banner

College Basketball

more stats

Mercer (25-8) at Florida Gulf Coast (22-11)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 9, 2 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Alico Arena (4,500) -- Fort Myers, Florida. Television: ESPN 2. Home Record: Mercer 17-1, FGCU 15-1. Away Record: Mercer 8-7, FCGU 6-9. Neutral Record: Mercer 0-0, FGCU 1-1. Conference Record: Mercer 14-4, FCGU 14-4. Series Record: Mercer leads, 11-5.

GAME NOTES: The top two seeds will face off in the championship game of the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament on Sunday afternoon, as the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles welcome the Mercer Bears to Alico Arena with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament at stake.

As the No. 2 seed in this event, Mercer hosted each of its first two games, taking down Jacksonville in the quarterfinals (69-55) before downing USC Upstate in double overtime in Thursday's semifinals (78-75). The Bears are now 25-8 overall and have held their own away from home, going 8-7.

FGCU earned homecourt advantage throughout this event as the regular-season champion and took advantage early in the tournament with wins over Stetson (77-55) and East Tennessee State (69-64). The Eagles, who won the conference tournament a year ago before reeling off a Cinderella run to the Sweet 16 as a No. 15 seed in the NCAA Tournament, are 22-11 overall and have won 15-of-16 at Alico Arena.

The teams split the two-game regular-season series, with each side winning on its home floor. Mercer leads the all-time series by an 11-5 count.

After the Bears tied their semifinal matchup in the final minute of regulation and coughed up a lead late in the first overtime, they finally dismissed USC Upstate in the second extra session, with TJ Hallice's bucket with 1:36 left proving to be the game-winner. Although they shot a less-than-stellar 41 percent from the field, they were active and effective from 3-point range, knocking down 14-of-31 from beyond the arc. Langston Hall paced the effort with 21 points and six assists, Jakob Gollon netted 17 points and Anthony White, Jr. connected on 4-of-5 from 3-point range on his way to 21 points.

On the season, no A-Sun team has been more well-rounded than Mercer, which shoots a lofty 47.9 percent from the field for 79.6 ppg while allowing just 66.5 ppg on 40 percent shooting. Hall not only pours in a team-best 14.7 ppg but he also finds time to hand out a league-best 5.7 apg. Daniel Coursey is a mainstay in the frontcourt with 9.8 ppg, 6.6 rpg and 2.1 bpg, while four others chip in between 7.7 and 9.4 ppg.

The Eagles were in trouble late in their most recent bout, as they trailed by one with just over three minutes to play, but they responded with six unanswered points and secured the five-point victory from there. They shot a mere 37.3 percent from the field (including 4-of-23 from 3-point range), but they held ETSU to an even worse 33.3 percent showing. Chase Fieler sparked the effort with 22 points and 15 rebounds. Jamail Jones also tallied a double- double with 10 points and 10 boards, Bernard Thompson scored 14 points and swiped six steals and Brett Comer netted 11.

While not nearly as well-rounded as Mercer, FGCU has nonetheless impressed on both ends of the floor this season, as it outshoots its competition from the floor, 47 percent to 41.4 percent, while boasting positive margins both in terms of scoring (+5.4) and rebounding (+3.1). Thompson leads the way with 15.1 ppg, having knocked down 53 3-pointers and drained just shy of 80 percent of his free-throw tries. Fieler brings 14.2 ppg (on 54.9 percent field goal shooting) and 7.5 rpg to the table, while Comer adds 13.9 ppg and 5.4 apg to the mix.

The tournament fell by way of the chalk and the league's two best teams will vie for the right to be the A-Sun representative in the Big Dance. Although the teams are evenly-matched, the difference maker will ultimately be FCGU's homecourt advantage, giving the Eagles the upper hand to clinch their second straight tournament title.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Florida Gulf Coast 75, Mercer 72

03/09 10:27:24 ET

Other Stories

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 9:30 am on FOX50

  • NFL: Seattle at Carolina

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Detroit at Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 9:30 am on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Carolina Panthers vs. Seattle Seahawks

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • World Series: Kansas City at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Green Bay at New Orleans

    Tomorrow at 8:25 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
 
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
 
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
 
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
 
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
 
4th
KENT 31
MSST 45
 
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
 
4th
TCU 75
TTU 27
 
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
 
4th
WKENT 63
ODU 51
 
4th
UTST 34
UNLV 20
 
4th
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
 
Half
UCF 27
TEMPL 14
 
2nd
WASU 0
ARZ 31
 
1st
CLEM 0
SYR 0
 
1st
LAMON 0
TXST 0
 
1st
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 7
 
1st
COLST 0
WYO 0
 
7:15pm Tonight
LSU
MISS
7:30pm Tonight
TENN
ALA
7:30pm Tonight
AUB
SCAR
8:00pm Tonight
PSU
OSU
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
USC
10:45pm Tonight
WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
BOS
1st
NYI 0
DAL 0
 
1st
PHI 0
DET 0
 
7:00pm Tonight
OTT
NJD
7:00pm Tonight
MON
NYR
8:00pm Tonight
STL
CHI
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
PIT
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
TAM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
FLA
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14