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Men’s Basketball Drops Fifth Straight Game in a Blowout Against UNC-Wilmington

Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics

FGCU men’s basketball returned home after a tough few games in the U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam. The Eagles looked for a rebound against the 4-1 UNC-Wilmington Seahawks on Nov. 25 to end a 1-5 start to the season. That rebound wouldn’t come in this game as the Eagles were blown out by the Seahawks, 71-55.

Through Nov. 17-20, the Eagles played three games, losing all three by single digits. They lost their first game, 70-61, to Missouri State, their second, 92-85, against Hampton University and their final game in a back-and-forth battle with Norfolk State University, 69-66.

This marks a historically bad season for the Eagles so far as they have tied their second-worst start to a season. They were last 1-5 just a few years ago during the 2019-2020 season. FGCU came into this game against UNCW needing to gather momentum with conference play beginning in just over a month.

As tipoff began, the game could not have started any better for the Eagles. Junior forward Zach Anderson scored with an electric dunk off of a turnover to put the Eagles up early. They were two of Anderson’s 12 points, tied for the lead on the team for the game. This ended up being the highlight of the game for the Eagles, as the game only went downhill from there.

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The first half continued and the Eagles only held their two point lead for four and a half minutes. Both teams were constantly missing shots from all over the court.

UNC-Wilmington took advantage of this lull in play by constantly subbing their players in and out to wear down the Eagles. It worked, as the Seahawks had 24 points coming from the bench in the first half and 11 fast breaks resulting in points.

As the first half came to a close, UNC-Wilmington grew their lead to double-digits, 37-25 over the Eagles. FGCU was playing its worst game this season and it showed. They only had a 26.7% field goal percentage and an 18.2% three-point percentage compared to UNCW’s 46.7% and 41.7% to that point. 

The second half got underway with the Eagles and the Seahawks going back and forth to begin. UNCW started hot as they extended their lead to 17 points, but FGCU closed the gap to 11 points only five minutes into the half. 

FGCU and UNCW continued this throughout the second half as both teams kept scoring. But time quickly ticked down for the Eagles as they were never able to get back down to single digits. The Eagles put in their bench players with five minutes left, as coming back from down 13 points in a short period of time was unrealistic.

The Seahawks beat the Eagles, 71-55, as FGCU falls to 1-6 to start the season. This ties a long-standing record dating back to the 2009-2010 season for the worst start to a season for the program. Those Eagles had a 1-6 start as well and finished with an overall record of 8-21.

FGCU heads on the road to play the FIU Panthers later today and the Cincinnati Bearcats on Dec. 3 before returning home. The Eagles will face the New College of Florida on Dec. 5.

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About the Contributor
Jeffrey Hrunka
Jeffrey Hrunka, Eagle News Assistant Sports Editor
Jeffrey Hrunka is a junior double majoring in communications and journalism with a concentration in public relations. Jeffrey is from Fort Myers where his interest in sports journalism originated after falling in love with the world of motorsports. When he’s not working for Eagle News, he is usually spending time with friends, watching the New York Giants lose, or chilling in the pool.

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