FGCU Cranks Up Defense in 76-53 Win at UMBC; Eagles Make 13 Triples

FGCU Cranks Up Defense in 76-53 Win at UMBC; Eagles Make 13 Triples

BALTIMORE – The FGCU men's basketball team toppled UMBC 76-53 Sunday night inside UMBC Event Center. The Eagles (4-8) collected their second-straight road win in a showdown of two NCAA Cinderella's. The Retrievers dropped to 6-6 on the year.

"I was really proud of our guys tonight. We came out sluggish, which I'm always concerned about when we're on the road. But when we put that press on them, we started to play like the way we want to play," FGCU coach Michael Fly said. "I think UMBC is going to have a really good year. That was a good win for us over a really good team. I was impressed with what I saw on film. I would like to take some of their stuff and implement it into our offense."

Senior Schadrac Casimir and junior Decardo Day led the way with 14 points apiece, and nine different Eagles found their names in the scorebook on the night.
FGCU shot 51 percent (26-for-51) overall for the game, 52 percent (13-for-25) from behind the 3-point arc and 73.3 percent (11-for-15) at the free-throw line.
Joe Sherburne led the Retrievers with 14 points, while K.J. Jackson added 12 for the home side. UMBC was held to just 30.6 percent (19-for-62) overall, 25 percent (8-for-32) from deep and 87.5 percent (7-for-8) at the charity stripe.
The two teams struggled to get into a rhythm out of the gates, as the scoreline read just 3-3 at the first media timeout. Sherburne caught fire from behind the arc and helped the Retrievers venture on an 8-0 run. UMBC maintained a solid cushion at 15-9, but the Eagles changed up the game plan following a much-needed media timeout.
The Green and Blue ratcheted up the defense and switched to a full-court press coming out of the under-12 break. That, coupled with an improved effort on the offensive side of the ball, helped the visitors mount a 31-11 run to close out the opening stanza. FGCU entered the locker room on top 40-26.
The Retrievers were able to remain within 14 at 50-36 with 14:40 to play, but a 16-4 surge would create enough separation for the visitors to close out the lopsided triumph.

FGCU committed 13 turnovers to just 11 for UMBC, but the visitors held a huge 44-26 rebounding margin and also led in points in the paint (22-20), second-chance points (10-7), fast-break points (11-4), and bench production (42-16).
FGCU returns home for the first time since Dec. 2 for a contest against Keiser at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. The contest inside Alico Arena will be the first between the two programs.