BELLARMINE/FGCU PREVIEW

Fort Myers, FL- FGCU (19-3, 7-1 ASUN) remains home to face Bellarmine University (7-14, 3-5 ASUN), Saturday night at 7 PM, from Alico Arena.

Stats (BU):

Bellarmine averages 60.8 ppg, shoot 39.0% (466/1194) from the field, and 24.6% (67/272) from beyond the arc. The Knights average 41.0 team rebounds per game. Bellarmine dishes out 12.8 assists, 7.0 steals, and 5.0 blocks per game. The Knights average 21.5 team turnovers per game.

Stats (FGCU):

FGCU averages 77.4 ppg, shoot 46.7% (617/1320) from the field, and 36.2% (246/679) from beyond the arc. The Eagles average 33.5 team rebounds per game. FGCU dishes out 17.0 assists, 8.7 steals, and 2.3 blocks per game. The Eagles average 13.0 team turnovers per game.

3 Players To Watch For (BU):

6’6 FR C Gracie Merkle 16.0 ppg, 11.2 rpg

-Rated as No. 2 player in Kentucky for Class of 2022 by Prep Girls Hoops Kentucky and as No. 2 regionally in 2021 by the Rick Bolus High Potential Blue Chip Recruiting Service

-Played high school basketball at Bullitt East in Kentucky and joined program’s 1,000-point and 500-rebound clubs

-Was a 2022 Kentucky Miss Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year candidate after averaging 18.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game as a Senior

5’10 R-SO G Hayley Harrison 10.2 ppg, 3.3 rpg

While at UT-Martin:

-Played first three college seasons at UT Martin, taking a medical redshirt as a freshman in 2019-2020

-In the two healthy seasons, played in a total of 49 games and earned multiple Athletic Director’s Honor Roll notices

-In 25 games as a sophomore, including 12 starts, averaged 5.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 22.4 minutes per game while scoring in double figures four times

6’2 GR F Sheniqua Coatney 7.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg

As a Senior:

-Led team in rebounding (5.0) and blocked shots (21) while ranking third in field-goal percentage (44.7) and fourth in steals (23) and free-throw attempts (34)

-Appeared in 22 games with 12 starts and averaged 4.7 points

-ASUN Honor Roll recipient

3 Players To Watch For (FGCU):

5’3 5th G TK Morehouse 16.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg

5’8 R-JR G Alyza Winston 14.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg

6’0 5th G Sha Carter 11.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg

Overview:

FGCU finally gets to face freshman sensation 6’6 C Gracie Merkle, and as Bellarmine’s record of 7-14 doesn’t look like much on paper, stopping Merkle has been a problem for most teams in ASUN Conference play. Merkle, the Knights leading scorer, is averaging a double-double of 16.0 ppg, and 11.2 rpg, and was one of the top recruited players in Kentucky in high school as as Senior. She has earned three ASUN Conference Player of the Week awards, and six ASUN Freshman of the Week awards so far this season.

The Knights wins this season have come against St. Bonaventure, Simmons College of Kentucky, Evansville, Franklin College, EKU, UNF, and Jacksonville. Their setbacks have come against #16 LSU, IPFW, Kentucky, Cleveland State, Georgia State, Morehead State, Louisville, Wofford, Murray State, Jacksonville, UNA, Kennesaw State, EKU, and Stetson. Head Coach Chancellor Dugan, has led the program since 2012.

FGCU is led offensively by TK Morehouse, who is averaging 16.2 ppg. The depth of this team continues to impress everyone, and even against EKU, Morehouse was the 5th leading scorer in the game (10 point), which shows that any player in any game can lead the Eagles offensively. Expect FGCU to defeat Bellarmine, and potentially put Sha Carter on Merkle, and try to not let her dominate the Eagles in the paint. The Eagles will also have to limit Sheniqua Coatney, who is 6’2, and having a nice season offensively, averaging 7.4 ppg. Should be another great game from Alico Arena, Saturday night!

FGCU/QUEENS RECAP

Charlotte, NC- FGCU (14-8, 4-5 ASUN) dropped another road ASUN Conference game, falling to Queens University of Charlotte (14-8, 4-5 ASUN), 84-82, Thursday night from Curry Arena.

