FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 18, 2014) – Amid an Atlantic Sun Conference road swing through the state of Florida, the ETSU men’s basketball team picked a terrible time to struggle offensively.
Still suffering a hangover after missing several close-range shots in their loss to Stetson on Thursday night, the Buccaneers shot just 29 percent from the field on Saturday night while Florida Gulf Coast looked like the same team that made a run to the Sweet 16 a year ago and dominated from start to finish in a 90-62 win over the Bucs at Alico Arena.
In front of 4,605 fans – the second largest crowd in FGCU history – the Bucs dropped to 9-10 overall, 2-4 in A-Sun play. Meanwhile, the Eagles improved to 12-8, 6-1.
“It’s pretty simple when you don’t make shots it’s hard to win,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “This is obviously disappointing and there’s not a lot you can say. We just didn’t play well, and they handed it to us pretty good.”
The Bucs also shot just 30 percent from 3-point range and 59 percent from the foul line in the loss, and only two players reached double figures with junior guard Rashawn Rembert (Tampa, Fla.) and senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) scoring 18 and 11 points, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Eagles shot 52 percent from the field, 40 percent from behind the arc, and 75 percent from the foul line en route to the win. Four Eagles reached double figures as Bernard Thompson led the way with a game-high 21 points.
In the first half, two big runs by the Eagles – a 9-0 spurt early on and a 15-0 surge midway through the half – led to 32-9 lead with 7:41 left before the break. During that span, the Bucs went nearly seven minutes of game play without a field goal, and ended up hitting just two shots over the final 14 minutes of the half to trail 42-22 at the break.
For the half, ETSU’s shooting percentage was simply poor, as the Bucs shot just 16 percent from the floor and 21 percent from 3-point range.
After the break, the Bucs got to within 18 points and 42-24 as a bucket by senior forward Kinard Gadsden-Gilliard (Georgetown, S.C.) opened the half. However, this would be as close as ETSU would get the rest of the way.
The Bucs will return home for a five-game stretch of home contests, beginning Thursday night when they play host to North Florida inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center at 7 p.m. For more on ETSU men’s hoops throughout the year, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.