Jacksonville, FL- #6 FGCU (10-8) fell in the ASUN Semifinals to #5 UNA (13-10) 96-81, Friday night from UNF Arena.
FGCU shot 48.3% (29/60) from the field, 30.4% (7/23) from beyond the arc, and grabbed 35 team rebounds in the game. The Eagles dished out 13 assists, had 5 steals, and 4 blocks in the game. FGCU forced 9 Lions team turnovers while having 15 turnovers of their own.
Outstanding Players (FGCU):
Jalen Warren 19 pts
Eli Abaev 17 pts
Caleb Catto 16 pts
Outstanding Players (UNA):
Peyton Youngblood 26 pts
Mervin James 20 pts, 6 reb
Jamari Blackmon 16 pts
It was a frustrating night for the Eagles who struggled in a zone defense that kept being attacked early and often by the Lions. With the zone, it left a guard open for 3 and Peyton Youngblood (26 pts) and Mervin James (20 pts) flourished for UNA. The win for the Lions, gave #1 seed Liberty University, the auto bid for the NCAA Tournament due to UNA not being eligible for the NCAA Tournament since they are in their reclassification due to being a new NCAA D-1 team. UNA torched the Eagles in the second half scoring 56 pts and running away with this game.
Seniors Jalen Warren (19 pts), and Eli Abaev (17 pts) led the Eagles in scoring. This was the final game in Coach Fly’s contract so now we wonder if he is extended or if the Eagles go in a different direction. Either way it’s a very frustrating loss after the big upset win over #3 Lipscomb University Thursday night. This team struggled to piece together strong back to back performances, with the exception of the UNA games during ASUN Conference play, and now it’s time to speculate which players will transfer if a coaching change happens or if the same core will be back with the exception of the Seniors.