#ASunMBB: Naburgs Leads Stetson Past FGCU

Friday, February 22, 2013

Behind a career high 27 points from senior Joel Naburgs, the Stetson men's basketball team avenged a road loss from earlier in the season, defeating Florida Gulf Coast by a score of 80-71 at home on Friday night.

While FGCU opened the game with a dunk by sophomore Eric McKnight, Friday night's game never felt reminiscent of the Jan. 25 game that the Eagles won by 31 points. Stetson quickly countered with five straight points by Naburgs and junior Willie Green to take its first lead of the game, and trailed by no more than six points at any point in the first half.

Trailing 36-34 at halftime, Naburgs opened the second frame with his fourth three-pointer of the night and ignited a 10-0 run that put the Hatters up 44-36 just over two minutes into the second period. The healthy advantage didn't last long though, as the Eagles countered to cut the Stetson lead to just two, at 46-44, with 14:25 to play.

The back-and-forth action then continued as a triple by senior Liam McInerney was followed by threes from Naburgs and junior Chris Perez to give the Hatters an 11-point lead, at 55-44, their largest of the game.

A 13-0 run by FGCU gave the Eagles the lead for the first since the start of the second half, and they held onto a four-point advantage as late as five minutes to play. A jumper by Green, and threes by senior Adam Pegg and junior Hunter Miller, helped the Hatters regain the advantage.

Stetson went 7-for-8 from the line, and added a pretty back door layup from Green to Perez, to score the final nine points of the game and hang on for the 80-71 victory.

Naburgs finished with a career high 27 points on 8-of-12 shooting, and 6-of-9 from beyond the arc. His fourth three of the game was the 171st of his career, making him the all-time leader in three-pointers made at Stetson. Naburgs also added seven rebounds, six assists, and turned the ball over just once.

Perez scored 19 points, and Green totaled 15 points to help the Hatters. Pegg chipped in with nine points on just 4-of-5 shooting, but added a game high 11 rebounds in the victory. The Hatters overcame 23 team turnovers with 54.2 percent shooting and 52.4 percent shooting from beyond the arc.