FGCU picks up win against FIU
The FGCU Eagles climbed out of hell Sunday against the FIU Panthers, picking up an overtime 84-76 win.
The most noticeable performance on the court was FGCU’s Christian Terrell with 20 points, 4 steals and 6 rebounds. Both clubs had at least four players in double-digit scoring.
FIU’s leading performer was Kansas State transfer, No. 20 Adrian Diaz, who had 19 points, 7 blocks and 9 rebounds. The Panthers were efficient in the first half, shooting 50 percent from the field and approximately 54 percent from beyond the arch.
The Eagles shot 44 percent from the field. The Eagles struggled from the free-throw line with 25 percent. For the first half, FIU was more effective with its possessions. It was looking grim for the Eagles. Even though they weren’t down by much, their offense looked stagnant.
It was 40-35 Panthers by halftime.
It took a while, but the Eagles came alive in the second half. The Eagles shot an even 50-50 from the field and a blemish-free 100 percent from deep. Unfortunately, the free-throw numbers were still low with 33 percent.
FIU was relatively consistent for most of the game. The Panthers shot over 50 percent from the field throughout the course of the game. The numbers staggered a bit in the second half, dropping the ball at the free-throw line and shooting for only 50 percent.
Around the 10-minute mark, FGCU started applying the heat. It was fast-paced offense and overwhelming defense for the Eagles who pushed the game into OT. FIU’s guards could not handle the full-court trap. As a result, FIU had nearly double the amount of turnovers FGCU had, with 16. The Panthers looked dysfunctional, as they only made 22 percent of their shots and could nott get to the foul line. Free throws were a major component that helped the Eagles comeback effort, going 8-10.
FGCU shot a season high with 57 percent from three-point range. Coach Joe Dooley had some positive comments about his team’s performance in the comeback.
“We were able to pick up the tempo, and the young guys did a really good job,” Dooley said.
On the opposite spectrum, Antony Evans, the head coach of FIU, felt that his team made mistakes down the stretch, which caused the Panthers to relinquish the game.
“It was a tough loss for us,” Evans said. “I thought we did most of the things we needed to in order to win the game, but they put some pressure on us at the end. We turned it over, and they were able to close the game out.”
Evans emphasizes the nature of the sport at times. Momentum can change at any point in time, lifting one team up or pushing a team to defeat.
“Some of the shots went down and some of them didn’t,” Evans said. That’s just what happens in basketball.”