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Men’s hoops comes up short against Stetson

EN Photo by Julia Bonavita

Chase Henry
ENTV Sports Director & Staff Writer
The FGCU men’s basketball team (7-18; 4-6 ASUN) lost to the Stetson University Hatters (13-12; 7-6 ASUN), Thursday night, by a score of 65-62. 
After a back-and-forth opening few minutes, Stetson used a 6-0 run, the first big run of the game, to gain an edge over FGCU 13-6 with 14:18 left in the first half.
From there, the Hatters kept the Eagles just out of arm’s reach for the majority of the rest of the half. FGCU prevented Stetson from scoring on three straight defensive possessions to claw back into the game, which culminated in a Zach Scott floater to give FGCU the lead with 2:12 left in the first half.
Stetson found luck as Rob Perry managed to beat the buzzer with an unconventional shot to push the Hatters’ lead back up to five at 25-20. Scott led FGCU in scoring in the first half with 10 points.
The second half mirrored the first half with Stetson jumping back on top and keeping FGCU just out of reach. With just under two minutes remaining, the Hatters’ lead over FGCU was eight points after Wheza Panzo hit a three-point shot. From there, FGCU came storming back in a run.
Scott scored two free throws, and Caleb Catto made a three-point shot to bring FGCU within three of Stetson. Mahamadou Diawara converted two free throws, and Jalen Warren hit a three-pointer to pull FGCU within one point in 31 seconds left in the second half.
FGCU had to foul Stetson after the Hatters came out of their timeout with 13 seconds left, and Rob Perry scored Stetson’s last two points of the game.
The Eagles’ final possession broke down, as two Stetson players contested Caleb Catto on his final three-point shot, forcing Catto to throw up an ill-advised right before the final buzzer sounded.
“The last play was a microcosm of how the night went,” said head coach Michael Fly. “We didn’t execute coming out of the timeout. Didn’t finish a play at the end.”
Up next for the men’s basketball team is a home game against the University of North Florida, Saturday night, at 7 p.m.

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