FORT MYERS, Fla. - An instant classic took place at Alico Arena on Sunday night as No. 4 FGCU and No. 7 Stetson needed overtime to decide the 2016 Atlantic Sun Men's Basketball Final. The Eagles came away with the victory, 80-78, as All-Tournament Team member Zach Johnson swatted away a game-tying attempt by the Hatters with five seconds left to send Dunk City back to March Madness.
In a game that consisted of 16 ties and eight lead changes, the Eagles had four players in double figures led by a career-high 21 points for Antravious Simmons. A-Sun Championship MVP, Marc-Eddy Norelia added 16 points and nine boards, while Johnson scored 19 and added five assists.
FGCU opened the game with a 10-0 start capped by a Johnson breakaway dunk. The Hatters responded with a 16-4 run to take their first lead of the game. Stetson found 17 points from its bench in the first half and took a 35-30 lead heading into the locker room. All-Tournament team selection & A-Sun Freshman of the Year, Derick Newton tallied eight of his game-high 22 points in the first 20 minutes, while Luke Doyle contributed eight points as well off the bench in the first half.
The Eagles responded with a 5-0 run to start the second half as All-Tournament Team nod Christian Terrell knocked down his only three of the night to tie the game at 35-35. The game stayed within five points for the rest of the night with Newton taking it to overtime with a foul shot made with 25 seconds remaining in regulation and the score even at 69-69.
In overtime, Simmons and Johnson both tallied four points including two from Johnson in the final 15 seconds from the charity stripe. With the win, FGCU locks up its 20th win of the season giving the Eagles 20 or more wins for the fourth-straight season.
2016 Atlantic Sun All-Tournament Team
- Marc-Eddy Norelia, FGCU - Championship MVP
- Zach Johnson, FGCU
- Christian Terrell, FGCU
- Brian Pegg, Stetson
- Derick Newton, Stetson
- Dallas Moore, North Florida
- J.C. Hampton, Lipscomb
- The Eagles will make their fourth-straight postseason appearance with the win; NCAA - 2013, NIT - 2014 & CIT - 2015.
- Brian Pegg grabbed two rebounds to push his season total to 332, which is eighth-most in A-Sun single-season history.
- Stetson's Luke Doyle set the Stetson program record for three's in a season as he connected on two moving his season total to 72.
- Marc-Eddy Norelia's 16 points moved his season total to 567, which sits in a tie for 56th in A-Sun single-season history.
- The A-Sun Championship Final featured 4,670 fans in Alico Arena; marking the fourth-straight sellout for the conference finale.