FGCU snaps skid with 20-point road win at Oral Roberts

FGCU scored a season-high in points and snapped a six-game losing streak. (Photo courtesy of FGCU Athletic Communications)

Courtesy of FGCUAthletics.com

TULSA, Okla. – The FGCU men’s basketball team earned a 96-76 victory over Oral Roberts Wednesday night inside Mabee Center.

The Eagles (3-8) scored a season-high in points and snapped a six-game losing streak, while the Golden Eagles fell to 3-8 on the year.

“Because of the way we’ve been struggling, that was probably the best win from an emotional standpoint in my time here. That looked like what our program is supposed to look like,” FGCU head coach Michael Fly said. “(ORU) played really hard and attacked us on the glass, but our guys made shots tonight. (Senior) Schadrac Casimir and (junior) Decardo Day came up big at the point guard position.”

Schadrac Casimir led four FGCU players in double figures with a season-high 24 points. Day and classmate RaySean Scott Jr. both registered a season-best 16 points, and senior Dinero Mercurius added 13 off the bench. In total, 10 different Eagles scored in the victory.

FGCU shot 60 percent both overall (33-for-55) and behind the 3-point line (15-for-25), while hitting at an 88.2 percent clip at the free-throw line (15-for-17). The 15 made 3-pointers broke the Mabee Center single-game record by an opponent.

ORU shot 51.7 percent (31-for-60) overall, 31.8 percent (7-for-22) from distance and 53.8 percent (7-for-13) at the line. The Golden Eagles were paced by 16 points from Emmanuel Nzekwesi. Aidan Saunders chipped in 14, while DeShang Weaver added 11.

The opening 13 minutes saw a whopping 12 lead changes as the two sides fought to pull away from one another. FGCU used a brief 7-0 run to peek on top 40-32 with five minutes remaining in the opening stanza. ORU kept the Eagles within striking distance and held the halftime deficit down to 52-45.

The home team dwindled the FGCU advantage to four at one point early in the second half. The Golden Eagles remained close down just 70-62 with 11:16 remaining, but the Eagles went on an 11-0 run to take a commanding lead. That push deflated the home crowd and was all the visitors needed to seize control. FGCU led by as much as 25 points before settling for the final 20-point cushion.

FGCU continues its brief two-game road swing with a game at UMBC. The two mid-major powers will face off at 7 p.m. Dec. 16 in Baltimore. The contest will be the first between the two programs.

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