Lehigh Acres Sports …Catch All the Action
Written by Bill Levy
On paper, it appeared that Tuesday’s men’s basketball game between the NCAA Division I Eagles of FGCU and Ave Maria, a member of the NAIA ranks, would be a mismatch. It appeared that way on the court as well.
Behind six Eagles who had double digits in scoring, FGCU (4-3) easily defeated the Gyrenes 120-60 in front of 3,004 fans at the Alico Arena. Officially, Ave Maria will remain at 2-4 as this contest was classified as an exhibition game for them. Brandon Goodwin led the way with 19 points while Christian Terrell had 15. Also in double digits for the Eagles were Rayjon Tucker (14), Demetris Morant (14), Kevin Mickle (13) and RaySean Scott (11).
The tone was set early as FGCU built and early 16-0 lead. After Ave Maria’s Romello Bates connected on a 3-pointer, the Eagles outscored the Gyrenes 37-17 to take a commanding 53-20 lead into halftime, and also for all practical purposes eliminating any doubt of who the victor would be.
“We got off to a good start,” FGCU coach Joe Dooley said. “We did a good job sharing the ball. It was good to see balance.”
One Eagle who certainly shared the ball was Reggie Reid, who finished with a game high seven assists. In addition, sophomore guard added nine points.
FSW Athletics announced the official name of their Buccaneer mascot, Captain Blackbeard, after a vote that allowed FSW students to be a part of the process.
The FSW mascot was unveiled at the FSW Buc Bash (Nov. 29) prior to the home-opening men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader at the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena. Captain Blackbeard will be a presence at numerous campus events, athletic contests and in the local community.
“I am excited to introduce Blackbeard as the new FSW mascot,” said Director of Athletics Carl McAloose. “It is my hope that Blackbeard will continue to help us strengthen our athletics identity while energizing student, campus and community pride.”
A small mascot committee, led by FSW Public Information Officer Teresa Araque, FSW Sports Information Director Michael Hill and FSW Auxilary Services Marketing Coordinator Santiago Arenas, was charged with brainstorming and coming up with design concepts for the mascot. The Milwaukee, Wisc. based Olympus Group, who has produced over 15,000 mascots, manufactured the new FSW mascot costume.
Florida Southwestern State College will open the doors to the brand-new Suncoast Credit Union Arena Tuesday night.
After months of construction, a doubleheader men’s 8 pm and women’s 6 pm basketball game will tip off for the first time on the college’s court.
College students, faculty and fans will fill 3,300 seats..
The basketball teams will not be the only ones calling the new arena home. Volleyball matches, concerts and graduations will also help the college expand opportunities to get more people involved on campus with more seating available.
The college believes within the first year, businesses surrounding the area will see a $5 million impact.
Meanwhile, the men’s basketball coach is gearing up his team of players from across the country to win yet another game to continue their undefeated track record.
A pep rally for the doubleheader starts at 4 p.m. ahead of the games. And for the first time, the FSW mascot known as “black beard” will be revealed.
Seven of America’s top high school boys’ basketball teams, according to USA Today’s recently revealed Super 25 rankings, will be among the field at the 44th annual Culligan City of Palms Classic. This Southwest Florida holiday tradition takes place Friday, Dec. 16 – Wednesday, Dec. 21 at the new Suncoast Credit Union Arena on the campus of Florida SouthWestern State College (FSW).
With basketball season getting underway across the country, USA Today recently revealed its rankings of the top boys’ basketball teams. Seven will be making the trip to Fort Myers: #4 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), #6 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), #10 Patrick School (Hillside, N.J.), #11 Westtown School (West Chester, Pa.), #13 Memphis East (Memphis, Tenn.), #19 Hudson Catholic High School (Jersey City, N.J.), and #25 Neumann-Goretti High School (Philadelphia, Pa.).
The FSW Athletic Department will introduce the program’s first mascot on Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Buc Bash, a tailgate party in front of the brand new Suncoast Credit Union Arena, prior to the home-opening men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader.
The new mascot will be a presence at numerous campus events, athletic contests and in the local community.
Fans are encouraged to participate in this special event, which starts at 4 p.m. and will be a historic night in the history of FSW Athletics.
Four nationally ranked teams, led by the No. 5 Baylor Lady Bears, will compete in Friday’s first-round action of the fourth-annual Gulf Coast Showcase at Germain Arena as the women take the stage this weekend. The eight-team tournament will crown a new champion on Sunday night. Later today, the men’s “mid-major” tournament will conclude with Houston battling Vermont in the championship game.
The Baylor women (3-1) are joined in the tournament by No. 8 Ohio State (3-1), No. 11 Syracuse (3-1) and No. 18 DePaul (3-0). Baylor’s loss came to No. 2 UConn and Ohio State’s loss came to No. 3 South Carolina. The Buckeyes will take the floor against local-favorite FGCU to open the evening session at 5 p.m. Friday. FGCU, which has dominated the Atlantic Sun Conference by winning the league the past six seasons, will provide a significant first-round test for Ohio State.
By BILL LEVY
It can be expected that the FCGU women’s basketball team, which has nine newcomers and only returned one starter, may experience growing pains at times this season. Tuesdaynight however was not one of those. Led by Erica Nelson’s 21 points, the Eagles (2-1) demolished Florida International University 89-42 at Alico Arena in their home opener. Haley Laughter added 17 points and China Dow had 14 for the Eagles. Also in double figures for FGCU was Rosemarie Julien with ten. FGCU’s lone returning starter, Taylor Gradinjan had nine.
The Eagles, who shot 14 for 39 from 3-point range on the night, raced to an 18-7 first quarter lead and never looked back. After outscoring the Panthers (0-2) 24-12 in the second quarter to go into halftime leading 42-19, it appeared to only be a matter of time before the Eagles sent the 1,679 fans in attendance home happy.
“We played well today,” FGCU coach Karl Smesko said. “It was fun to watch and I’m sure it was fun to play.”