Hot-Shooting Eagles Earn Third-Straight Trip to #ASUNMadness Final

Hot-Shooting Eagles Earn Third-Straight Trip to #ASUNMadness Final

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FORT MYERS, Fla. - Top-seeded FGCU reached its third-straight ASUN Championship Final and sixth in program history with a 95-72 victory vs. No. 5 North Florida on Thursday in Alico Arena. The Eagles hit 13-of-24 shots from behind the arc as FGCU now hosts the ASUN Final for the third-straight year on Sunday, March 4th at 3 PM ET on ESPN. FGCU improved to 6-1 all-time in ASUN Championship Semifinals and 4-0 vs. the Ospreys in the postseason tournament.

Five Eagles finished in double-figure scoring led by 18 from Brandon Goodwin, the ASUN Player of the Year, as the senior guard added six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Twelve of his 18 points came in the second half. Zach Johnson followed his backcourt mate with 17 points on five three's made, which tied the individual program championship record set by Bernard Thompson on March 5th, 2015. Michael Gilmore registered a season-best 16 points on 7-of-12 shooting including two raucous alley-oop slams. Christian Terrell and Dinero Mercurius completed the scoring effort for FGCU with 14 and 11, respectively. Terrell added a game-high seven assists with Johnson tacking on six of his own.

Offense dominated the opening half as the score at the break sat at 55-44 in favor of FGCU. The Eagles hit a Division I program record eight triples in the first on 10 attempts with Johnson knocking down his three attempts and Gilmore adding a perfect 2-for-2 performance from deep. Terrell's 13 points were most at the break as the senior guard made 6-of-8 field goals including one trifecta. For North Florida, JT Escobar and Garrett Sams both made two three pointers to aid the Ospreys' offense with 10 and 8, respectively. Noah Horchler, the ASUN Newcomer of the Year, tallied nine points on 4-of-5 shooting.

The scoring slowed in the second half as FGCU posted a 40-28 advantage to close out the contest. The Eagles finished the contest shooting 54.9 percent from the floor and 54.2 from deep as FGCU's defense stepped up in the second half holding UNF to 37 percent from the floor. The Ospreys committed 18 turnovers leading to 34 points for FGCU. Escobar led the Ospreys in scoring with 22 followed by Trip Day (12) and Sams (10).



No. 1 FGCU vs. No. 5 North Florida Semifinal Notes
- FGCU racked up 15 assists on 23 first-half field goals. Their 15 first-half helpers surpassed or equaled their assist total of 15 games this year.
- The Eagles set a program championship record with 13 three pointers made in the contest. FGCU hit 11 vs. USC Upstate on Monday to tie the record.
- JT Escobar's 22 points were most for the sophomore guard since scoring 28 against the Eagles on Jan. 24th when he made six triples.
- FGCU has won eight-straight games in the ASUN Championship and try to become the second team in conference history to win three-straight titles.
- The 13 three's made by FGCU were most for the Eagles since connecting on 13 against USC Upstate on Jan. 16th, 2016.

 

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