Stats (FGCU):

FGCU shot 49.2% (30/61) from the field, 41.9% (13/31) from beyond the arc, and were outrebounded 37-31 by the Royals. The Eagles dished out 13 assists, had 8 steals, and 1 block in the game. FGCU forced 11 Royals team turnovers, while having 12 team turnovers of their own.

Stats (QUOC):

Queens shot 44.1% (26/59) from the field, 40.0% (12/30) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded FGCU 37-31. The Royals dished out 16 assists, had 7 steals, and 3 blocks in the game. Queens forced 12 FGCU team turnovers, while having 11 team turnovers of their own.

Outstanding Players (FGCU):

Andre Weir 22 pts, 5 reb

Isaiah Thompson 20 pts, 4 reb

Zach Anderson 19 pts, 12 reb

Outstanding Players (QUOC):

AJ McKee 23 pts, 4 reb

Kalib Mathews 16 pts, 4 reb

BJ McLaurin 14 pts, 9 reb

Overview:

FGCU came to play offensively Thursday night, and kept pace with a Queens offense that consistently has had no issues scoring all season. The Eagles were led offensively by Andre Weir, who finished with 22 points. Isaiah Thompson (20 points), and Zach Anderson (19 points 12 rebounds) also finished in double figures in scoring for the Eagles. The Royals were led offensively by AJ McKee, who finished with a game high 23 points. Kalib Mathews (16 points), BJ McLaurin (14 points), and Kenny Dye (13 points), also scored in double figures for Queens. The game came down to BJ McLaurin hitting two key free throws with 26 seconds left, after Andre Weir was called for his fifth and final foul, after going over the back on McLaurin.

It’s another frustrating loss for the Eagles, and at some point FGCU has to start winning these type of games on the road. Queens was playing NCAA Division II last season, and the Eagles struggled with Bellarmine when they first came to the ASUN Conference, so there’s a theme now for the Eagles with transitioning teams.

What’s Next:

FGCU (14-8, 4-5 ASUN) remain on the road and face Liberty University (17-5, 8-1 ASUN), Saturday night at 7 PM from Liberty Arena.

EKU/FGCU RECAP

Fort Myers, FL- FGCU (19-3, 7-1 ASUN) defeated EKU (12-9, 5-3 ASUN), 84-61, Thursday night from Alico Arena.

Stats (EKU):

EKU shot 38.5% (20/52) from the field, 36.8% (7/19) from beyond the arc, and outrebounded FGCU 35-34. The Colonels dished out 6 assists, had 6 steals, and 2 blocks in the game. EKU forced 9 FGCU team turnovers, while having 19 team turnovers.

Stats (FGCU):

FGCU shot 48.6% (34/70) from the field, 32.5% (13/40) from beyond the arc, and were outrebounded 35-34 by EKU. The Eagles dished out 24 assists, had 13 steals, and 3 blocks in the game. FGCU forced 19 EKU team turnovers, while having 9 team turnovers.

Outstanding Players (EKU):

Antwainette Walker 15 pts, 9 reb

Kalissa Lacy 12 pts

Alice Recanati 8 pts, 2 reb

Outstanding Players (FGCU):

Alyza Winston 20 pts, 3 reb

Sha Carter 17 pts, 8 reb

Brylee Bartram 15 pts, 2 reb

Overview:

The Eagles got back on track, and won big Thursday night vs an EKU team that has had a strong start in ASUN Conference play. Alyza Winston led the Eagles offensively, finishing with a game high 20 points. Sha Carter (17 points), Brylee Bartram (15 points), Sophia Stiles (12 points), and TK Morehouse (10 points), all finished in double figures in scoring for the Eagles. EKU was led offensively by Antwainette Walker, who finished with 15 points.

FGCU raced out to a 45-27 lead at halftime, and never looked back after the half. The offense was flying on all cylinders in the game, dishing out 24 assists, and grabbing 13 steals in the game. The Eagles hit 13 three point field goals in the game (13/40), and Brylee Bartram hit a game high 5 of those 13 three point field goals for the Eagles. FGCU’s largest lead in the game was 32 points.

What’s Next:

FGCU (19-3, 7-1 ASUN) remains at home to face Bellarmine University (7-14, 3-5 ASUN), Saturday night at 7 PM from Alico Arena.

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