Eagles fly by the Highlanders
FGCU came out of the gate firing. The Eagle’s defense kept NJIT scoreless until the 17-minute mark. Senior captain Julian DeBose posted one of his best games this season. DeBose recorded a total of 15 points. This was a much needed performance to boost the morale of DeBose and his teammates.
On Thursday, the FGCU men’s basketball team won a home thriller in overtime 82-79.
NJIT was getting pounded on both sides of the ball in the first half. NJIT shot 29 percent from the field in the first half as compared to FGCU’s 45 percent.
Sophomore guards Johnson and Terrell dominated the NJIT front court. Noticeable performances by the Eagles included Terrell with12 points, Johnson with 16 points and DeBose with15 points. Johnson was unstoppable with 16 points off the bench, including a pair of dunks.
NJIT started off sluggish but looked revitalized in the second half. It was a barrage of threes that brought NJIT back into the game. NJIT’s Damon Lynn was on fire from the three-point range; he finished with 22 points.
Other commendable performances for NJIT consisted of Ky Howard with 16 points, Terrence Smith with 15 points and a whopping 14 rebounds and Chris Jenkins with 12 points. Smith was in and out of the game with an ankle injury.
Problems for NJIT only got worse with several players with 3-plus fouls. However, that did not the Highlanders from clawing their way back into the game.
At the 1:30 mark, the Highlanders were seeing 41 percent from the arc; the momentum of the game had completely swung in the favor of NJIT. Fans were leaving the building. A few plays sealed the deal, as Norelia hit the free throw to make the game close and RayJon Tucker caused a critical turnover. Off this turnover comes another three-point bomb from Lynn.
NJIT pushed the game into overtime when Lynn was fouled by Reed in the last quarter of a second.
A three by Jenkins pushed the game 75-76, giving NJIT it’s first lead of the entire game. NJIT seemed to collapse defensively after earning the lead. Simmons gets fouled and hits both free throws. Norelia gets a nifty dish from Terrell to push the game 79-76. At this time, NJIT was in a position to tie the game again.
NJIT’s Howard drove past the Eagle’s backcourt only to be denied at the rim by Norelia. Terrell closed the game out with easy free throws. FGCU takes the ball game 82-79.