FGCU showed up in Virginia with a chance to make a lot of noise in the ASUN standings. Unfortunately, they left with a bad loss. The game started with each team trading baskets. With just over 13 minutes remaining in the 1st half, FGCU trailed 9-8. Liberty then went on an 8-0 run. This poor play continued throughout the half as FGCU trailed by 19 (33-14) heading into the locker room.
The Eagles came out looking much better in the second half. They chipped away and fought for possessions, eventually getting the deficit down to 13 with just under 10 mins remaining. Within the next 5 minutes, Liberty turned it on again and extended their lead to 20 (57-37), effectively ending any chance for FGCU. Below we will go over the notable Contributions, talk about what went wrong, and take a look at what’s next for the Eagles.
Jalen Warren was dynamite in this game. He led the Eagles with 20 points and shot 67% but played only 25 minutes due to foul trouble. In his second straight start, Zach Scott played a whopping 38 minutes. He finished with 10 points and managed to pull down 8 boards. Maybe an even better stat for him was that he played all those minutes without a turnover in a game that saw plenty of them. Lastly, Caleb Catto again struggled against Liberty. This comes after 3 straight 20 point games. He still managed 9 points (all in the second half), 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. For Catto, it was mainly an issue of his shot not falling.
FGCU finished with 16 team turnovers compared to only 12 from Liberty. Similarly, the Eagles stole the ball 7 times, compared to 11 times for the Flames.
FGCU allowed Liberty to shoot 56% from the floor and 37% from 3. Georgie Pacheco-Ortiz made the biggest impact here as he went 4/6 from deep, finishing with 16 points. For 2 straight games, players were left open on the perimeter.
FGCU returns home to Alico on Thursday 2/6 to play Stetson. Stetson is the surprise team this season in the ASUN. Last time these teams played, FGCU was able to steal a road game in overtime. There are even more stakes this time around as the latter half of conference play winds down.