14 Nov Men’s Hoops Rally Falls Short at Loyola Chicago, 89-77
CHICAGO – Tavian Dunn-Martin set a new Division I era record for most points scored in an Eagle debut with 34, but it was not enough as the FGCU men’s basketball team’s second half rally fell just short, 89-77, at Loyola Chicago on Saturday afternoon. The Eagles fall to 1-1 on the year, while the Ramblers improved to 2-0 overall.
Dunn-Martin’s 34 points were a career-high, the sixth-most for a single-game in FGCU history, and the second-most for a single game in the Eagles’ Division I era. His nine three-pointers were also tied for the Division I record and tied for the third-most overall. He hit four straight three pointers to start the second half which helped spark a FGCU rally to cut an 18-point deficit at the intermission to as few as four late in the second half.
“Obviously we are disappointed in the loss, but I was impressed with how the team continued to fight back in the second half,” said head coach Michael Fly. “This was a good test to see where we are and what we need to work on early in the season. Tavian showed his scoring ability which helped spark us after halftime, but we also have to focus on getting more stops in critical moments to prevent runs.”
Along with Dunn-Martin’s 34 points, Matt Halvorsen (Kingsport, Tenn./Christ School/Western Carolina) notched 14 points and Cyrus Largie (Miramar, Fla./Mater Lakes Academy) had 10 points to lead FGCU.
The Ramblers had five players in double-figures led by 18 points from Aher Uguak and 15 points from Tom Welch. Chris Knight added 14 points. Tate Hall and Lucas Williamson scored 12 points and 10 points, respectively, to round out the top scorers.
Overall, Loyola Chicago shot 53 percent (33-of-62) from the floor, while FGCU hit 41 percent (25-of-61) of its shots. The Eagles hit 16 three pointers compared to eight for the Ramblers. Loyola also held a slight 40-to-36 edge on the glass.
The game started evenly until the Ramblers used a 15-to-3 run to open up a 31-15 lead at the 10:43 mark. In the last five minutes of the half, Loyola extended the lead to 20 before a Dunn-Martin jumper cut the deficit to 51-33 at the intermission.
At the start of the second half, Dunn-Martin’s four triples followed by a Kevin Samuel [Codrington Village, Barbuda/Redemption HS (Texas)/TCU] lay-up pulled the Eagles back to within single digits, 56-47, with 15:34 to go.
After Loyola extended the lead back to 15, a Caleb Catto (Cape Coral, Fla./Southwest Florida Christian Academy) three-pointer sparked a 13-to-2 run that pulled the Eagles within four, 70-66.
Loyola used a 9-3 run with a three-point play by Uguak and back-to-back layups from Knight to re-take a 10-point lead, 79-69, with just under three minutes remaining.
The Eagles were unable to pull any closer after that with Dunn-Martin hitting his final triple of the game with four seconds to go giving the final score.
FGCU will return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 16 in a nationally televised match-up against USC in Alico Arena. Tip-off is set for 6 PM on ESPNU with a limited amount of tickets still available for purchase. The game, known as the Dunk City Reunion, features former FGCU head coach Andy Enfield returning to Alico Arena. On Monday night, FGCU will inducted the 2012-13 Dunk City team into the newly established FGCU Athletics Hall of Fame.
For tickets to the USC game, fans can order online at www.FGCUTickets.com, call 866-FGCU-TIX, or visit the Alico Arena Ticket Office on Monday.
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.
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Michael Fly was introduced as the fourth FGCU men’s basketball head coach on April 5, 2018. He had spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach on the Eagles’ staff. In his time with the Eagles, he helped FGCU to a 190-135 record (.585 winning percentage), including six ASUN Tournament Final appearances, three NCAA Tournament victories, three ASUN Tournament titles and three ASUN Regular Season Championships, two berths in the NIT, a CIT appearance and a run to the Sweet 16. He has coached 13 all-conference selections while with the Green and Blue, including two ASUN Player of the Year honors in Sherwood Brown and Brandon Goodwin, two ASUN Defensive Player of the Year selections in Bernard Thompson and Demetris Morant and one ASUN Newcomer of the Year in Schadrac Casimir. Of the top-10 players in career points at FGCU, Fly has helped develop eight of them, including all-time leading scorer Thompson (1,835). Additionally, the Kentucky alumnus has coached both the ASUN all-time assists leader Brett Comer (845; 24th in NCAA history) and FGCU all-time leading rebounder Chase Fieler (714).
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/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 www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 13+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and 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 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, and 2020 Fall semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher 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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