Fort Myers,FL- FGCU (7-18, 4-6) dropped a critical home ASUN game Thursday night to Stetson University (13-12, 7-3) 65-62.
FGCU had a chance with a win to be tied for 4th place and be in a position to host an ASUN tournament quarterfinal game if the season was over today. Instead, the Eagles dropped to 6th place at 4-6 with JU and Lipscomb.
FGCU really had no answer for freshman Rob Perry (24 pts, 6 rebounds) and it was frustrating to see a young freshman just completely take over the game. Perry hit a 3 at the buzzer going into halftime giving the Hatters a 5 point lead which was frustrating since the Eagles had to work so hard to gain a 1 point lead and to see it fade away in the last 30 seconds of the half just makes you wonder if the Eagles will be able to win any of the close games they have left down the stretch. You think about the loss on the road to UNA, and at home vs NJIT and now Stetson and wonder how this will impact seeding at the end of the season. UNF is in 1st place and FGCU really needs a huge upset win Saturday night to have any chance to be fighting for a home ASUN tournament game.
Zach Scott had a huge 1st half and led the Eagles in scoring in the game and Coach Fly is finally seeing that the Sam Gagliardi experiment was a bust starting him as many games as he did. Jalen Warren had another solid game scoring 14 points. Caleb Catto scored 13 points but 11 of those points were in the 2nd half and he hit some clufch shots to put FGCU in the position to come back and beat Stetson. Stetson was led by Rob Perry (24 pts), Mahammadou Diawara (14 pts), and Joel Kabimba (9 pts) who are all freshman and it just shows that the Hatters are finally getting over the proverbial hump with the team that they have out there on the floor. If Stetson keeps this up, the Hatters could be hosting an ASUN tournament game at the Edmunds Center later this season. Wheza Panzo and Jahlil Rawley also stood out in the game due to a highlight dunk from Rawley and huge 3’s from Panzo and these performances earned the Hatters their first win in Fort Myers since 2012.
FGCU shot 42% from the field (21/50), 30.8% from beyond the arc (8/26), and were outrebounded 32-31 by the Hatters. The Eagles dished out 15 assists, and on the defensive end of the ball had 2 steals and 6 blocks. FGCU forced 9 SU team turnovers and had 8 team turnovers of their own in the game.
Outstanding Players (SU):
Rob Perry 24 pts, 6 rebounds
Mahammadou Diawara 14 pts
Joel Kabimba 9 pts
Outstanding Players (FGCU):
Zach Scott 16 pts, 7 rebounds
Jalen Warren 14 pts
Caleb Catto 13 pts
FGCU remains at home to face 1st place UNF (15-10, 8-2) Saturday night at 7 PM from Alico Arena.