Men’s basketball earns fourth seed in A-Sun
The FGCU men’s basketball team has finished conference play in the No. 4 seed with an 8-6 conference record, after an 80-73 home loss to the Stetson Hatters Thursday evening.
While, technically, the team finished in a three-way tie for second, it earned the fourth seed for next week’s tournament.
FGCU will host No. 5 Kennesaw State, who went 7-7 in the conference, at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 1 for the first round of Atlantic Sun Championship play.
Marc-Eddy Norelia stepped up to the plate on Thursday evening for the Eagles, booking his 12th double-double performance of the season Thursday evening, accounting for 29 of the team’s 73 game points.
The Eagles opened the game with an 18-point lead, only to be chipped away by the Hatters. The Eagles held a three-point lead for half.
Coming out of the half, each team was looking for the momentum. The Eagles found it first, catching an 8-0 run and creating a 46-38 lead.
Stetson player Luke Doyle hit a three-pointer at the 13:19 mark to give Stetson its first lead of the night, 52-51. From there, the lead only grew for Stetson until the final buzzer sealed the Hatters’ seven-point lead.
FGCU limited the Hatters to just 36.4 percent from three-point range in the first half, but Stetson connected at a gaudy 77.8 percent from beyond the arc in the second half against the Eagles’ 6th-ranked national perimeter defense.
The Eagles out-rebounded the Hatters, 39-27, and consequently held a 17-6 edge in second-chance points, but Stetson finished the night 51.8 percent from the floor and 55 percent from three-point range — the most threes FGCU has allowed since 13 at North Florida on Jan. 30.
A-SUN CHAMPIONSHIP QUARTERFINAL MATCHUPS
No. 1 North Florida vs. No. 8 USC Upstate (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.)
No. 2 NJIT vs. No. 7 Stetson (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.)
No. 3 Jacksonville vs. No. 6 Lipscomb (Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.)
No. 4 FGCU vs. No. 5 Kennesaw State (Tuesday, 7:05 p.m.)