Saturday, March 09, 2013
MACON, Ga. - The FGCU Eagles took control of the second half to defeat top-seeded Mercer 88-75 to claim their first Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship title and the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.
Brett Comer led the Eagles by collecting his fourth career 20+ point performance, ending the game with 21 points and A-Sun Championship Most Valuable Player honors. The sophomore guard added five assists to push his total to 213 on the season; tied for seventh in the A-Sun record books for a single season.
FGCU's Sherwood Brown collected a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds to grab a spot on the all-tournament team. Joining Brown and Comer on the squad was Chase Fieler who added 15 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The contest was largely back-and-forth in the first half as the game saw 13 lead changes all in the first half. The Eagles came out on fire in the second half and quickly extended their lead to 11 only three minutes into the second stanza. FGCU led by as many as 17 points with six minutes remaining.
Atlantic Sun Insider: FGCU Breaks Through with NCAA Tournament Berth
This was the Eagles second trip to the A-Sun Championship in just their second year of post-season eligibility. Last year, FGCU fell just shy of the championship title, however the Eagles rebounded to become the first team to go from runner-up to A-Sun Champion since 2004.
With its championship run, FGCU has collected 24 wins this season to mark a Division I program record for the Eagles. The 24 wins are tied for 18th most in the nation. The Eagles, who defeated No. 6 Miami (Fla.) earlier in the season, currently sits 109th in the last NCAA RPI (Mar. 4th)
Four Bears recorded double digits in scoring with Travis Smith registering a team-high 16 points, while Jakob Gollon and Bud Thomas both contributed 14 points. Langston Hall and Thomas received all-tournament honors as Hall produced 12 points, nine assists and six rebounds in the finale. Thomas tallied six rebounds, two blocks and two assists.
With the loss Mercer falls to 23-11 on the season, but will advance to post-season play for the second-straight season as Mercer is guaranteed a spot in the NIT after winning the A-Sun Regular Season title.
2013 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball All-Tournament Team Brett Comer, FGCU Sherwood Brown, FGCU Chase Fieler, FGCU Langston Hall, Mercer Bud Thomas, Mercer Torrey Craig, USC Upstate
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: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.