Eagles Improve to 7-0 in #ASUNMadness Quarters; Johnson Drops 26 Points

Eagles Improve to 7-0 in #ASUNMadness Quarters; Johnson Drops 26 Points

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Top-seeded FGCU improved its record in the ASUN Men's Basketball Championship Quarterfinals to 7-0 with a 96-76 victory against No. 8 USC Upstate on Monday night in Alico Arena. Zach Johnson neared his career-high in scoring as the junior guard registered 26 points in the win. 

Johnson finished 11-of-17 from the field including 4-of-6 from deep as he finished one away from equaling his season-high of 27 in the first game of the year. The First Team All-Conference member added four rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Christian Terrell stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points, eight assists, six rebounds and two steals on only one turnover to help the Eagles outscore the Spartans, 57-40, in the second half. FGCU shot 67.7 percent from the floor after halftime making 21-of-31, which included a 6-of-8 performance from deep.

At the break, FGCU held a slim 39-36 advantage on the visiting Spartans as Upstate's Malik Moore owned a then game-high 14 points as the junior forward made three triples in the opening half. The Eagles led by as many as 10 with 8:21 before halftime, but six three-pointers by Upstate kept the Spartans in the contest. Terrell led the Eagles with 10 points to go along with three boards, three assists and two steals. Both sides shot over 50 percent from the field to open the quarterfinal.

The victory marked FGCU's seventh-straight win in the ASUN Championship after claiming the last two titles. The Eagles are now 15-3 all-time in the conference tournament. ASUN Player of the Year, Brandon Goodwin finished with nine points and four dimes and senior forward Antravious Simmons netted a season-high 18 points, making 6-of-8 field goals and 6-of-10 free throws to go with eight boards.

In the loss, Moore chipped in 17 points and seven boards for the Spartans and Ramel Thompkins nearly tallied a double-double on 14 points and nine boards. Mike Cunningham led all scorers with 28 as he knocked down five three balls with three assists. Upstate's season ends with a 7-24 record.

FGCU (22-10; 12-2) advances to face No. 5 North Florida in a rematch of last year's ASUN Championship Final and the 2016 ASUN Semifinal. The Eagles lead the all-time series with UNF, 18-10, while the record sits at 3-0 in the ASUN Championship. The Eagles and Ospreys will square off on Thursday, March 1st. UNF defeated NJIT, 80-76, in Newark, N.J. to advance to face the Eagles.

No. 1 FGCU vs. No. 8 USC Upstate Quarterfinal Notes
 USC Upstate junior guard Mike Cunningham tallied a game and career-high 28 points in the loss as he finishes his ASUN career with 1,181 points, ranking 115th in league history.
- FGCU set a program championship record with 96 points passing their previous mark of 89 in the 2016 ASUN Semifinals vs. North Florida.
- The Spartans connected on 13 triples to push their season total to 328, which sits second-most in the ASUN this season.
- Deion Holmes caps his ASUN career with 1,153 points, sitting 122nd in the ASUN record books.
- The Eagles hope to become just the second team in ASUN history to win three-straight conference tournaments.