FGCU comeback falls short after another big deficit at Gulf Coast Showcase

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FGCU men’s basketball coach Michael Fly was very clear about how he felt about his team’s play Tuesday.

Just a day after getting trounced by Toledo in their first game of the Gulf Coast Showcase, FGCU once again fell behind big to Colorado State on Tuesday.

Though they attempted to mount a comeback, the Rams held on for an 82-74 win on Tuesday at Hertz Arena.

“Until the last eight minutes or so, we looked disinterested and didn’t want to be in the game,” a visibly frustrated Fly said after the game. “Right now our team probably thinks that we are a little better than we are, that we can just outscore people and that if we score we’ll win. That’s not how basketball works. Unfortunately we aren’t getting to a point where defense and rebounding are important to us until we’re down.”

After losing to Toledo by 28 on Monday, the same Eagles showed up Tuesday allowing easy buckets and wide-open shots. The game was tied at 32 late in the first half, but a cluster of turnovers and wide-open drives by the Rams’ Kendle Moore – four of them in a row – gave Colorado State a 40-32 halftime lead.

The Rams shot nearly 60 percent from the floor, hitting 31 of their 52 shots and got 42 of their points in the paint. Moore, along with Anthony Masinton-Bonner, led them with 17 points each.

“I’ve got to get them to defend and rebound,” Fly said. “Right now, we’re not very good at defending and rebounding.”

In the second half, the lead would grow to as many as 19 for Colorado State(4-1), after a layup by Nico Carvacho made it 65-46 with 8:52 to go.

But the Eagles would start to rally. A 12-2 run cut the lead to 67-58 after a transition layup from Schadrac Casimir, and they would get as close as 71-68 with 3:17 remaining following a pair of Dinero Mercurius, but Masinton-Bonner hit a three on the next trip down, and a pair of buckets for Colorado State a minute later pushed the lead to 78-70 with 1:09 to go, putting it all but out of reach.

“For short stretches we [played like we were capable of],” Fly said. “But to let yourself get that far down before to start to play with some gumption and play hard makes no sense.”

Haanif Cheatham led the Eagles with 18 points, while Casimir scored 12 points and Christian Carlyle added 10.

FGCU(2-4) will wrap up their Gulf Coast Showcase in the first game of the day Wednesday – the seventh-place game in the eight-team field – against UT-San Antonio, which lost to South Dakota State on Tuesday.

“I’m not even concerned with salvaging the week or anything like that, I’m concerned about representing our program the right way,” Fly said.


UT-San Antonio, Wednesday(Hertz Arena-Gulf Coast Showcase)
At FAU, Sun
FIU, Nov. 28
Colgate, Dec. 2
At Oral Roberts, Dec. 5

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