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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Zach Anderson scored 21 factors, Dallion Johnson added 18 and Florida Gulf Coast beat No. 7 Florida Atlantic 72-68 on Saturday night time for the Eagles’ most vital win since their run to the Candy 16 of the 2013 NCAA Match.

Cyris Largie scored 12 and Franco Miller Jr. completed with 10 for FGCU (6-9), which by no means trailed within the sport’s last 34 minutes. The Eagles got here into the sport as 17-point underdogs and most lately wanted time beyond regulation simply to beat NAIA member Florida Memorial final week.

However none of that mattered on Saturday. Vladislav Goldin scored 21 factors for FAU (10-3), and Johnell Davis added 17 for the Owls.

Florida Gulf Coast led by 13 within the first half, by as many as 11 within the second half and used a 7-0 run to go up 62-53 with 7:27 remaining. The Eagles took the lead with 14:13 left within the opening half on a 3-pointer by Anderson and didn’t path once more.

Goldin made a pair of free throws with 1:26 left to tie it at 68, solely to have Johnson reply with a 3 on the following FGCU possession. The Owls had three possibilities to tie the sport on the following journey down the ground – all 3-point tries, all bouncing off the rim, and it didn’t take lengthy for police and safety to begin determining methods to block college students from storming the courtroom.

It didn’t matter. The scholars acquired on the market anyway.

FGCU improved to 2-13 all-time towards ranked groups since absolutely becoming a member of Division I. The opposite win was towards then-No. 8 Georgetown within the opening spherical of the 2013 NCAA Match when the Eagles made the Candy 16 as a No. 15 seed.

The Eagles used three little bursts – 8-0, 6-0 and 7-0 – within the first half to manage issues, the final of these spurts placing them up 39-26 late within the half earlier than settling for a 39-30 edge at intermission.

Florida Atlantic merely couldn’t shoot within the early going, and paid the value. The Owls had been 1 for 7 from the foul line in a single first-half stretch and completed the half 1 for 7 on 3-pointers. The nine-point deficit on the break was the most important one the Owls confronted of their final 29 video games going again to final season; the final one bigger was a 13-point gap they had been in at UAB on Feb. 2.

BIG PICTURE

Florida Atlantic: The Owls outrebounded FGCU 42-30, however went 4 for 20 from 3-point vary and had been simply 16 for 27 from the foul line.

Florida Gulf Coast: The Eagles performed host to High 25 groups twice beforehand. Butler – then coached by Brad Stevens – was ranked No. 16 when it got here into Alico Enviornment and received 78-66 in 2007, when FGCU was nonetheless transitioning to Division I. And the Eagles misplaced to then-No. 25 Southern California 78-61 in 2021 within the return of Trojans coach Andy Enfield, who led FGCU’s “Dunk Metropolis” workforce to the Candy 16 in 2013.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

FAU probably will stay ranked. If it seems within the ballot that comes out Monday, that’ll be its tenth consecutive time among the many AP High 25 – a streak that can be no worse than the Twelfth-longest lively run within the nation.

UP NEXT

Florida Atlantic: Host East Carolina on Tuesday, this system’s American Athletic Convention debut.

Florida Gulf Coast: Host Jacksonville on Thursday to open Atlantic Solar play.



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