Fort Myers, FL- FGCU (8-6, 3-4) dominated UNA (10-5, 6-3 ASUN) from the tip, en route to an 86-60 win at home Friday night.
FGCU shot 46.6% (34/73) from the field, 33.3% (9/27) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded UNA 57-41. The Eagles dished out 17 assists, had 7 steals, and 6 blocks in the game. FCCU forced 11 Lions turnovers while having 12 team turnovers overall.
The Eagles came out guns a blazing Friday night and UNA shot the ball super cold from the field and beyond the arc, while the Eagles took advantage. FGCU had 5 players finish in double figures but the most important was Eli Abaev (14 pts, 10 reb) who had a huge first half and dominated both Emmanuel Littles and Mervin James in the paint. This was the Eli we expected coming to FGCU as a grad transfer from Austin Peay, and if we can get performances like Friday night from him, it will just help the rest of the frontcourt. Jalen Warren led the Eagles with a game high 16 pts, Cyrus Largie (12 pts), Dom London (12 pts), and Caleb Catto (10 pts) rounded out the rest of the Eagles in double figures. UNA was led by both their big men in Mervin James who finished with 13 pts, and Emmanuel Littles who just missed a double double with 8 pts, 9 reb.
Coach Pujol had no answer for FGCU as the Eagles balanced scoring attack never let up in the game. The battle in the point was huge, as the Eagles outrebounded the Lions 57-41. Dakota Rivers block and transition dunk was a huge spark for FGCU in the first half, as UNA began to claw back in the game on a run of their own. The Eagles just completely dominated UNA in every aspect of the game and need to keep up the pressure headed into Saturday night’s game.
Outstanding Players (UNA):
Mervin James 13 pts, 7 reb
Emmanuel Littles 8 pts, 9 reb
Jonathan Breeland Jr 8 pts
Outstanding Players (FGCU):
Jalen Warren 16 pts
Eli Abaev 14 pts, 10 reb
Cyrus Largie 12 pts, 8 reb
The same two teams face each other Saturday night at 7 PM from Alico Arena.