Fort Myers, FL- #3 FGCU (21-10) defeated #6 UNA (9-21), 81-72, Tuesday night from Alico Arena in the first round of the ASUN Tournament.
FGCU shot 58.5% (31/53) from the field, 31.8% (7/22) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded UNA 34-33. The Eagles dished out 14 assists, had 5 steals, and 5 blocks in the game. FGCU forced 8 Lions team turnovers, while having 10 team turnovers of their own.
Outstanding Players (UNA):
Daniel Ortiz 29 pts, 4 reb
CJ Brim 10 pts, 3 reb
Damian Forrest 8 pts, 5 reb
Outstanding Players (FGCU):
Tavian Dunn-Martin 26 pts, 3 asts
Kevin Samuel 17 pts, 10 reb
Andre Weir 9 pts, 4 reb
FGCU was tested early in this game as UNA was hitting all of their shots early to start the game. UNA had a 13-4 lead with 16:08 left in the 1st half, but the Eagles were able to push the pace, and use their athleticism to will their way back into this game. The Eagles height was too much for the Lions, as ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, and ASUN All-Conference 2nd Team member Kevin Samuel exposed the UNA frontcourt, as he had his way down low in the post. Kevin finished with another double-double (17 pts, 10 reb), also in Tuesday’s game. Andre Weir had some big moments too, and finished with 9 points for the Eagles. ASUN All-Conference 1st Team member and ASUN Newcomer of the Year, Tavian Dunn-Martin finished with an FGCU team high 26 points, and was solid as the Eagles move onto the ASUN Quarterfinals.
ASUN All-Freshman Team sensation Daniel Ortiz, finished with a game high 29 points, and was the one bright spot for UNA. Look for Ortiz to be the best player for Head Coach Tony Pujol, and one of the better guards in the ASUN Conference, and we expect Pujol to build this Lions team around Ortiz and Will Soucie. This Lions team didn’t play like a team that had lost their past 8 games, but the Eagles did what they had to do to get the win. Bellarmine University is up next, and the Eagles have never beaten the Knights, so it’ll be interesting to see how FGCU plays vs Bellarmine, a team they lost to 74-63 at home on 1/29.
#3 FGCU (21-10) heads on the road to face #2 Bellarmine University (17-13) Thursday night at 7 PM, from Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky.