FGCU Trumps Spartans in A-Sun Championship Debut

Thursday, March 01, 2012

MACON, Ga. - The championship debut for FGCU and USC Upstate ended with the lower seed, the No. 6 Eagles, as the victor against the No. 3 Spartans, 71-61. The Eagles hit nine three pointers in the 2012 General Shale Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship Quarterfinal and had five student-athletes reach double digits in points.

Second Team All-Conference member, Sherwood Brown, earned the task of guarding the 2012 A-Sun Player of the Year, Torrey Craig, and held the sophomore forward to 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting, while forcing Craig into four turnovers. On top of his defensive efforts, Brown added 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 3-for-4 at the charity stripe.

Joining Brown in double digits for the Eagles was Christophe Varidel with a team-high 14 points on three three-pointers. Filip Cvjeticanin followed with 11 points, while A-Sun All-Freshman Bernard Thompson chipped in 10 along with Eddie Murray's identical total.

FGCU ended up with seven blocks led by Chase Fieler contributing a game-high four. FGCU shot .474 from behind the arc and 39 percent from the field, while holding the Spartans to .319 from the field - the Spartans' fourth-lowest percentage this season. Adrian Rodgers topped the Spartans in scoring with 16 adding six rebounds, while A-Sun Freshman of the Year Ty Greene tallied 10 points and six boards, but shot 3-of-14 on the court.

Read the Atlantic Sun Insider Column: Eagles Feed Off Enfield's Confidence

The Eagles' upset of third-seeded USC Upstate (20-12) is the sixth time in the last seven championships that a six seed has defeated the three seed in the quarterfinals.

FGCU (14-16) advances to Friday's 8:30 p.m. ET semifinal contest where they face second-seeded Mercer Bears on CSS.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.