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Men’s basketball drops first conference opener since 2011 in loss to Liberty

Men’s basketball drops first conference opener since 2011 in loss to Liberty

By Kyle Grosskopf

Assistant Sports Editor

FGCU lost to Liberty 81 to 63 on Jan. 5 on the opening night of conference play. The Eagles struggled from the start with Liberty going on a 12-0 run in the first five minutes of the game. The is the first time FGCU has started 0-1 in conference play since 2011.

“I want to credit Liberty. I thought they played really well tonight; thought they out competed with us for a little bit of a stretch,” said FGCU head coach Michael Fly. “I told our guys they are better than we are right now, but hopefully they won’t be better than us by the next time we play them.”

In the FGCU loss, Liberty had 5 players score double digit points. They shot a lights out 57 percent from the field.

The Eagles were outscored in second chance points (13-8), points coming off of the bench (29-9) and points off of turnovers (21-2).

Schadrac Casimir led the team in points with 16, and Caleb Catto led in rebounds with 7 and assists with 4.

Liberty’s largest lead of 23 came late in the second half, but the run that led to the large lead came from back to back to back three point shots with 12 minutes left to play.

Coach Fly added, “I thought we were fine for a stretch in the second half, but we can’t play for 32 minutes. If you play hard for all 40 minutes you put yourself in a better situation.”

On a positive note for the Eagles, redshirt Senior Dinero Mercurius scored his 1000th career points tonight.

Up next for the Eagles, they will look to bounce back against North Alabama on Jan. 8 away. Their overall record against North Alabama is 0-2.

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