As the conference season remains unpredictable and non-traditonal, to say the least, one constant this year is the back-to-back format of the games. For the remainder of this season and as long as this format continues in the future, we will be providing 5 Fast Facts following the first game of each series. With that said, here are 5 main points from FGCU’s win over Stetson.
1. Big Offense
For the majority of the first half, the bulk of the Eagles’ offense came from unexpected places. Eli Abaev finished with 11 points, Dakota Rivers turned another start into 10 points, and Justus Rainwater came off the bench for 8 points. The trio of bigs combined for 29 points, which is the most they have scored together in any game this season. To put it into perspective, they have only combined to score 20 or more points in 4 other games this season, 2 of which were against D-2 opponents. Consistent production from the frontcourt is something that has been lacking for FGCU really since Demetrius Morant in the 2017. If any part of this trio can get going consistently, it would go a long way for this team.
2. Clean Game
With another clean game (in regard to turnovers), the Eagles have now strung together 3 straight performances where they committed 11 turnovers or less. It should be no surprise that FGCU is 2-1 over that span. For a team that has struggled mightily over the past couple seasons with turning the ball over. This is a positive sign.
3. Perimeter Problems
One issue that has plagued the Eagles all season is the struggles from beyond the arc. FGCU was abysmal from deep last night, going 2-19 or 10.5%. Stetson made 6 more threes than the Eagles and shot a modest 33%. If FGCU simply hits a very attainable 33% of their own threes, this game would have been much easier to win.
4. Classic Ugly Stetson vs FGCU
It seems like no matter how good or bad either of these teams are, when Stetson and FGCU get together, it’s an ugly one. Each team went on scoring droughts and missed shots. FGCU failed to score a FG for almost the final 5 minutes of the game and still managed to win. This was possible because of some good defense from the Eagles but also because Stetson failed hit their open shots down the stretch as well.
5. Avoiding Another Collapse
This back-to-back format for conference play was an adjustment for everyone. The Eagles were put at a disadvantage when they were forced to pause team activities due to Covid. While other teams were getting used to the format on the same schedule, FGCU has had to play catch-up. Through 2 series, they have caught up in most ways but suffered collapses at the end of both. Now after a 1st-game victory, it would mean a lot to overcome the 2nd game fatigue and come out with a W.