Bearcats dominated FGCU 99-62, improve to 7-0 for the first time since 2017-2018.
By: Neil Meyer
This afternoon the Bearcats defeated Florida Gulf Coast this afternoon 99-62 to improve to 7-0 on the season. The Bearcats would do so without 6'8 guard Simas Lukosius who was unavailable for this afternoon's contest after being struck by a car on campus Thursday evening.
“I don’t know his Status for Saturday’s crosstown Shootout vs Xavier. The doctors have said it isn’t serious, but he is hurting. I don’t think he will be out a significant amount of time, but it is a Day-to-Day thing," said Wes Miller. "This is a pretty wild deal not just the physical aspect but also the mental toll as well. I’m just really glad it wasn’t more serious,”
However, for Florida Gulf Coast they would be without leading scorer Isaiah Thompson this afternoon. Thompson averages nearly 14 points per game and was named to the Preseason All-ASUN team at the start of the season. This was a massive blow for the Eagles especially for a team that has struggled tremendously to start the season.
The Bearcats saw four players score in double figures in their 99-62 victory over Florida Gulf Coast as they improve to 7-0 on the season. Viktor Lakhin finished with a team high 19 points, nine rebounds, 6 assists on 8-10 shooting. CJ Fredrick finished with 19 points as well on 6-7 shooting, (5-6 from deep). Ody Oguama finished with 13 points, on (6-8 FG), while seven-footer Aziz Bandaogo recorded 10 points and two blocks. The Bearcats outrebounded the Eagles 46-23 in this contest behind 12 rebounds from Dan Skillings as the Bearcats cleaned up the glass vs a very undersized Florida Gulf Coast squad.
How it Happened
The Bearcats would set the tone in the opening segments after winning the tip off where Day-Day Thomas immediately found seven-footer Aziz Bandaogo for the slam out in transition. However, Florida Gulf Coast would look to bounce the ball inside to Keshawn Kellman early as he had four quick points for the Eagles as they led 6-4.
The Bearcats would take a 9-6 lead over the Eagles at the under 16 media breaks after a Bearcats 5 point run following a Cj Fredrick made three. The Bearcats would not look back from there as they took a commanding 19-8 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half after scoring ten unanswered points following the made jumper from Jizzle James.
The Bearcats would continue to pour it on the Eagles as they took a 30-14 lead after Viktor Lakhin threw down a thunderous slam in transition, finishing through traffic to convert the three-point play. Despite numerous open looks, Florida Gulf Coast struggled to get anything going offensively as they shot just 30% in the first 10 minutes of play, while the Bearcats had everything falling in their favor, shooting at a 68% clip.
The Bearcats continued to keep their foot on the gas as they extended their lead to 18 following a Viktor Lakhin made three pointers. The Bearcats would push the tempo off the Eagles turnover as John Newman would get downhill and attack, but his layup rolled in and out. But who else, then Viktor Lakhin was there to clean up the glass for the Bearcats. The Bearcat faithful in attendance this afternoon got a great glimpse of Aziz Bandaogo rim presence after the seven-footer had two huge blocks on the final defensive stand of the first half.
The Bearcats would take a commanding 49-26 lead heading into the break after electric first half performances from Cj Fredrick who had a game high 14 points on (4-4 shooting) all from behind the arch. Meanwhile, Lakhin had 11 points for the Bearcats on a perfect (5-5 FG). The Bearcats shot an electric 61% from the field in the first half. A great sight to see after rough shooting performance earlier this week vs Howard.
Florida Gulf Coast was just outmatched as the Bearcats size inside continued to be a problem for the Eagles this afternoon. Aziz Bandaogo and Viktor Lakhin were causing all sorts of problems for the Eagles, as the Bearcats outrebounded the eagles 23-11 in the first half. Florida Gulf Coast entered today averaging nearly 17 turnovers the game however, they had only five in the first half this afternoon.
Viktor Lakhin would record the Bearcats first four points of the second half as the seven-footer continued to dominate the paint this afternoon. Florida Gulf Coast though would look to find ways to get Keeshawn Kellman involved early in the second half as the 6'7 forward had 8 straight for the Eagles as they continued to trail the Bearcats 61-38.
CJ Fredrick continued his hot shooting start as he knocked down his fifth made three of the game to give the Bearcats a 76-47 lead with just over nine minutes remaining. However, for Bearcats fans this was a tremendous sight to see as the other night it was Simas Lukosius who was constantly knocking down the three balls for the Bearcats. However, with Lukosius unavailable CJ Fredrick stepped in as the Bearcats shot 7-12 behind the arc in the first 30 minutes of play, 5 in which were buried by Fredrick.
The Bearcats continued to play with fire as they poured it on Florida Gulf Coast like they have all afternoon after Ody Oguama racked up seven quick points that sparked a Bearcats 9-0 run as they led Florida Gulf Coast 88-57.
However, the Eagles were just outmatched on all aspects of this one as the Bearcats size was a clear mismatch this afternoon. The Bearcats just dominated the glass as they outrebounded the Eagles 46-23 with their clear size advantage and that was a huge difference maker in this one.
The Bearcats will now have a week to prepare for the Crosstown Shootout vs Xavier on Saturday at 6:30pm at Cintas Center.