ALBANY, NY – Two-time defending Atlantic Sun Champion and preseason favorite Florida Gulf Coast ran the nation’s second longest active road winning streak to 10 straight with an 86-53 win over Siena Basketball in the Saints’ home opener at the Times Union Center. Sophomore reserve Khalil Richard posted his second straight double digit scoring output to open the season in leading Siena with 12 points.
A balanced Florida Gulf Coast (2-0) attack was led by four double digit scorers, highlighted by 16 points apiece from Christian Terrell and unanimous A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year Brandon Goodwin. Terrell shot a perfect 7-7 from the field while Goodwin added four assists for the Eagles which entered play ranked 12th in the College Insider Preseason Mid-Major Top-25 Poll.
Freshman forward Prince Oduro scored seven points, and junior captain Nico Clareth, sophomore guard Ahsante Shivers, and freshman guard Jordan Horn added six points apiece for Siena (0-2) which fell to 31-11 all-time in home openers during the program’s Division I era.
FGCU led for more than 38 minutes, and ended the first half on a 12-5 spurt to claim a 40-27 advantage at the break. The Saints narrowed the gap to as little as eight points at 43-35 with 14:22 to go, but the Eagles answered with a decisive 39-13 run over the ensuing 12 minutes to coast to the victory. FGCU shot 52% from the field, as opposed to just 30% for the Saints.
Dinero Mercurius scored 14 points off the bench and Zach Johnson added 13 points for the Eagles which held a 48-33 rebounding advantage and a 50-16 margin in points in the paint. FGCU led the nation averaging 41.3 points in the paint last season.
Siena plays its third of four straight 20-win opponents to open the season when they face Patriot League contender Lehigh Friday night at 7 p.m. in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.