move into sole possession of third place on the program’s all-time scoring list.
• The Bisons opened A-Sun play with a 65-63 setback at Stetson Monday evening; Lipscomb turned 16 Hatters’ turnovers into 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a 50-percent shooting performance by the hosts.
• Lipscomb was picked 8th in both the A-Sun Preseason Coaches Poll and Media Poll.
• Lipscomb leads the all-time series with FGCU, 8-3, including owning a 3-2 record in Alico Arena.
• Junior Martin Smith leads Lipscomb and ranks second in the A-Sun in scoring at 17.3 points per game.
• Freshman J.C. Hampton ranks fourth in the league in assists (3.4 per game) and averages 13.6 points per game – the only freshman in the top-18 in the conference in scoring.
• Lipscomb’s strength lies in getting to the free-throw line as it has gotten to the stripe 353 times – more than any other A-Sun team – but has made just 241 of those (third-most in the league) for a .683 percentage (fifth-best in the conference).
• The Bisons rank 9th out of 10 A-Sun teams in scoring defense, surrendering 78.9 points per outing.
• Lipscomb leads the A-Sun in 3-pointers made, averaging 8.3 per game, and has attempted the most 3s (294) in the conference.
With Thompson and Fieler having already surpassed the 1,000-career point milestone this year, next in line to join the duo is Comer (785 points). If the guard continues on his 14.2 points per game average, he will reach the mark before the end of the regular season. Never in program history has FGCU even had a pair of teammates reach 1,000 career points in the same season, let alone three.
Fieler’s team-best rebound performance against NKU Monday also moved the Eagles’ lone senior within 40 rebounds of the all-time mark held by Sherwood Brown. Fieler (1,009, 551) and Brown (1,241, 589) are the only players in program history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds.
FGCU travels to Stetson to take on the Hatters Sunday, Jan. 5. Tipoff is set for 1 p.m., and the game will be shown on CSS, representing FGCU’s seventh national or regional TV appearance of the year already and third on CSS.
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, with the exception of “Breakfast at the Beach,” 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.