The glaring problem for the FGCU was giving the ball away. The Eagles committed 16 turnovers, tied for 2nd most on the season. Xavier took advantage, netting 14 points off those mistakes.
"We turned the ball over uncharacteristically in some situations which I though they took advantage and pressured us into. I thought we dug ourselves into a hole which we could never overcome," head coach Joe Dooley said.
That, combined with a poor shooting first half for the Eagles, left the Blue and Green trailing 43-29 at the half. Comer and Thompson combined for just 7 points before the break but fortunately, Julian DeBose picked up the slack - netting 12 first half points en route to a career high 17.
"I didn't feel as though it was pressure, I just felt I needed to bring what I'm capable of bringing to the team every game, and thats what I tried doing," DeBose said.
But starting the 2nd half, the Eagles started to find their rhythm as Bernard Thompson knocked down 4/7 from three point range. The Musketeers lead was cut to just 9, at 52-43, with 11:33 remaining.
"I was just being more aggressive, taking shots that I just happened to be open," Thompson said. "In the first half, I was just a little passive. It kind of came together in the 2nd half."
Despite the Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year's best efforts, Florida Gulf Coast couldn't seem to get over the hump and get any close than 8 or 9 points.
"We had a couple shots at the rim we didn't finish. We had a couple turnovers at inopportune times," Dooley said. "We just never could get consecutive stops, they scored and put us in some tough situations."
But Joe Dooley and staff can't dwell on this loss for long as they continue on their road trip to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers on Tuesday night.