The FGCU men’s basketball team is looking forward to a rematch against Middle Tennessee State on Saturday, and a chance for a little revenge.
But first, they had one last tuneup against NAIA Webber International on Wednesday, in a result that went about exactly as expected. The Eagles won 115-61.
“You treat it like a game. What happens is you’re hoping that if you play well you’re going to get opportunities,” Eagles coach Joe Dooley said. “You’re hoping to be able to work on some things and different combinations, but that all depends on how we play, how our energy is and how the game’s going.”
FGCU(6-2) did what they’re supposed to do against a non-Division I opponent. A three from Christian Terrell five minutes into the game made it 20-0. The Eagles led 27-0 to open the game after a layup from Christian Carlyle. Webber missed their first 11 shots, and turned it over five times before finally getting on the board with a layup from Joseph Serrano with 11:50 left in the first half.
The gap never got inside 25 points once the Warriors finally got on the board. As the deficit grew past 30, and eventually 40, sympathetic FGCU fans starts to cheer when the Warriors did manage to find the bottom of the basket. It was 63-21 at halftime.
Terrell had a double-double by halftime, and finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Zach Johnson had 16 points of 7-of-9 shooting in 20 minutes of play. Every FGCU starter scored in double figures, including a double-double from Brandon Goodwin, 14 points and 10 assists, and 10 points each from RaySean Scott and Ricky Doyle.
Saturday, the Eagles get another crack at Middle Tennessee State. The Blue Raiders beat FGCU 85-72 in a game on Nov. 21 in Murfreesboro, Tenn. in a game that wasn’t close. FGCU trailed by 22 at one point in the first half.
“It was painfully ugly,” Dooley said. “From the beginning of the game all the way to the end they dominated us in all aspects. We didn’t give ourselves a chance, which was really disappointing. We’ve got to get back to work tomorrow and prepare ourselves to play better than we did the did the first time and give ourselves a chance.”
But since then the defense and rebounding – two areas Dooley was especially frustrated with – have improved somewhat, and the offensive flow appears to be on its way back as well.
“We can’t let our offense dictate our defense,” Terrell said. “We’ve got to lock up on the defensive end and that will get us easy buckets on the offensive end and get us into a rhythm.”
With the game out of hand early, many reserves got an opportunity to play extended minutes. Every FGCU player who checked into the game scored, including walk-ons Dolan Mahoney and Ryan McAdoo.
One of the bench players, 5-foot-2 Darnell Rogers, has already become a bit of a fan favorite around the FGCU program. The fans went wild when Rogers hit his first career three in the first half. Rogers finished with a career-high 11 points, including 3-of-4 shooting from three.
Christian Carlyle scored 13 off the bench, and Antravious Simmons had eight points and eight rebounds. Brady Ernst had seven points and 11 rebounds in 20 minutes. Walk-on Joshua Ko added five points in eight minutes.
“It was good to get some of those guys who haven’t gotten a ton of minutes some minutes,” Dooley said, adding that a hand injury to freshman forward Brian Thomas and an ankle injury to junior college transfer Dinero Mercurius have limited the Eagles from a depth standpoint. “As much depth as it seems like we’ve had, we don’t have a lot – we’ve got nine right now with Brian and Dinero hurt. Hopefully we can get those guys back here soon, and I think that will help practice and our rotation a little bit.”
TERRELL HITS A MILESTONE
On a three midway through the first half, Terrell reached a milestone with 1,000 career points. Terrell finished the night at 1,010, becoming just the eighth player in program history to hit the mark.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
115 – 115 points in a game is the fourth most in program history, and second most since moving to Division I in 2007.
7 – Number of FGCU players which scored in double figures on Wednesday.
vs. Middle Tennessee State, Saturday
vs. Florida Atlantic, Tuesday
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