Eagles Force 25 Turnovers in 74-57 Win Over Jacksonville
Saturday, January 05, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Tim Cowie
Photo Credit: Tim Cowie
Jacksonville (6-8, 2-1 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (10-5, 3-0 A-Sun)
1/5/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1707
Florida Gulf Coast433174
Stats at a GlanceJUFGCU
FG Percentage.472 (25-53) .500 (27-54)
3P FG Percentage.333 (4-12) .269 (7-26)
FT Percentage.500 (3-6) .650 (13-20)
Offensive Rebounds76
Defensive Rebounds2423
Total Rebounds3129
Bench Points2118
Statistical LeadersJUFGCU
PointsALFORD - 16
ReboundsCARGILL - 7
AssistsMCLEE - 3
StealsALFORD - 2
BlocksBROWN - 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Redshirt junior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) scored 20 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team shot 50 percent from the field and forced JU into 25 turnovers en route to a 74-57 Atlantic Sun Conference victory over Jacksonville Saturday night at Alico Arena.

“Fortunately we made enough defensive plays to win the game,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “Jacksonville was very aggressive and it was a lot of work to match their intensity. I was really proud of the performance of Betsy Adams tonight, she has really given us a lift in conference play.”

With the win, FGCU, winners of 21 straight A-Sun games, improves to 10-5 overall and 3-0 in the A-Sun, while JU falls to 6-8 overall (2-1 A-Sun). The victory also improves the Green and Blue’s record against Jacksonville at Alico Arena (6-0) and in the all-time series with the Dolphins (10-1).

The Eagles, who average 8.1 three-point field goals per game this season, knocked down seven shots from behind the arc, led two treys from both Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes HS/Valpo) and Joyce Iamstrong (Chicago, Ill./Thornton Fractional South HS/Jefferson College).

Hansen turned in 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. Senior Brittany Kennedy (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS/Oregon State) registered 19 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds in 33 minutes. Adams recorded 12 points, five steals and three boards, while Iamstrong finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

JU jumped on the Eagles early, taking a quick 12-7 lead 4:35 into the game. The Green and Blue responded with a 22-8 run, highlighted by six points from Kennedy and four from Adams, to grab a nine-point advantage (29-20) with 6:51 left in the opening period.

Jacksonville’s Queen Alford drilled a three-pointer at the 4:31 mark to cut the FGCU lead down to 31-25, but the Eagles fired back with a 12-2 run over the final 4:13 of the period to take a 43-27 lead into the locker room at halftime. After going down early (12-7), FGCU outscored the Dolphins, 36-15, over the final 15 minutes of the period.

Kennedy led the Green and Blue with 12 points in the first half, while Adams and Hansen added nine points each. Hansen also added three assists and two steals in the half. FGCU shot 54.5 percent (18-for-33) from the floor and knocked down three shots from behind the three-point line. The Dolphins, who were forced into 14 first half turnovers, shot 46.2 percent (12-for-26) from the field and connected on two of their five attempts from long distance in the opening 20 minutes.

As they did the previous two games (at Mercer, at Kennesaw State), FGCU came out on a mission in the second half. The Eagles opened the second period with a 17-9 spurt, capped by a Kennedy layup, to grab a 60-36 lead with 11:15 left in regulation.

Jacksonville didn’t go away easy, but were unable to cut the FGCU lead below 14 points as the Eagles went on to pick up the 74-57 conference win.

The Dolphins shot 47.2 percent (25-for-53) from the floor, 33.3 percent (4-for-12) from long range and 50 percent (3-for-6) from the free throw line.

FGCU shot 50 percent (27-for-54) from the floor and hit seven three-pointers on 26 attempts (26.9 percent). The Eagles also registered 29 rebounds, forced JU into 25 turnovers and tallied 14 assists on 27 made baskets.

The Green and Blue are back in action on Monday, January 7 when they host UNF (6-8, 2-1 A-Sun) at Alico Arena. Tipoff is set for 5:15 p.m.

Fans can follow FGCU on Twitter (@FGCU_WBB), Instagram (@FGCUWbb) and on Facebook by liking FGCU Women’s Basketball (www.Facebook.com/FGCUWbb).