After a sluggish start, the FGCU men’s basketball team (3-1) defeated Division-II foe Eckerd (1-3) 72-55 in front of 4,124 fans at Alico Arena Monday.
With the win, FGCU has won three consecutive games after losing the season opener at Nebraska.
“It was a great crowd, and we appreciate it,” FGCU head coach Joe Dooley said of the second-consecutive crowd of 4,000-plus for the first time in program history. “The biggest thing as you start to grow a program is not who you play, but it’s that your team plays. That’s the most important thing, that fans come out and want to support you. It was a terrific atmosphere.”
Also setting records was redshirt-junior Nate Hicks, who set the program’s single-game blocks record with eight while adding a career-best 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and a career-high nine rebounds.
“I’ve been waiting on it,” Hicks said. “All year I kept thinking that each game was going to be my game, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Once things got going, I had a few things go my way. I knew I was getting up there. Obviously, after the game was over, I wish I could have had two more.”
Junior Filip Cvjeticanin really got the crowd into the game by knocking down four of six from behind the arc and adding a season-high 12 points in 21 minutes of play.
“I think (my game) is much better than this time last year,” Cvjeticanin said. “I’m doing much more than I did last year. I’ve been guarding the post, guarding the outside and I think it’s giving me a good chance to develop as a player. He’s (Dooley) giving me a lot more minutes, which is giving me a lot more confidence in my game.”
FGCU stays at home for a game against Ave Maria on Saturday. That game will be broadcast live on ESPN3 at 7 p.m.