Eagles Write First Four History in 31-Point Victory; Face UNC Next

Eagles Write First Four History in 31-Point Victory; Face UNC Next

DAYTON, Ohio - In its return trip to the NCAA Tournament, FGCU (21-13; 8-6 A-Sun) lived up to the hype with the largest margin of victory in First Four history defeating Fairleigh Dickinson, 96-65. The 96 points registered by the Eagles set the First Four scoring record.

Marc-Eddy Norelia posted his 15th double-double of the season with 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting and 10 rebounds. The First Team All-Conference selection & A-Sun Championship MVP added five assists as FGCU became the first A-Sun team to win in multiple NCAA Tournament after reaching the Sweet 16 in 2013. With FGCU's victory, an A-Sun team has now won in March Madness in three of the last four seasons and extended the conference's postseason win streak to eight seasons. Conference teams have combined for 18 victories in postseason play since 2009.

Three players joined Norelia in double-figure scoring including 14-point efforts from Christian Terrell & Julian DeBose, while Demetris Morant added 10. Antravious Simmons nearly earned his third double-double of the season with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Zach Johnson tallied eight points, five rebounds and seven assists.

FGCU opened the contest on an 11-0 run starting with an alleyoop from Johnson to Morant as the Eagles kept their namesake intact to start the game. Dunk City stretched its first-half advantage to 21 at the break, 40-21, as FGCU led from start to finish. The Knights twice cut FGCU's lead to 15 after the break before the Eagles ended any chance of a FDU comeback with several timely buckets. FGCU led by a game-high 35 points when Filip Cvjeticanin connected on a triple with 2:56 to go.

The Eagles advance to the Raleigh, N.C. Regional to face top-seeded North Carolina Thursday at 7:20 PM on TBS. FGCU now owns victories over Georgetown, San Diego State to go along with tonight's win vs. FDU as the Eagles improved to 3-1 in the NCAA Tournament.

FGCU vs. Fairleigh Dickinson NCAA First Four Notes
- The Eagles improved to 12-1 when shooting at least 50 percent on field goals. FGCU finished the game 34-of-57 (59.6%) from the floor.
- Norelia's 15th double-double moved the junior forward into a tie for 25th in the NCAA for most this season.
- FGCU made eight three pointers in the victory; tied for most by the Eagles since connecting on nine vs. Jacksonville on Jan. 27th.
- The Eagles outrebound FDU, 52-33, as FGCU grabbed more first-half rebounds (27) than the Knights had points (19).
- FGCU finished with an NCAA Division I program record 27 assists on their 34 field goals. The 27 assists are tied for third-most in the A-Sun this season. 

 

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