Men’s Basketball cruises past Kennesaw State
The FGCU men’s basketball team (6-14; 3-2 ASUN) used a strong defensive showing combined with a slow offensive output by Kennesaw State University in the first half to beat the Owls (1-16; 0-4 ASUN), 73-51, Thursday night at Alico Arena.
“I thought our defense did a good job, but I also thought [Kennesaw State] missed some open looks in the first half,” said head coach Michael Fly.
After an opening ten minutes that saw the score sit at 10-1 in favor of FGCU, the Eagles found their offensive rhythm in the final ten minutes where FGCU outscored Kennesaw State 24-6. The Eagles defense also played a big factor in the first half, as FGCU caused seven turnovers, blocked six shots and grabbed 20 defensive rebounds.
FGCU’s defense slowed down Kennesaw State, as the Owls shot 1-25 in the first half, with their only converted basket was a three-pointer by Jamie Lewis with 8:42 left in the first half.
On the offensive Caleb Catto and Justus Rainwater each scored 11 points, and Jalen Warren provided three assists.
In the second half, FGCU conceded the scoring edge to Kennesaw State, 44-39. The Owls changed their defensive tactics to a full-court press, which made an impact in turnovers, as FGCU’s second-half turnover stat ended at 19 after turning the ball over only seven times in the first half.
Dakota Rivers provided a spark for FGCU with two rebounds and blocking three shots. Zach Scott and Caleb Catto ended the game as FGCU’s leading scorers with 11 points, as Scott scored seven of his points in the second half.
It is the first time this season men’s basketball as on two straight games.
“Every win is a good win, especially with the season we have had to this point,” Fly said. “We talk about all the time there’s three seasons — non-conference, conference and a conference tournament. We now have a winning record for the first time on the year in our second season, and we’ll do as much as we can to win as many games in season two, to prepare for season three, the conference tournament.”
Up next for FGCU men’s basketball is a trip to Florence, Alabama to take on the University of North Alabama on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.