Despite unexpected travel delays, the FGCU men’s basketball team rallied from 18 points down in the second half to pick up its fourth conference win of the season over the Bisons 88-83.
With the win and Jacksonville’s loss, the Eagles are now in first place in the ASUN standings with a perfect 4-0 record.
The travel issues did not seem to affect the players as Brandon Goodwin led FGCU with a game high 22 points. Zach Johnson, Michael Gilmore, Dinero Mercurius and Antravious Simmons all reached double figures in scoring.
“I thought it was good character win,” head coach Joe Dooley said. “ When we got ourselves in a little bit of a jam, we did a good job of chipping away. Our offense efficiency got better and obviously we got some stops.”
The Eagles led for most of the half, as they were shooting at an 80 percent clip. Lipscomb was right with them due to 14 turnovers in the first half for the Eagles.
With a little less than 10 minutes left in the first half, FGCU didn’t just have trouble turning the ball over. They also had both Mercurius, Ricky Doyle and Johnson on the bench with two fouls a piece.
FGCU held a 27-24 lead at the time, but Lipscomb closed the first half on an 11-0 run to grab an eight-point lead at halftime.
The Bisons finished the half perfectly from behind the arc at six for six as well as going 12 for 15 from the free throw line.
The Eagles did shoot 66.7 from the field in the half and only had two points from Goodwin, but that would change quickly in the second half despite a very slow start.
Lipscomb led 66-48 with 12:41 left in the game, but Mercurius started the Eagles incredible 33-4 run to take an 11 point lead into the final minutes of the game.
The team finally broke their dry-spell from the field and hit three late three-pointers in the final few possessions, but FGCU was able to hang on with Mercurius closing the game out with a pair of free throws.
“We need to refocus and check in on some of the mistakes we made and get ready to play on Saturday afternoon,” Dooley added.
Next, the Eagles will take on Kennesaw State on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 4:30 p.m.