Fort Myers, FL- FGCU (3-2) overcame an 11 point halftime deficit to stun Rhode Island University (4-2), 67-66, Tuesday night from Alico Arena.
FGCU shot 42.6% (23/54) from the field, 42.3% (11/26) from beyond the arc, and were outrebounded 32-25 by Rhode Island. The Eagles dished out 12 assists, had 8 steals, and 2 blocks in the game. FGCU forced 14 Rhode Island team turnovers, while having 14 team turnovers of their own.
Outstanding Players (RIU):
Markhel Mitchell 16 pts, 5 reb
Antwan Walker 13 pts, 5 reb
Makhi Mitchell 12 pts, 6 reb
Outstanding Players (FGCU):
Tavian Dunn-Martin 26 pts
Caleb Catto 14 pts
Kevin Samuel 5 pts, 8 reb
What a game Tuesday night in Alico! This game looked like it was all Rhode Island, especially after the Eagles were down eleven at halftime. The Rams were controlling everything in the post, and the Eagles had trouble with both Mitchell brothers.
The 2nd half was a different story for FGCU, as Tavian Dunn-Martin (26 pts), and Caleb Catto (14 pts), took control of the game for FGCU. Plenty of unselfish passing and three point field goals for FGCU in the 2nd half kept the Eagles in the game. This game went back and forth, as the Eagles at one point had a 6 point lead which was erased by the Rams in the final seconds of the game. Rhode Island took a 66-65 lead courtesy of two Malik Martin free throws, but the Eagles remained resilient, and Tavian Dunn-Martin was fouled with 3 seconds left, hit both free throws, and FGCU beat Rhode Island. This was a signature win for Coach Fly, and we believe it’s his biggest win as a head coach.
It wasn’t the same atmosphere as the USC game last week at Alico, but it happens when it’s a holiday week. There is plenty to build off for FGCU after this huge win. The starting lineup included both Caleb and Dakota, and both players we believe will shine with the more minutes they play. Caleb hit some big 3’s to keep FGCU in the game, and Tuesday was his best game of the season. The guard rotation continues, and minuteswise Dunn-Martin (36), Catto (29), and Largie (26), are dominating minutes for FGCU. Halvorsen and Rolon are playing limited minutes off the bench, and Rolon can make some flashy plays, but had three turnovers in eight minutes in the game.
FGCU remains home for the Hilton Garden Inn Invitational, and will face Western Michigan (1-3), Southeastern Louisiana (3-2), and Purdue Fort Wayne (2-1).