FORT MYERS, Fla. – 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. Christopher 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 homethis season, with the only loss an overtime setback to Lipscomb on Thursdaynight.
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.