User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Fla. Gulf Coast punches ticket to Big Dance

MACON, Ga. (AP) - Brett Comer scored 21 points and Florida Gulf Coast claimed the first NCAA tournament berth in school history, knocking off top-seeded Mercer 88-75 in the Atlantic Sun championship game Saturday.

Advertisement
The second-seeded Eagles (24-10) became the first team in the 68-team field by snapping Mercer's 17-game home winning streak, tied for the sixth-longest in the nation. Sherwood Brown added 16 points and 11 rebounds as Florida Gulf Coast pulled away after a back-and-forth first half.

Brown sparked a 14-3 spurt that broke open the tight game, sending Florida Gulf Coast to the NCAAs in just their sixth season as a Division I program. The Eagles celebrated at midcourt, hugging and jumping around after getting their championship gear.

Travis Smith led Mercer with 16 points, but the Bears (23-11) couldn't overcome 39 percent (26 of 67) shooting from the field. They were denied their first NCAA bid since 1985.

Cheered on by a hometown crowd, Mercer raced out to an 11-3 lead and forced Florida Gulf Coast to call a quick timeout. After that, it was tight the rest of the opening half.

Led by Comer, the Eagles ripped off a 15-6 spurt to grab their first lead since the opening minutes, 18-17. The teams went back-and-forth, the lead changing hands 11 times before halftime. Florida Gulf Coast went to the locker room clinging to a 38-36 edge.

But the Eagles came out firing in the second half. Brown swished a 3-pointer and taunted the crowd, Comer knocked down another trey, and Bernard Thompson hit yet another 3. Just like that, Florida Gulf Coast had pushed out to a double-digit lead for the first time, 49-38.

Jakob's Gollon's basket capped a 10-4 spurt that was essentially Mercer's last gasp.

The Eagles followed a TV timeout with a miss, only to steal the ball back, setting up Brown for a layup. Brown scored two more baskets, including a 3, then Chase Fieler came up with another steal and went in for a jam, pushing Florida Gulf Coast to a 67-54 lead. The Eagles led by as many as 17 down the stretch and were never seriously challenged.

Brown made 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Fieler chipped in with 15 points for the Eagles, who shot 51 percent (30 of 59).

Gollon and teammate Bud Thomas scored 14 points.

---

Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pnewberry1963

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2016
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Pitt, WVU to renew hoops rivalry
Indiana uncertain about Hartman
Abdul-Jabbar writing about Wooden
New Florida AD Stricklin embraces task
GW names Joseph interim coach
NW to play 2018 games in Rosemont
Puerto Rico Tipoff moves to Orlando
Minnesota's Lynch has minor surgery
Stansbury returns to G-Tech as AD
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
Live Odds
2015 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
John Fisher + 3618
Chip Chirimbes + 2069
Joe Nelson + 1709
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Stephen Nover 58 %
John Fisher 57 %
Joe Nelson 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 1808
Antony Dinero + 1369
Jim Feist + 1323
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
James Manos + 1061
Stephen Nover + 565
Joe Williams + 560
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 2572
Doc's Sports + 1365
Chip Chirimbes + 1114
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership