Run in the second half, Bellarmine pushes past the men’s hoops, 81-68
Louisville, Ky. – A late 14-0 run in the second half made the difference as Bellarmine defeated the FGCU men’s basketball team 81-68 in the quarterfinals of the ASUN Championship Tournament. The Eagles, the third seed in the ASUN East Division, fell to 21-11 overall while the second-placed Knights of the West Division improved to 18-13 overall to advance to the semifinals.
“Congratulations to coach Davenport and his team. I thought they were just better than us tonight,” said the head coach Michael Flies. “We played pretty well in the first half to go into the break with the lead, but the first few minutes just after half-time sort of dictated what happened in the rest of the second half.”
Tavian Dunn-Martin posted a game-high 27 points to set a new FGCU single-season scoring record this season with 655 points. His 21.1 points per game is also the program’s all-season record, while his 188 assists is the fourth-highest. Earlier this season, he set the program’s single-game record with 43 points in the win at Liberty, which is the fourth-highest point in a game among NCAA players this season.
KevinSamuel released his 15thth Double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds. His two blocks extended his FGCU record to 94 in a season while taking his career total to 300. He is the only current NCAA player to have over 1,000 career points and rebounds and 300 blocks.
Austin Richie finished with 13 points while Cyrus Largie also scored in double digits with 10 points.
All five starters for Bellarmine had double-digit points, led by 19 points from CJ Fleming, who hit four of Knight’s season-high 14 three-pointers. Dylan Penn had 17 points while Ethan Claycomb finished with 16 points, which also matched Fleming’s four triples. Curt Hopf scored 11 points while Juston Betz had 10 to round out the top scorers.
The Eagles led 38-35 at the break, but the Knights opened the second half with a 12-to-2 run to take a 47-42 lead with 17:06 to go.
FGCU pulled back to a point in 54:53 thanks to a Dunn-Martin hat-trick at 1:54 p.m. The two teams traded baskets from there until another Dunn-Martin three-pointer with 8:48 left to go tie the game at 64-64.
That was as close as the Eagles could get to retaking the lead as Bellarmine as they wrapped up the win with a 14-0 run over the next 5 minutes and 30 seconds.
Overall, Bellarmine shot 55.2 percent (32 of 58) for the game and went 14 of 31 from beyond the arc. The Eagles were 25 of 55 from the bottom (45.5 percent) and 9 of 23 from the deep.
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Michael Fly was introduced as FGCU’s fourth men’s basketball head coach on April 5, 2018. He had spent the last seven years as an assistant coach on the Eagles’ staff. During his time with the Eagles, he helped FGCU to a 208-142 record (0.585 percent win ratio), including six ASUN Tournament Finals appearances, three NCAA Tournament wins, three ASUN Tournament titles and three ASUN Regular Season Championships , two berths in the NIT, one CIT appearance and a run to the Sweet 16. He has coached 13 All-Conference selections while with the Greens and Blues, including two ASUN Player of the Year awards in Sherwood Brown and Brandon Goodwin, two ASUN Defensive Players of the Year in Bernard Thompson and Demetris Morant and an ASUN Newcomer of the Year in Shadrac Casimir. Of the top 10 players in career points at FGCU, Fly has helped eight of them, including all-time leading scorer Thompson (1,835). Additionally, the Kentucky graduate has coached both ASUN all-time assists leader Brett Comer (845; 24th in NCAA history) and FGCU all-time rebounder Chase Fieler (714).
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April benefiting the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ preferred charities. For more information, including how you can contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to raise awareness.
FGCU teams have collectively won an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have contested a total of 43 teams or individuals in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a national top-25 ranking in their respective sports –– including women’s basketball (No. 25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021), and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer ( 2018) as three of the youngest. In 2016-17, the Greens and Blues finished in the division’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and made the top-100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven teams from ASUN and Florida to earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also achieved a combined record 3.50 GPA in the classroom for the Fall 2020 semester and has surpassed the university’s general student population for 24 consecutive semesters. Another milestone was reached in each of the Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters, as all 15 programs each achieved a Team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also contributed an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 and were recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.