FGCU men’s basketball defeats USC Upstate in overtime to earn a share of the ASUN regular-season title
Coming into their matchup against USC Upstate with a chance to claim at least a share of the ASUN regular-season title, the FGCU men’s basketball team defeated the Spartans 97-89 to earn its first regular-season crown since the 2013-14 season.
Sharing the crown with former conference member Mercer, the Eagles have the chance to win its first outright regular-season title with a victory in their home regular-season finale against Stetson on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.
Trailing by 21 points early in the second half, the Spartans outscored the Eagles 52-36 in the second half to comeback and force overtime.
In the final seconds of the game, Josh Cuthbertson knocked down a jumper from the elbow to send the game to overtime. Despite the game clock above the backboard reading 0.00 with the ball still on Cuthbertson’s fingers and the scoreboard clock showing 0.01, the officials ruled the shot good because the red backboard light did not go off when the game clock hit 0.00.
Trading buckets on the first four trips in the overtime period, Christian Terrell knocked down a three from the wing to give FGCU an 86-83 lead. Terrell’s triple sparked a 6-0 run for the Eagles, as they knocked down their final eight shots from the stripe to end their road league schedule undefeated.
Finishing 7-0 on the road, FGCU becomes the first ASUN member to go undefeated on the road in league play since former member Samford went 8-0 in 1998-99.
“We got off to a phenomenal start on both ends of the floor,” said FGCU head coach Joe Dooley in an FGCU athletics press release. “We even got off to a good start to the second half, but then our defense let us down and we allowed Upstate to get back in the game. But I’m proud of the way the guys responded in overtime – it’s something we’ve done a lot on the road this year and this was a great way to end it.”
Finishing with 20-plus points for the third consecutive game to lead a quintet of double figure scorers, Brandon Goodwin tied his FGCU career-high for points with 29 points, while dishing out three assist and grabbing eight rebounds in the Eagles 22nd win of the season.
Joining Goodwin in another episode of the Brandon Goodwin and Demetris Morant show, Morant finished with 14 points on 6-7 shooting from the clip.
Scoring 18 points in his second highest scoring outing of the season, Terrell knocked down three triples and snatched six rebounds in just 24 minutes of play.
Rounding out FGCU’s double figure scorers, Marc-Eddy Norelia and Rayjon Tucker finished with 10 points apiece as the Eagles set a program record for wins in a season, surpassing their previous program best of 21 from 2012-13 and 2014-15 seasons.
Closing out the regular-season with a chance to claim the No. 1 seed in the ASUN Championship and the program’s first outright regular-season title, FGCU will host Stetson on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. FGCU can also claim the No. 1 seed courtesy of a Lipscomb loss against Kennesaw State.