Eagles lose first game in A-Sun
The Eagles tied their longest win streak of the season this past weekend with a hard-fought 79-75 win over the University of North Florida before dropping their first conference game, to Jacksonville University. Their fourth straight win, and FGCU’s 50th Atlantic Sun conference victory in school history, was led by a valiant effort from four starters. Double-digit scoring for Brett Comer (15, game-high), Jamail Jones (13), Bernard Thompson (12), and Chase Fieler (12) was the core of the balanced offensive attack for FGCU’s men’s basketball leading the team to its first 4-0 start in league play.
UNF held the lead for the majority of the game, including a four-point lead with 11:24 remaining in the second half when Comer went up for a shot and landed awkwardly on his left knee. Comer immediately grabbed his left leg and was taken out of the game and back to the locker room. After a 6-0 run by the Eagles gave them the lead, 60-59, and the teams traded baskets for a few minutes, Comer checked back into the game only to spark an 11-1 run by the Eagles that would prove to be enough to hold the lead for the remainder of the game.
Comer says he feels good now, stating “It’s getting back to where it needs to be so I’ll be alright for Thursday.” Comer is now No. 10 on FGCU’s all-time scoring list.
Fieler, arguably FGCU’s best player, continues to shine this season as he managed to add seven rebounds to his 12 points against UNF. Just days after, in the matchup against Jacksonville, Fieler scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the year. Adding the 10 rebounds against Jacksonville brings Fieler to within seven of tying Sherwood Brown’s all-time record of 589.
A tough game against Jacksonville University just two days after winning its fourth straight conference game handed FGCU its first loss in the conference this season. A strong defensive performance by Jacksonville along with its rebounding and free-throw percentage advantage was all it took to earn the win over FGCU. Comer didn’t the let the loss to Jacksonville get his confidence down, saying, “Even though we did lose to Jacksonville we’re still in control of our own destiny. We’re still at the top of the conference (tied with Mercer). If we keep going and doing what we need to do, we can still win it and be where we need to be.”
The team prepares to take on USC-Upstate (9-8, 2-2) at home Thursday. Coach Joe Dooley goes into the week preparing to take on Upstate’s strong offensive and explosive veterans such as senior forwards Torrey Craig (42% FG, 16.9 points per game) and Richard Glenn (58.2%, 11.2 points per game).
“They’ve got a wellcoached, veteran team and guys that can score a lot of different ways and one of those ways is they can make tough shots,” Dooley said. “That’s a tribute to them.”
FGCU’s last home game was more than two weeks ago before a smaller crowd because of students being on winter break. A recordbreaking crowd is expected to be in attendance on Thursday against USC-Upstate. Comer is excited after being away from Dunk City for more than two weeks. “I hear they’re trying to pack it up. It would be nice to have an environment like that, especially against a good Upstate team.”
The Eagles will host USCUpstate in a blue-out at 7 p.m. Thursday then stay home Saturday to face ETSU (9-8, 2-2) at 7:30 p.m. Both games are expected to be sellouts and only 1,500 student tickets to each game. Tickets can be picked up in advance between 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at the Alico Arena Ticket Office.