#5 UNA / #6 FGCU ASUN SEMIFINAL RECAP

Jacksonville, FL- #6 FGCU (10-8) fell in the ASUN Semifinals to #5 UNA (13-10) 96-81, Friday night from UNF Arena.

Stats:

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

Overview:

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.

#5 UNA / #6 FGCU ASUN SEMIFINAL PREVIEW

Jacksonville, FL- #6 FGCU (10-7) faces #5 UNA (12-10), Friday might, with a win sending the Eagles to the ASUN Championship game, Sunday afternoon from UNF Arena.

Stats:

UNA averages 72.0 ppg, shoot 42.1% (564/1340) from the field, 32.6% (169/519) from beyond the arc, and average 39.7 team rebounds per game. The Lions dish out 11.0 assists, grab 5.8 steals, and 3.0 blocks per game. UNA averages 14.3 team turnovers per game.

Players To Watch For (FGCU):

6’3 SO G Cyrus Largie 13.6 ppg

6’5 JR G Caleb Catto 13.2 ppg

6’3 SR G Jalen Warren 11.9 ppg

Players To Watch For (UNA):

6’7 SO F Mervin James 13.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg

6’1 JR G Jamari Blackmon 9.8 ppg

6’7 JR F Emmanuel Littles 9.8 ppg

Overview:

#5 UNA heads into the ASUN Semifinals, after upsetting #4 UNF 68-60, Thursday afternoon from Swisher Gymnasium. Both Emmanuel Littles (20 pts, 13 reb) and Mervin James (17 pts, 11 reb) had double doubles in the game. UNA had 41 points in the 2nd half of this game to separate themselves from UNF. Every game in the ASUN Quarterfinals was an upset, except for #1 Liberty beating #8 Kennesaw State 69-59. This game is a huge opportunity for both teams and especially for FGCU, who lacked the opportunity to play consistent basketball due to multiple COVID-19 layoffs.

FGCU needs to find a way to shut down Littles and James in this game. The two big men are the key to a Lions victory. The Eagles caught a break with #7 Stetson University upsetting #2 Bellarmine University, so they would only face #1 Liberty University, in an ASUN Championship game. The Eagles did not play Liberty this season since the games were cancelled as part of a COVID-19 shutdown. This game is a huge opportunity for FGCU, and Coach Fly. The Eagles swept the Lions during during the regular season.

Prediction:

#6 FGCU 74 #5 UNA 68

#3 Lipscomb/#6 FGCU ASUN Quarterfinal Recap

Jacksonville, FL- #6 FGCU (10-7) behind a dominant second half, upset #3 Lipscomb University (15-12), 72-60, Thursday night from Historic Swisher Gymnasium.

Stats:

FGCU shot 45.5% (30/66) from the field, 33.3% (7/21) from beyond the arc, and were outrebounded 40-34 by the Bisons. The Eagles dished out 17 assists, had 6 steals, and 3 blocks in the game. FGCU forced 18 Lipscomb team turnovers and had 15 team turnovers of their own.

Outstanding Players (FGCU):

Cyrus Largie 19 pts

Jalen Warren 13 pts

Caleb Catto 13 pts

Outstanding Players (LU):

KJ Johnson 18 pts

Ahsan Asadullah 14 pts, 11 reb

Will Pruitt 8 pts

Overview:

It was a tale of two halves for the Eagles, as FGCU poured on 41 2nd half points to run away from the Bisons and advance to the ASUN Semifinals. The Eagles held Ahsan Asadullah to 14 pts in the game and Lipscomb looked outclassed and outcoached in the 2nd half of this game. At one point Lipscomb had a 17 point lead and looked to be running away with this game in the 1st half but FGCU remained resilient and were led by Cyrus Largie (19 pts), Caleb Catto (13 pts), and Jalen Warren (13 pts) in scoring.

Lipscomb only shot 37% (24/64) from the field, 23% (6/26) from beyond the arc, and struggled mightily in the 2nd half as the Eagles found their mojo.

What’s Next:

#6 FGCU takes on #5 UNA Friday night in the ASUN Semifinals at 7 PM from UNF Arena. UNA defeated #4 UNF 68-60 Thursday afternoon. The winner will play the winner of the #7 Stetson University/ #1 Liberty University game Sunday afternoon.

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