The Atlantic Sun Finals take place on Saturday afternoon and we will see the Mercer Bears take on the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at the Alico Arena in Fort Myers, Florida. The game has a start time of 2:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN 2. Vegas odds have the Eagles listed as 1.5 point favorites, while the total has yet to be set.
Stat Pack: The Mercer Bears got to the Finals by beating Jacksonville and South Carolina Upstate. The Bears are 25-8 on the year overall and 16-4 in the conference. The Bears are a strong offensive squad that averages 79.6 ppg, which is 23rd in the nation. They shoot 47.9% from the field overall (23rd), 39.1% from long range (24th) and 72.9% from the charity stripe (70th). Despite the high scoring nature of the team just one player, Langston Hall (14.8 ppg) averages in double figures. overall this is a deep team with 11 players that average at least 3 ppg. Hall Also leads the team in assists (186), while Daniel Coursey leads the team in rebounding (6.6 rpg). Defensively this is a solid team that allows just 66.5 ppg (80th) on 40% shooting overall (28th) and 30.2% from long range (24th).
For the FGCU Eagles, they have reached the finals by beating Stetson and East Tennessee State. The Eagles come in at 22-11 overall and 16-4 in the Atlantic Sun. The Eagles come in averaging 72.5 ppg (136th) on 47.0% shooting (46th). They do struggle for long range (218th) and the charity stripe (250th). Bernard Thompson leads the team in scoring at 15.1 ppg, while Chase Fieler is second on the team in scoring (14.2 ppg) and leads them in rebounding (7.5 rpg). On defense, the Eagles are solid as they have allowed just 67.1 ppg (91st) on 41.4% shooting (80th).
Pick: Im going to go with FGCU in this one. The Bears have a solid edge offense and they are the deeper team here, but 7 of their 8 losses this year have come on the road and the home team has won the last 5 in a row. Defensively these teams are pretty even, but FGCU is 14-1 at hone this year and they have been playing a bit better than Mercer down the stretch. This should be a very god game that will be close throughout, but in the end it will be the Eagles getting z return trip to the Big Dance.
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