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@FGCU_MBB Faces NKU Saturday Looking To Wrap Up Regular-Season Title, No. 1 Seed
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||NKU|
|FG Percentage||.559 (33-59)||.500 (24-48)|
|3P FG Percentage||.375 (6-16)||.438 (7-16)|
|FT Percentage||.769 (20-26)||.630 (17-27)|
CAMPS - 3
BILLUPS - 3
CAMPS - 2
MONACO - 2
GRAF - 1
MURRAY - 1
FGCU (19-11, 13-4 A-Sun) @
HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. – Looking to win its first-ever Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season championship, the FGCU men’s basketball team (19-11, 13-4 A-Sun) will attempt to bounce back from a loss at Lipscomb on Thursday when it concludes the regular season at Northern Kentucky (9-20, 5-12 A-Sun) on Saturday at 1 p.m.
SETTING THE STAGE
FGCU and Mercer remain tied for first place in the league ledger after both teams suffered rare losses on Thursday, with the Bears’ setback coming at home to UNF. FGCU can wrap up the regular-season title outright with a win and Mercer loss to Jacksonville.
Additionally, thanks to a USC Upstate victory over ETSU on Friday night, FGCU will clinch the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the A-Sun Championship with a win, regardless of what Mercer does. FGCU and Mercer split their season series, so if the two teams finish the year with the same record, the first tiebreaker will be record against the third-place team, which is Upstate (11-7 A-Sun).
WHAT WE KNOW
FGCU can only finish 1st or 2nd in the league standings. The Eagles have guaranteed themselves the right to host a quarterfinal tournament game against either the 7th or 8th seed on Tuesday, Mar. 4, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. With a win, FGCU would also host a semifinal matchup on Thursday, Mar. 6, at either 6:30 or 8:30 p.m. on CSS. The championship final will take place at the home of the highest-remaining seed on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Mar. 9.
Current and future season-ticket holders, in addition to FGCU students, can now secure their tickets for all those games by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office or by calling 239-590-7145. Student tickets are free, courtesy of FGCU picking up the $5 charge. Any remaining tickets will go on sale to the general public starting Saturday, Mar. 1.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The game will be broadcast on ASun.TV, and fans can access the production free of charge 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 Instagram (@FGCU_MBB), and live stats can be accessed by following the link at the top of the release.
TWEETABLES (5 Things To Know In 140 Characters Or Less)
• FGCU allowed a season-high 92 points against Lipscomb, including a season-high 15 3-pointers.
• Brett Comer became the third different FGCU player this year to score 1,000 career points as he finished with a 27-point performance against Lipscomb.
• A win would be the 100th Division-I victory for FGCU as the Eagles have an all-time D-I record of 99-121 since making the jump in 2007-08.
• FGCU won the battle on the glass vs. Lipscomb, 35-33, but lost – marking just the second time it has out-rebounded an opponent and lost (USF).
• Jamail Jones narrowly missed his third straight double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds against the Bisons Thursday.
FGCU has not lost back-to-back games since Dec. 17 and 19 at USF and Mississippi State, respectively. Following their previous three A-Sun losses, the Eagles have put together winning streaks of two games, four games and three games.
With Comer (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park HS) reaching 1,000 career points Thursday, FGCU is now one of only eight teams in the nation which starts three different 1,000-point scorers. Chase Fieler (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South HS) and Bernard Thompson (Conyers, Ga./Rockdale County HS) are the other two with 1,321 and 1,224 points, respectively, to go along with Comer’s 1,010. Mercer is one of the other seven teams nationally to boast three 1,000-point starters.
SCOUTING NORTHERN KENTUCKY
• NKU built a 29-point halftime lead Thursday night and cruised to a 96-58 victory over Stetson.
• Cole Murray scored 17 points for Northern Kentucky, which snapped an eight-game losing streak. The Norse led by as many as 33 points in the first half and coasted to the win as they finished 13-for-24 from 3-point range.
• The Norse shot 55.9 percent from the field in the first half, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range. The 57 points before intermission are the most for Northern Kentucky since reclassifying to Division I.
• The 96 points against Stetson were the most scored by the Norse since beginning D-I play last year. NKU earlier this season netted 91 points in an overtime win at Tulane, the first time in D-I the Norse had reached the 90-point mark.
• NKU is 65-17 all-time in The Bank of Kentucky Center. FGCU leads the all-time series with NKU, 3-0, following a 60-56 win earlier this year.
• Jordan Jackson leads the Norse with 13.7 points per game and has attempted more free throws (119) in conference play than anyone else in the league.
LAST TIME vs. NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Fieler finished with 14 points and became the program’s fifth member of the 1,000 point club on a lay-up at the 6:42 mark of the first half as FGCU claimed the aforementioned 60-56 win on Dec. 30. Thompson, who joined the 1,000-point club four games earlier, scored eight points in the first half and nine more in the second stanza. Comer played only 22 minutes due to foul trouble, but scored four of his points from the free-throw line and issued a team-best five assists against one turnover.
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.
That gave the Green and Blue a six-point lead, and the Norse could get no closer than three the rest of the way as the Eagles opened conference action with a victory for the third straight season.
• Fieler tied his career high with 14 rebounds against Lipscomb, and all of them came on the defensive end.
• Comer poured in a career-best five 3-pointers as the junior attempted 11 3s, five more than his previous career high of six.
After the tilt with the Norse, the Eagles will return to Alico Arena to open their A-Sun title defense in the quarterfinal round of the tournament on Tuesday, Mar. 4, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. FGCU will know its opponent by Saturday afternoon.
For Atlantic Sun Conference Championship ticket information and sales, visit the Alico Arena Ticket Office, call 239-590-7145 or log on to FGCUAthletics.com.