USC vs. Florida Gulf Coast – Game Recap – November 16, 2021


FORT MYERS, Fla .– – Just like the good old days. Dunk City was moving. Fans were crammed into each seat.

And Andy Enfield came out happy – although this time he did it on the visitors’ side of the pitch.

Chevez Goodwin scored 20 points, Boogie Ellis added 18 and the Southern California No.25 beat the Florida Gulf Coast 78-61 on Tuesday night when Enfield returned to the school he led under the nickname “Dunk City” during the 2013 NCAA tournament.

“There has to be loyalty at some point in what you’re trying to do,” Enfield said. “Everyone wants to win, but I thought it was a great opportunity to come back. I knew the environment would be like this … I just hoped we were good enough for the fans to want to come. see us.”

Isaiah Mobley scored 13 points for USC (3-0), which got 10 from Max Agbonkpolo.

Cyrus Largie scored 20 points for the FGCU (1-2). The Eagles’ two losses happened to a Loyola Chicago team that went to Sweet 16 last season and a USC team that Enfield took to Elite Eight last March.

“We’re not making moral victories in this program… but when this group has played together as much as Coach Enfield’s group, we have a chance to be a very good basketball team,” said the FGCU coach Michael Fly.

Enfield spent two seasons with the FGCU, departing for USC after the Eagles’ 2013 run to the Sweet 16 – the first No.15 seed to go so deep into the tournament. The past two days have been a celebration of that team, with an induction into the school’s Hall of Fame on Monday night, followed by Enfield returning to the Alico Arena on Tuesday.

This time, however, there would be no Cinderella story.

That said, there was a definite big-game vibe: a national TV audience was watching, the student section of the FGCU was stranded over an hour before kick-off, and seats were filled all the way to the back row. from the intimate gym which holds approximately 4,600.

“It was great having everyone,” said FGCU center Kevin Samuel.

The FGCU led by five halfway through the first half. But a 12-2 run by USC in the second half opened a 63-48 lead with 5:53 to go. The result was no longer in doubt.

The FGCU secured the Atlantic Sun’s automatic bid for the 2013 NCAA tournament by winning the conference title and then was ranked No. 15 in the South region. The Eagles drew second-seed Georgetown in the first round.

Dunk City was born.

The high-flying and alleyway manners of the FGCU have become the history of the tournament. The Eagles beat Georgetown 78-68, then ousted San Diego State 81-71 in the second round before losing to Florida in the regional semifinals. A small school with no real national fame had created Sweet 16. Since then, it’s been called Dunk City.

And if the result wasn’t what FGCU wanted, it at least came with a trip down memory lane.

Fly was an Enfield assistant at the FGCU and remembers being so nervous before his first game with the staff that he mistakenly grabbed the head coach’s jacket – which was cut a bit smaller and worn cost a little more than his own coat for that night. .

“He made sure to point out to me that he hoped the players weren’t as nervous as I was,” Fly said. “The moral of the story, I think, is that I guess at some level I knew Coach Enfield’s shoes would be really hard to fill. So I tried on his jacket.

The FGCU showed their potential early in the season, beating Miami 63-51 in November 2012. Until Tuesday, no school at any of college basketball’s major conferences – the SEC, the ACC, the Pac- 12, the Big 12, the Big East or the Big Ten – hadn’t visited Dunk City since.

Flashy Dunk City point guard Brett Comer said Enfield was the right coach at the right time.

“I think he hired the staff he made, brought in the players he made and allowed us to be ourselves, I think that’s the most important thing that our people lack. days – coaches allowing their players to be themselves, to be creative, allowing us to have the fun that we were allowed to have, ”Comer said.

In the end, Tuesday, it was the Enfield team who had more fun. It couldn’t have come as a surprise – a Pac-12 school, in the PA’s Top 25, against a mid-major school that usually doesn’t get the chance to face ranked opponents.

Enfield took a look around the facility hours before the report, savoring every moment of the visit.

“It’s an amazing place,” Enfield said.

BIG PICTURE

USC: The Trojans controlled the points in the paint, leading 44-26 in this department and 22-14 in the counterattack points. USC shot 49% for the game.

FGCU: The Eagles were scheduled to host USC last season, a game that could not be played due to scheduling issues caused by the pandemic. … FGCU is now 1-13 against ranked opponents since joining Division I.

FOLLOWING

USC: hosts Dixie State on Monday.

FGCU: welcomes Eckerd on Sunday.

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