FGCU continued their turnover-filled play against FIU. The game was hard to watch from the start as the Panthers jumped out to a 19-5 lead. The Eagles got back into it with timely points from Zach Scott and Caleb Catto. At halftime, the Eagles trailed 34-21.
The 2nd half started with more missed shots and turnovers. The Panthers capitalized and pushed the lead to 27 at one point. The Eagles gasped for life and went on an 8-0 run to narrow the lead back to 19 points. This was all the squad could muster though as the game ended with a 71-53 loss. Below, we will discuss the good and the bad, as well as what’s next for the Eagles.
FGCU has struggled on the boards as a team all season. Aggressive defense and rebounding are a huge part of what Coach Fly is trying to implement. The lack of success in this area has been concerning. Tonight though, if their is any real positive to take away, it is the team’s performance on the glass. The Eagles won the rebounding battle 54-44 and several players stood out. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the team.
Scott was one of the few brighter spots on the night. He scored a team high of 13 points to go along with a career high 8 rebounds. Scott continues to struggle with maintaining an efficient shooting percentage but it is comforting to know he can consistently impact the game, regardless.
Another somewhat bright spot coming out of this game is the return of Tracy Hector Jr and the residual effect that his availability has on the FGCU bigs. With Hector available, Justus Rainwater can take a well-deserved breather. Less pressure is also put on Dakota Rivers to perform. Tonight Rainwater scored 6 points, hauled in 9 rebounds, and racked up 3 blocks in only 17 minutes. Rivers had a bit of a bounce back game, scoring 8 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. While still lacking depth, the state of the Eagles’ frontcourt is in a better place with Hector’s presence.
FGCU’s shooting woes are starting to be the norm for them, rather than a simple stretch of rough games. The Eagles shot an atrocious 28% from the field and only 15% from 3. The Eagles struggled to beat the press and when they did, they often took bad/forced shots that led to such a low shooting percentage. This is largely a season long trend and yet anther cog in the overall cycle of bad play that has led to such a poor record.
Through 11 games this season, FGCU is among the worst in the country is all stats related to turnovers. Against FIU, the Eagles committed 16 turnovers in the 1st half, en route to 23 for the game. Between the poor shooting and the excess amount of turnovers, winning the rebounding battle was a wasted effort. Turnovers have been the biggest factor in the team’s lack of success this year.
FGCU heads back to Alico on Saturday 12/7 to take on Robert Morris. The Colonials might be struggling as much as the Eagles right now. Both teams have only 2 wins and are looking to head their seasons in the right direction. Dirty Birds, let’s pack the nest and do our part in turning this ship around.