The FGCU men's and women's basketball teams will play their first of two regular season doubleheaders at Alico Arena Sunday. The women will take on Ave Maria at 3 p.m. while the men battle Florida International at 6 p.m. Here's a look at the matchups.
Ave Maria (8-1) at FGCU women (6-1)
When: Sunday, 3 p.m.
Series: FGCU leads 4-0
What to know – Ave Maria: The NAIA Gyrenes are off to their best start in four seasons and are outscoring their opponents by nearly 20 points per game. Seven different players average at least 7 points per game for Ave Maria, with sophomore forward Gianna Santacroce pacing the team at 10.6 points per game. The Gyrenes are limiting their opponents to just 34.7% shooting from the field this season and 24.5% from 3-point range. Head coach Alex Moorehead returns for his second season with Ave Maria. He was named the Sun Conference Coach of the Year last season after guiding the Gyrenes to a 16-12 finish, doubling their win total from 2020-21. FGCU: The Eagles return to the friendly confines of Alico Arena after a 12-day road trip to Hawaii that saw them win four of five games in a pair of tournaments. The lone loss was a 93-69 loss to No. 2 ranked Stanford at the Rainbow Wahine Showdown. Graduate guard Tishara Morehouse was named to the Showdown's All-Tournament team after averaging 12.3 points per game in the three games, including 24 in the loss to the Cardinal. She was also named the ASUN Player of the Week after averaging 16 points per game in FGCU's two wins at the Bank of Hawaii Classic over Hawaii and San Diego. FGCU defeated Ave Maria 99-37 last season and is averaging just over 100 points per game in its four all-time meetings with the Gyrenes.
Florida International (4-3) at FGCU men (6-2)
When: Sunday, 6 p.m.
Series: FIU leads 9-5
What to know – FIU: The Panthers are coming off an 81-52 home-court loss to Eastern Michigan on Wednesday. FIU lost four of its top five scorers from last year's 15-17 squad. Sophomore shooting guard Denver Jones is averaging a team-leading 19.7 points per game for the Panthers while freshman guard Arturo Dean has made an early impact on both the offensive (13.7 points) and defensive ends (team-leading 17 steals). FIU plays a trapping style of defense and is forcing an average of nearly 18 turnovers per game. The Panthers were picked to finish 10th in Conference USA's preseason coaches' poll. Head coach Jeremy Ballard is in his fifth season at FIU and has an overall record of 67-64. FGCU: The Eagles won 70-53 at Georgia Southern Wednesday to pick up their fourth consecutive win. FGCU had four players score in double figures, led by senior guard Isaiah Thompson's 17 points. The Eagles turned in another solid defensive effort, holding the Eagles to 42% shooting and forcing 12 turnovers. FGCU has held its opponents to 61 points or fewer in all six of its victories. The Eagles will look to snap a five-game losing streak to FIU.
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This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: FGCU basketball: Eagles men, women to play doubleheader at Alico Arena