Eagles Break School Record With 13th Straight Home Victory – FGCU Athletics

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU men’s basketball team (14-6 overall, 4-3 ASUN Conference) broke the school record for consecutive home victories Thursday, winning its 13th straight game at Alico Arena in a 55-51 triumph over Jacksonville State.

The 13th straight victory broke the FGCU record of 12 straight wins at The Nest, which was accomplished by the 2013-14 Eagles. Thursday was FGCU’s seventh home win this season, to go with six straight at Alico Arena to end the 2021-22 season.
Jacksonville State’s 51 points was the lowest point total by an FGCU opponent all season – eclipsing the 53-point total given up against Georgia Southern in the Gulf Coast Showcase title game. It is also the lowest point total by an ASUN opponent since FGCU defeated NJIT 55-39 on Feb. 22, 2020.
Junior forward Zach Anderson (Apopka, Fla./Apopka HS) led the Eagles with 13 points to go with eight rebounds. Senior guard Isaiah Thompson (Zionsville, Ind./Zionsville HS/Purdue) dropped 11 points  and doled out a game-high five assists. Sophomore center Andre Weir (Hollywood, Fla./Chaminade-Madonna College Prep/Richmond) narrowly missed his third double-double in four games, scoring 10 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds.
Thursday’s victory snapped a two-game slide for FGCU, and kept the Eagles within range of ASUN co-leaders Liberty, Kennesaw State, Eastern Kentucky and Stetson – which all entered the night at 5-1 in conference play. Jacksonville State fell to 8-12 overall and 1-6 in the ASUN.
“It was tough week last week all around, and we had some really tough practices this week. So I am really proud of the way the guys responded,” said FGCU head men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers. “We haven’t lost two straight games like that all season, and we came back with a great approach and came back understanding how to pay tougher.
“We learned how to win ugly, which is a coach’s dream. Shots weren’t falling again. I have no idea why. But I know they will eventually, and if we keep defending and rebounding like that, we will give ourselves a chance.”
Senior forward Dakota Rivers (Windermere, Fla./Windermere HS) recorded his 100th career block with 4:05 to play, altering a putback attempt by JSU senior forward Amanze Ngumezi. Rivers joins Chase Fieler (134) and Demetris Morant (126) as the only Eagles to swat at least 100 career shots.
Jacksonville State junior forward Juwan Perdue led all scorers with 17 points, and sophomore forward Marcellus Bingham Jr. pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
FGCU earned the gritty victory despite making just 7-of-26 3-point attempts. The Green & Blue’s defense controlled the Gamecocks from beyond the arc, limiting JSU to just 2-of-17 triple attempts. Thursday marked the 11th time this season FGCU has limited an opponent to 61 points or less – going 9-2 in that span.
The two teams exchanged the lead five times in the first half, and FGCU broke out to a 24-16 lead with 4:03 remaining via a triple by Anderson, a short Weir jumper and a 3 from junior guard Chase Johnston (Boca Raton, Fla./Westminster Academy/Stetson). But Jacksonville State replied with a 5-0 spurt of its own and trailed 29-25 heading to halftime. The Gamecocks made just 9-of-24 shots from the field in the period.
Jacksonville State broke off another 5-0 run early in the second half to tie it 33-33 with 14:21 remaining. But FGCU responded with a 7-0 burst highlighted by a rim-rattling dunk by senior guard Dahmir Bishop (Philadelphia, Pa./Imhotep Charter/Xavier/St. Joseph’s) to make it 40-33 with 9:14 to go.
Purdue converted on a three-point play to pull the Gamecocks pulled to within three points at the 1:30 mark, but Thompson drove for a layup with 1:01 remaining, and FGCU was pure on five free throws in the final 45 seconds to secure the victory.
FGCU remains at home Saturday night, taking on visiting Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. at Alico Arena. The 2023 class of the FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame will be honored at halftime. Jacksonville State finishes its Florida road trip with Stetson on Saturday night.
For complete coverage of FGCU men’s basketball, follow the Eagles on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @FGCU_MBB and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to have news on FGCU men’s basketball and other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.  
Tickets for the 2022-23 FGCU Basketball season are on sale now and can be purchased by going online to www.FGCUTickets.com or calling 866-FGCU-TIX. Group tickets can also be purchased for 10 or more people – making a memorable evening for families, businesses, or other organizations. 

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow! 

Pat Chambers was officially introduced as the fifth FGCU men’s basketball head coach in March 2022 bringing a wealth of experience in college basketball highlighted by head coaching stints at Penn State and Boston University. Chambers spent nine years leading the Penn State (2011-20) program and two years as head coach at Boston University (2009-11). He has 204 career victories in that span including four 20-plus win seasons. Part of his career as a head coach was highlighted by leading the Nittany Lions to a No. 9 national ranking in 2019-20 which tied the program’s best-ever ranking set in 1996. Prior to becoming a head coach, he spent five seasons as part of the Villanova staff helping the Wildcats to a Final Four (2009), two Elite Eight, and three Sweet Sixteen appearances during his tenure.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (https://www.fgcu.edu/adminservices/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit https://www.fgcu.edu/adminservices/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.  
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 94 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 15-plus seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 11-plus seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 47 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22 and No. 25 in 2022-23) beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as four of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green & Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.66 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2022 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 27 consecutive semesters. The past seven semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2022) saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher cumulative team GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl. 

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