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Florida Gulf Coast wins 2016 Atlantic Sun basketball tournament

Zach Johnson's block on the game's final play carries Florida Gulf Coast to its first NCAA tournament since 2013

"Dunk City" turned into "Block City" Sunday night, as Florida Gulf Coast freshman Zach Johnson hit a key layup and authoritatively blocked Stetson's Divine Myles on the game's final play in overtime, carrying the Eagles in a thrilling Atlantic Sun tournament championship game, 80-78. FGCU will go to its second NCAA tournament after their charmed run to the Sweet Sixteen in 2013.

Johnson scored 19 points, along with the critical final three to provide the margin of victory. Sophomore forward Antravious Simmons led FGCU with 21 points to go with 12 rebounds. Freshman forward Derick Newton scored 22 points to lead the Hatters, including some crucial free throws down the stretch to force overtime.

Florida Gulf Coast jumped to a big lead early in the game, opening the contest on a 10-0 run. Stetson quickly charged back into the game, as two three-pointers from Luke Doyle helped the Hatters take the lead 19-16 at the 10-minute mark of the first half. Stetson led throughout the rest of the half, stretching their lead up to six before taking a 35-30 lead to the locker room at halftime.

The two teams traded leads throughout the second half, and a Stetson run highlighted by Newton three-pointer pushed the Hatters to a five-point lead with 10 minutes left in the game. Florida Gulf Coast fought back, closing to the gap before taking a 59-58 lead with four minutes left. FGCU looked to be on their way to victory, up 65-60 with just over two minutes left, when sophomore Grant Lozoya hit his first three-pointer of the game to close to lead to 65-63. After an Eagles' layup, freshman Leo Goodman hit another three to make it a one-point game, 67-66 with 1:30 left.

Two Newton free throws put Stetson back in front with 1:32 remaining. Antravious Simmons hit a layup to put FGCU back on top before Newton went back to the line with 25 seconds left, where he hit the second of two free throws to tie the game at 69. Neither team was able to get a shot off in the final seconds, and the two teams went to overtime.

After the two teams traded baskets and free throws, Simmons made the second of two free throws to put FGCU up 75-74. Sophomore FCSU guard Christian Terrell, who scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half, scored and-one to give 77-74 but missed the ensuing free throw, whereupon Stetson sophomore guard Grant Lozoya did the same thing to make it 77-76. The teams traded layups, and Zach Johnson hit a free throw to extend the lead before his thunderous block on the final play.

Stetson is ineligible for the postseason per NCAA regulations thanks to their low APR, but with a 10-21 regular-season record, that was unlikely to be relevant. But Stetson then obliterated NJIT and Lipscomb on their way to the Atlantic Sun championship game against FGCU, where they had the chance to cause some NCAA tournament wackiness. A Stetson win would have sent regular-season champion North Florida, who lost to FGCU in the semifinals, to their second NCAA tournament. Instead, the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles get a shot at a "Dunk City" reprise.