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FGCU tops Illinois State 98-87 behind Johnson's 27 points

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Zach Johnson scored a career-high 27 points, Brandon Goodwin added 21, and defending Atlantic Sun Conference champion Florida Gulf Coast beat Illinois State 98-87 in Saturday's season opener for both teams.

After 12 lead changes and eight ties, the Eagles pulled away in the second half on a 10-0 run sparked by Dinero Mercurius' back-to-back 3-pointers and led 76-75 on Johnson's third 3 with 9:36 left. The Redbirds closed to 83-82 on Milik Yarbrough's jumper with 4:33 to go, but Christian Terrell hit a 3 and the Eagles led by nine, 96-87, after Goodwin's 3-point play with 50 seconds left.

The Eagles outrebounded the defending Missouri Valley Conference regular-season co-champion Redbirds 48-24, led by Terrell and Christian Carlyle with eight apiece, and outscored them 48-34 in the paint. The Eagles led the country in points in the paint last year at 41.3 per game, in addition to finishing 3rd in the nation with 159 dunks. The Redbirds had won its last 15 games in which it outrebounded its opponents.

Keyshawn Evans scored a career-high 28 points for Illinois State before fouling out. Phil Fayne scored a career-high 24 points and Taylor Bruninga added 14.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
Team Stats
Points 0 0
Field Goals 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
3-Pointers 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Free Throws 0-0 (0.0%) 0-0 (0.0%)
Total Rebounds 0 0
Offensive 0 0
Defensive 0 0
Team 0 0
Assists 0 0
Steals 0 0
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 0 0
Fouls 0 0
Technicals 0 0
12T
away team logo Illinois St. 0-1 424587
home team logo FGCU 1-0 455398
Team Stats
away team logo Illinois St. 0-1 68.4 PPG 37.6 RPG 12.8 APG
home team logo FGCU 1-0 71.3 PPG 35.8 RPG 14.0 APG
Key Players
52
M. Yarbrough 16.7 PPG 6.9 RPG 3.1 APG 46.1 FG%
11
S. Casimir 14.1 PPG 2.6 RPG 2.4 APG 48.0 FG%
Top Scorers
PTS REB AST
PTS REB AST
0 FG% 0
0 3PT FG% 0
0 FT% 0
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Starters
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
Bench
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB