Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Big Win For Eagles!

Big Win for the Eagles

The Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles clawed their way back from a twelve point deficit early Tuesday morning to defeat the Hartford Hawks 65-51. It was the first home game of the season, following a disappointing loss last Friday night in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Winning in Nebraska, as I learned after the home game, would have been a very tall order. The Cornhuskers were playing their first game in a new site in downtown Lincoln. The place was jammed to the rafters, more than 15 000. They started long before tip-off with tailgating, pep rallies, and cheerleading. At that point, they cranked up the music, spinning hits from Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, and the like. And then….and then…..

The Hartford Hawks coach was asked in his post-game interview why the Eagles might have had trouble in Nebraska. He replied: “After all that, they had Tommy Lee come out on the court to juice up the crowd! The Eagles had no chance.” Tommy Lee, as you may recall, is a rock and roll legend who sang with Motley Crue. He married Pamela Anderson and Heather Locklear, amongst others, and was famous for mooning his audiences at every show.

Tommy Lee cruised the campus at the University of Nebraska as part of a reality television show in 2004. He did not actually enroll at the school. But he was there long enough to establish a link, and he was successful in jacking up the crowd.

I digress. Apologies.

Head Coach of the Hartford team, John Gallagher, had a few nice words to say about his counterpart in Fort Myers. “With Joe Dooley, FGCU got one of the best coaches in America.”

His comments centered around the outstanding performance of the Eagles’ Chase Fieler. Fieler scored almost half of the Eagles’ points, netting 30 of the 65. He drained two of three from the 3 point rage, was perfect from the line, and 13 for 17 from the floor. Not too shabby. Gallagher: “we just didn’t have an answer for Fieler. We were trying to front him. We set a defensive play as you would in a football defense where the safety would come in to break up a play. In our case, the safety didn’t show up.”

When asked about playing so early in the morning, Fieler indicated it was not a new situation for him. “We had a few games like that in high school. We just tried to treat it as a normal game. By 7:00am, we had already been up for three hours, and had eaten well before game time.” About the game itself: “We were more calm than we were against Nebraska. I personally tried to be more aggressive, on offense and defense. And yes, it did feel good to dunk!” (Which, incidentally and understandably, brought the crowd to its feet.)

Brett Comer is also one of the mainstays from last year’s team. He had great praise for the folks at Alico: “This had to be the most energetic crowd that we have ever had. It was packed on other occasions, but this was the loudest. And we hope it continues that way!” When questioned about comparing this year’s team to last: “Every year, every team is a new team. We will try to build off this win”.

Following the game, the Eagles packed their bags to head to Furman. They return home to play Eckerd on the 18th of November.

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