LYNCHBURG, Va. – Tavian Dunn-Martin set a new single-game scoring record with 43 points to lead the FGCU men’s basketball team to its first-ever win over Liberty, 82-72 in overtime, at Liberty Arena on Wednesday night. The win improves the Eagles to 19-10 overall and 9-6 in ASUN play, while the Flames are down to 20-10 overall and 11-4 in league play.
Dunn-Martin’s performance marked the second time this season that he broke the record for goals in a single game. He previously set the mark with a 38-point effort in an overtime win over Stetson on Feb. 13. His 20.9 points per game is currently the FGCU single-season record, while his 584 points this season are fourth-most for a season after Wednesday’s performance.
“Tavian was obviously the story of the second half and with an elite goalscorer like that you’re never offside,” the head coach said. Michael Fly. “But I thought tonight we also played really good defense and did a great job of limiting Liberty’s second chance points. Tavian will make headlines for his performance, but really we had some guys who got mobilized throughout the game and made big plays when they were needed most.”
Dunn-Martin scored 32 points in the second half and overtime after Liberty had a 31-29 halftime lead. The guard hit 13 of 28 from the floor for the game and 12 of 13 from the free throw line. He added six assists and also had five rebounds. He now has seven games over 30 points this season and is the only player in the last decade in ASUN to have more than five.
Cyrus Largie finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while austin richie scored eight including two big threes in the overtime session.
Liberty was led by a 28-point, 10-rebound double-double from Darius McGhee. Blake Preston added 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Kyle Rode scored 15.
The Flames led by no less than eight, 39-31, at 16:28 of the second half. Dunn-Martin then went on a personal 12-5 run to bring FGCU back in one, 44-43. The Flames cut the lead to six in the next seven minutes before Dunn-Martin tied the game 56-56 with 5:21 to go.
He closed the half by scoring all 10 points for FGCU, including five in a row, to give the Eagles a 66-64 lead with just over a minute to play. Liberty scored with 41 seconds on the clock to tie the game and neither team could find the game winner before the buzzer.
In the overtime session, an 8-on-2 run highlighted by two Richie three-pointers put FGCU in control for the first three minutes of play.
Largie’s free throws, Andre Weirand Dunn-Martin pushed the lead to 80-72 before Weir sealed the win with a dunk 13 seconds from time.
The win marked FGCU’s first-ever win (1-5) over Liberty since the Flames joined ASUN ahead of the 2018-19 season. It also marked the best NET win of the year for the Eagles with Liberty holding a No. 110 ranking – the previous best was Rhode Island who currently sit at No. 135.
With four blocked shots tonight, the Eagles also set a new single-season record for blocked shots with 144 for the year.
The FGCU will return to action Saturday afternoon as Jacksonville visits Alico Arena for a doubles match with the No. 23 women’s team. 4 p.m. Both games, which will be Senior Day for each program, will be broadcast live on ESPN+.
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Michael Fly was introduced as the fourth FGCU men’s basketball head coach on April 5, 2018. He had spent the previous seven years as an assistant coach on the Eagles staff. During his time with the Eagles, he helped FGCU reach a record of 207-142 (.585 winning percentage), including six ASUN Tournament final appearances, three NCAA Tournament wins, three ASUN Tournament titles and three championships. the ASUN regular season, two spots in the NIT, an appearance at the CIT and a run to the Sweet 16. He coached 13 all-conference selections while with the Green and Blue, including two ASUN Player of the Year honors at Sherwood Brown and Brandon Goodwin, two ASUN Defensive Player of the Year Picks in Bernard Thompson and Demetris Morant and ASUN Newcomer of the Year in Schadrac Casimir. Of the FGCU’s top 10 career points players, Fly helped develop eight, including all-time leading scorer Thompson (1,835). Additionally, the Kentucky alum has coached both ASUN’s all-time leader Brett Comer (845; 24th in NCAA history) and the FGCU’s all-time leading rebounder. , Chase Fielder (714).
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
ABOUT THE FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles have brought together 43 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (#20, 2021) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone achieved, with all 15 programs achieving a team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.