FGCU/LIBERTY RECAP

Lynchburg, VA- FGCU (14-9, 4-6 ASUN) loses their fifth straight ASUN Conference road game, 74-57, Saturday night vs Liberty University (18-5, 9-1 ASUN).

Stats (FGCU):

FGCU shot 42.9% (21/49) from the field, 38.1% (8/21) from beyond the arc, and were outrebounded 38-22 by Liberty. The Eagles dished out 11 assists, had 5 steals, and 4 blocks in the game. FGCU forced 10 Liberty team turnovers, while having 10 team turnovers of their own.

Stats (LU):

Liberty shot 51.6% (32/62) from the field, 36.0% (9/25) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded FGCU 38-22. The Flames dished out 12 assists, had 5 steals, and 1 block in the game. Liberty forced 10 FGCU team turnovers, while having 10 team turnovers of their own.

Outstanding Players (FGCU):

Isaiah Thompson 20 pts, 3 asts

Andre Weir 14 pts, 6 asts

Zach Anderson 10 pts, 3 reb

Outstanding Players (LU):

Darius McGhee 24 pts, 4 reb

Kyle Rode 16 pts, 3 reb

Shiloh Robinson 14 pts, 7 reb

Overview:

The Eagles struggles continued again Saturday night, as the offense hit a wall in the 2nd half vs Liberty. FGCU held their own, and stayed in the game in the first half, until Darius McGhee, who finished with a game high 24 points went off in the second half.

Isaiah Thompson, led the Eagles offensively, and had 20 points in the game. Andre Weir (14 points), and Zach Anderson (10 points), also finished in double figures in scoring for the Eagles. Darius McGhee (24 points), Kyle Rode (16 points), Shiloh Robinson (14 points), and Blake Preston (10 points) all finished in double figures in scoring for Liberty. FGCU has to play two complete halves of basketball, and Coach Chambers may need to mix some things up when it comes to the starting lineup, to get more offense. When the core of Thompson, Weir, and Anderson aren’t scoring, this team struggles, and FGCU is holding onto the final seed in the ASUN Conference tournament, if the tournament began tomorrow, which is a nightmare considering how well their preseason went.

What’s Next:

FGCU (14-9, 4-6 ASUN) heads home to face UCA (7-16, 2-8 ASUN), Thursday night at 7 PM from Alico Arena.

BELLARMINE/FGCU RECAP

Fort Myers, FL- FGCU (20-3, 8-1 ASUN) defeated Bellarmine University (7-15, 3-6 ASUN) 86-44, Saturday night from Alico Arena.

Stats (BU):

Bellarmine shot 31.8% (14/44) from the field, 25.0% (4/16) from beyond the arc, and were outrebounded 32-29 by FGCU. The Knights dished out 6 assists, had 5 steals, and 2 blocks in the game. Bellarmine forced 14 FGCU team turnovers, while having 27 team turnovers of their own.

Stats (FGCU):

FGCU shot 51.6% (32/62) from the field, 34.3% (12/35) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded Bellarmine 32-29. The Eagles dished out 20 assists, had 15 steals, and 2 blocks in the game. FGCU forced 27 Bellarmine team turnovers, while having 14 team turnovers of their own.

Outstanding Players (BU):

Hayley Harrison 15 pts, 3 reb

Miyah Brown 9 pts, 8 reb

Bralee Trice 9 pts

Outstanding Players (FGCU):

TK Morehouse 18 pts, 6 asts

Alyza Winston 13 pts, 3 reb

Brylee Bartram 12 pts, 3 reb

Overview:

FGCU was able to neutralize 6’6 FR sensation Gracie Merkle, and held her to 3 points in the game. The Knights could not get in any flow offensively, and that is credit to the tenacious FGCU defense, that forced 27 BU team turnovers, and 15 steals in the game. FGCU was led offensively by TK Morehouse, who finished with 14 points in the game. Alyza Winston (13 points), Brylee Bartram (12 points), and Sophia Stiles (11 points), all finished in double figures for the Eagles. Hayley Harrison led the Knights offensively, scoring 15 points. FGCU’s largest lead in the game was 42 points, and Bellarmine never held a lead in the game.

What’s Next:

FGCU (20-3, 8-1 ASUN) faces Jacksonville University (9-10, 3-6 ASUN), Thursday afternoon at 1 PM from Historic Swisher Gymnasium.

FGCU/LIBERTY PREVIEW

Lynchburg, VA- FGCU (14-8, 4-5 ASUN) faces Liberty University (17-5, 8-1 ASUN), Saturday at 7 PM, from Liberty Arena.

Stats (FGCU):

FGCU averages 70.8 ppg, shoot 43.0% (544/1264) from the field, and 34.5% (200/579) from beyond the arc. The Eagles average 36.4 team rebounds per game. FGCU dishes out 12.8 assists, 7.0 steals, and 3.4 blocks per game. The Eagles average 12.4 team turnovers per game.

Stats (LU):

Liberty averages 74.7 ppg, shoot 47.3% (586/1239) from the field, and 38.3% (250/652) from beyond the arc. The Flames average 33.9 team rebounds per game. Liberty dishes out 17.8 assists, 6.6 steals, and 2.6 blocks per game. The Flames average 10.7 team turnovers per game.

3 Players To Watch For (FGCU):

6’1 SR G Isaiah Thompson 13.4 ppg, 2.0 rpg

6’7 JR F Zach Anderson 12.8 ppg, 7.8 rpg

6’3 JR G Chase Johnston 11.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg

3 Players To Watch For (LU):

5’9 R-SR G Darius McGhee 20.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg

Last season’s stats/accolades:

-Named 2021-22 ASUN Player of the Year for the second straight season.

-Became the only Liberty player to win a conference player of the year award more than once.

-Named to the NABC District 3 First Team.

-An ASUN First Team All-Conference selection and an ASUN All-Tournament selection.

-Lou Henson Player of the Year finalist.

-Named ASUN Player of the Week three times throughout the season.

-Averaged 24.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game.

6’2 SO G Brody Peebles 10.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg

Last season’s stats/accolades:

-Averaged 5.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg, and 1.2 apg

-Played in all 33 games for the Flames

6’7 SR F Kyle Rode 9.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg

Last season’s stats/accolades:

-Earned ASUN Second Team All-Conference honors.

-Played in all 33 games and started in 32 contests.

-Averaged 9.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists this season.

-Ranked first on the team in assists per game and seventh in the ASUN.

Overview:

The Flames and Eagles square off for the final time in regular season play, before Liberty joins Conference USA. Liberty has been on a roll, winners of five straight games in ASUN Conference play. Darius McGhee leads the Flames offensively, averaging 20.9 ppg, and is on pace to win ASUN Conference Player of the Year for the third straight season. Head Coach Ritchie McKay leads the Flames, and has been with the program since 2015 (2nd stint with Liberty, previously coached Flames, 2007-08, and 2008-09 seasons). Liberty’s wins this season have come against Regent, NC Central, Bradley, Delaware State, UMES, Virginia University of Lynchburg, Bryant, Grambling State, Mid-Atlantic Christian, Bellarmine, Lipscomb, Jacksonville State, UNA, UCA, Jacksonville, UNF, and Stetson. Their setbacks have come against #19 Alabama, Southern Miss, Northwestern, Oral Roberts, and EKU.

FGCU is struggling to stay above .500 in ASUN Conference play, and has lost their past four road games in ASUN play. The Eagles offense came back to life vs Queens Thursday, but lost in the final seconds of the game. Isaiah Thompson leads the Eagles offensively, averaging 13.4 ppg. Liberty will not give FGCU the opportunities that Queens gave the Eagles offense to come back to life, so the defense is gonna have to clamp down vs Liberty. A win vs Liberty would once again have FGCU back to .500 in ASUN Conference play. FGCU defeated Liberty last season in Lynchburg, 82-72 in an overtime thriller from Liberty Arena. Liberty will want to get thar game back for sure, so expect a great game from both teams, Saturday night.

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