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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - No. 4 seed FGCU (19-13; 8-6) advanced to the 2016 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Championship Final with an 89-56 win over top-seeded North Florida. The Eagles host the tournament finale on Sunday, March 6th against No. 7 Stetson live on ESPN2.
First Team All-Conference nod, Marc-Eddy Norelia scored 23 points and added 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double as the Eagles secured the largest margin of victory (33) over a top-seeded team in A-Sun Championship history. The previous record for margin of victory against a No. 1 seed came in 2007 when No. 2 Belmont defeated No. 1 ETSU in Johnson City, 94-67.
Playing in his hometown of Jacksonville, Fla., Christian Terrell added 16 points finishing 7-of-11 from the floor, while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. All-Freshmen Team honoree Zach Johnson chipped in 15 point for the Eagles including two three-pointers. The Eagles dominated the battle for rebounds with a 49-24 advantage including 18 offensive boards. Antravious Simmons nearly joined Norelia in double-digit rebounding with nine off the bench. For the game, FGCU shot 56.7 percent from the floor and added to the offensive threat with 8-of-17 from deep.
Filip Cvjeticanin made an immediate impact off the bench after missing the previous three games as the senior connected on three trifectas to finish with 11 points. The Zagreb, Croatia native had not registered a point since Jan. 27th. All three of his made three pointers came in the first half. Zach Johnson's three at the 6:45 mark of the first half gave FGCU its first lead of the game, which they would not relinquish.
North Florida opened up an 11-point advantage at the 11:31 mark of the first half on a Demarcus Daniels layin. A-Sun Player of the Year, Dallas Moore 13 points in the opening stanza, but added only two after the break to lead the Ospreys in scoring. Fellow First Team All-Conference member, Beau Beech added 10 points with three trifectas. The Ospreys can still earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament with a Stetson victory vs. FGCU in the A-Sun Final. With an FGCU victory, the Ospreys will head to the National Invitation Tournament as the A-Sun Regular Season Champions.
North Florida vs. FGCU Semifinal Notes
- With a victory on Sunday, FGCU would secure its fourth straight 20-win season.
- Dallas Moore moved his career point total to 1,602, which is tied for 29th in A-Sun history.
- The Eagles improved to 2-0 in A-Sun Championship history against North Florida with the previous victory coming in 2013 when FGCU won the conference title.
- The 13 rebounds for Norelia pushed his season total to 295, which is 28th-most in A-Sun single-season history.