(9-7, 3-0 A-Sun)
(3-12, 1-2 A-Sun)
1/5/2014 | DeLand, Fla. (Edmunds Center) | Attendance: 1248
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||STET|
|3P FG Percentage||.318
FGCU (8-7, 2-0 A-Sun)
@ Stetson (3-11, 1-1 A-Sun)
Sunday, Jan. 5 | 1:05 PM | Edmunds Center (4,000)
TV/Video: CSS (486/70) / ESPN3 (Subject to Blackout)
PxP: Neil Solondz | Analyst: Scott Sanderson
DELAND, Fla. – Having started Atlantic Sun Conference play 2-0 for the first time in program history, the FGCU men’s basketball team (8-7, 2-0 A-Sun) will visit in-state travel partner Stetson (3-11, 1-1 A-Sun) for its first road league tilt of the young season Sunday at 1 p.m. on CSS.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The game will be FGCU’s seventh TV contest of the year already, and third on CSS. Fans in Southwest Florida can access CSS in high definition on channel 486 or in standard definition on channel 70. Neil Solondz will handle the play-by-play duties with Scott Sanderson serving as the analyst. The broadcast will also be available on ESPN3 (subject to blackout) by following the link at the top of this release
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
FGCU opened defense of its A-Sun Championship with a pair of wins earlier this week in Alico Arena over Northern Kentucky, 60-56, and Lipscomb, 75-62. Stetson, meanwhile, defeated Lipscomb, 65-63 in its league opener, before falling in overtime to NKU, 67-65.
Against the Bisons on New Year’s Day, Brett Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park, Fla.) scored a career-high-tying 24 points in just 20 minutes of action. The junior guard had 14 points at halftime and then scored 10 more points in the first 4:19 of the second half before running into foul trouble and sitting for the final 10 minutes of the contest.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• Chase Fieler grabbed 10 rebounds against Lipscomb, his fourth double-figure rebounding performance (seven in his career) in the last seven games.
• Comer (24 points), Dajuan Graf (13 points) and Eric McKnight (10 rebounds) each set or tied career highs versus Lipscomb.
• Bernard Thompson (1,084) enters action needing just three points to move into sole possession of third place on the program’s all-time scoring list.
• Comer (809), who started the year in 16th place on the program’s all-time scoring list, needs just four points to move into the top 10.
• FGCU continues to lead the A-Sun in scoring defense, surrendering just 65.9 points per game – nearly five points better than any other team.
Dating back to the 2011-12 season, FGCU has won 19 consecutive games when outscoring its opponents in the paint by at least 15 points. Fueled by their high-flying Dunk City attack last year, the Eagles were 12-0 when holding at least a +15 margin in the paint in 2012-13 and are 5-0 so far this year. FGCU won two such games in 2011-12, with the last loss coming on Nov. 25, 2011, at Maryland (73-67) despite the Eagles out-scoring the ACC member in the paint by 16 points, 42-26.
COMER LOOKING TO SCORE
By design, Comer has been much more aggressive in looking to score this year than in previous years. He leads FGCU in scoring at 14.9 per game, an average which ranks fourth in the A-Sun. Of the 18 times in his career that he’s led the Eagles in scoring, nine have occurred this year, including four of his eight career 20-point games.
After shooting 44 percent as a freshman and 40.4 percent as a sophomore, this year Comer is connecting at a 49.7-percent clip from the floor. He’s also already matched his previous season high for made 3-pointers (13) while still leading the Green and Blue and ranking second in the A-Sun in assists at 5.2 per game.
• Willie Green leads the Hatters in scoring with 13.1 per game, one of three double-figure scorers with Aaron Graham (10.5) and Raymone Andrews (10.4) being the others.
• Stetson’s 61.2 points per game average ranks 338th out of 345 Division-I programs.
• The game will be a matchup of the A-Sun’s leading defensive team in FGCU (65.9 points per game) against the league’s worst offensive team in Stetson.
• The Hatters’ -5.8 rebound margin is 323rd in the nation.
• Green is shooting 57.7 percent (71-123) from the field, good for 36th in the country and third in the A-Sun.
• Stetson has won three of its last five games after starting the season with nine straight losses.
• All three of the Hatters’ wins have come at home where they are 3-2 and 0-9 in road or neutral-site contests.
• In addition to Lipscomb and Northern Kentucky, FGCU and Stetson both played Florida A&M, FIU and USF; Stetson went 0-3 against the group, while FGCU went 1-2.
LAST YEAR’S MEETINGS
After FGCU beat Stetson by 31 points, 96-65, in the first meeting last year, the Hatters responded with an 80-71 win in Deland. That game, on Feb. 22, was the final time the Eagles were beaten until they fell to Florida in the Sweet Sixteen after producing a seven-game winning streak.
Head coach Joe Dooley has emphasized defense since the start of the year, and over the past six games the Eagles have started to stabilize that defense. During that stretch – starting with an 83-51 win over Samford – FGCU has lowered its points per game allowed in every game but one, and in that contest it remained the same. In the six-game stretch, FGCU has gone from allowing 67.3 points per game to 67.2, 67.2, 67, 66.2 and now 65.9.
That aforementioned 65.9 average leads the A-Sun by nearly five points (Mercer, 70.6) and ranks inside the top-75 nationally.
DEFENDING HOME COURT
With its win over Lipscomb, FGCU ran its record over the past 23 games at Alico Arena to 21-2, including a 12-1 mark in the last 13 contests dating back to last year.
This is the first of its seven A-Sun seasons in which FGCU has commenced league action with two straight wins. In all six of their previous seasons as an A-Sun member the Eagles began each year 1-1, with the exception of 2010-11 when they opened 0-2.
PLAYER QUICK HITTERS
Graf: Scored his career-high point total of 13 on 4-7 shooting and 5-7 from the free-throw line in 29 minutes off the bench against Lipscomb … continues to lead FGCU in plus/minus with a +4.9 per game average.
McKnight: Made his first start of the year versus Lipscomb … has recorded at least one block (six total) in his first three games back from suspension.
Comer: Matched his career high set two previous times of 24 points against Lipscomb … also reached 500 career assists against the Bisons, just the 13th player in A-Sun history to reach that mark.
FGCU heads to Jacksonville to face North Florida and Jacksonville on Thursday, Jan. 9, and Saturday, Jan. 11, respectively. The contest against UNF – which defeated Mercer already this year – is set for a 7 p.m. tip, with the Jacksonville game scheduled for a 3:15 tip.
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.