FGCU men’s basketball defeats NJIT for eighth straight road victory

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(EN Photo / Brad Young)

Coming off of its 75-63 victory over Kennesaw State on Saturday, Feb. 11 the FGCU men’s basketball team rode a strong second half performance to win their eighth consecutive game on the road, defeating NJIT 80-73 on Thursday, Feb. 16.
Entering their matchup with the Highlanders tied for first place in the ASUN with Lipscomb, the Eagles moved to 10-2 in conference play while the Bisons fell to second in the conference after falling to UNF at home 93-82.
With two games remaining in the regular-season, FGCU’s victory over NJIT guaranteed the Eagles a top-2 seed in the ASUN championship regardless of the result of their final two games due to their three game lead ahead of third place UNF and USC Upstate.
Leading the way as the Eagles’ tied their Division I program record for wins in a season (21), Brandon Goodwin tallied 24 points, two rebounds and two assists. Thus, finishing with 20-plus points for the 11th time this season.
Demetris Morant came up just short of a double-double, finishing with 16 points and a game-best nine rebounds.
Rounding out the double-figure scorers for FGCU, Christian Terrell scored 15 points and dished out a game-high six assists while Antravious Simmons notched 10 points and grabbed three rebounds.
Trailing 42-37 at the half following NJIT’s 57.7 percent performance from the clip, the Eagles went on a 15-8 run, fueled by seven points from Marc-Eddy Norelia, to open up a 52-50 lead four minutes into the second half.
“When you make shots it gives you a lot of energy, and they were making shots early on,” said FGCU head coach Joe Dooley said. “But our guys did a good job of getting some stops in the second half and making shots and free throws.”
With its 7-0 run halted by a Dooley timeout with 5:30 left to play in the second half, the Highlanders took a 66-64 lead before Goodwin knocked down a baseline three to put the Eagles back in front 67-66.
Firing back a three of their own following Goodwin’s’ three, NJIT was unable to stop Goodwin as he knocked down another three to give the Eagles a lead they wouldn’t give up.
With a 70-69 lead, following a triple from Goodwin, with 3:30 remaining, Dooley told his team that three consecutive stops would put the nail in the coffin and the Eagles forced three empty possessions for the Highlanders as they knocked down three buckets on the other end to secure their win.
With a new program record for wins in a season (9) the Eagles travel to Spartanburg, South Carolina to face USC Upstate on Saturday, Feb. 18 in their final road contest of the regular-season.