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Norse Men, Women Tripped Up by Florida Gulf Coast

From NKU Sports Information:

Sherwood Brown poured in 29 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as Florida Gulf Coast posted a 73-54 win over Northern Kentucky on Saturday in Alico Arena.

Brown, a 6-foot-4 senior guard, scored 16 points in the first half as Florida Gulf Coast (13-8 overall, 5-3 Atlantic Sun Conference) built a 43-23 lead at the break. The Eagles, who shot 62.5 percent from the field during the opening 20 minutes, used a 28-9 run to turn a 15-14 lead into a 20-point cushion at halftime.

The Eagles led by as many as 24 points in the second half and defeated the Norse in the first meeting between the two programs.

Florida Gulf Coast finished 12-for-27 from 3-point range, with Brown knocking down five treys. Christophe Varidel made four 3-pointers for his 12 points. Brown's 29 points were the most by a Northern Kentucky opponent this season, surpassing the 23 that Tulsa's Rashad Smith netted against the Norse in November.

Chase Fieler added 10 points for Florida Gulf Coast, which snapped a two-game losing streak. The Eagles improved to 10-1 at home this season, with the only loss an overtime setback to Lipscomb on Thursday night.

Eshaunte Jones led Northern Kentucky (4-11 overall, 2-5 A-Sun) with 22 points. Jones buried five shots from 3-point range and added seven rebounds for the Norse, who were 10-for-29 from behind the arc. The senior guard also dished out a pair of assists in 36 minutes of action.

Stretch Watson recorded the second double-double of his career with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while teammate Nate Snodgrass finished with six points and four assists. Todd Johnson added five points and three assists for the Norse, who shot 33.3 percent from the field.

Northern Kentucky is now 10-6 all-time in games played in the state of Florida, including 1-3 this season. The Norse defeated North Florida in Jacksonville, Fla., on Jan. 2 for their first-ever victory in the A-Sun.

Northern Kentucky plays host to preseason A-Sun favorite Mercer at 7 p.m. Thursday in The Bank of Kentucky Center. The Norse entertain Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Women also fall as Gulf Coast nails 15 threes

Florida Gulf Coast's women put on yet another 3-point shooting exhibition Saturday night during a 79-50 victory against visiting Northern Kentucky in Alico Arena.

The Eagles, who drained an NCAA-record 22 treys against East Tennessee State a week ago, buried 15 shots from 3-point range against Northern Kentucky en route to the Atlantic Sun Conference victory. The 15 treys were the most ever allowed by the Norse, who are in their first season as a Division I program. 

Anthi Chatzigiakoumi made five 3-pointers against the Norse and finished with 17 points as the Eagles improved to 14-5 overall, 7-0 in the A-Sun. Sarah Hansen led Florida Gulf Coast with 18 points, 15 rebounds and six assists.

Florida Gulf Coast has won 25 consecutive A-Sun regular-season games. The Eagles are also ranked No. 11 in the latest CollegeInsider.com mid-major Top 25 poll.

On Saturday, Florida Gulf Coast scored the first 10 points of the game, later extended its lead to 22-6 and was never threatened. The Eagles knocked down nine 3-pointers in the first half and took a commanding 49-20 lead into the locker room.

The home team extended the bulge to as much as 38 points early in the second half and cruised to the win. The Eagles attempted a total of 38 shots from behind the arc, also a record for an NKU opponent.

Freshman guard Rianna Gayheart scored 18 points to lead NKU, which dropped to 6-9 overall, 3-3 in the A-Sun. Gayheart also grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists, but the Norse shot just 29.4 percent from the field and lost the rebounding battle by a 46-33 count.

Senior guard Jaimie Hamlet scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds. Freshman forward Courtney Roush added a career-high five points and four rebounds.

NKU wraps up its Florida trip Monday night with an A-Sun game at Stetson. The Hatters (14-4 overall, 7-0 A-Sun) tied a school record with its 10th consecutive victory Saturday, a 92-51 trouncing of visiting Lipscomb. Stetson also extended its home winning streak to 13, the longest in program history.

This will mark the first-ever meeting between NKU and Stetson.

Source: NKU Sports Information

Photo: NKU takes on Florida Gulf Coast/FGCU