FLORIDA GULF COAST
South Dakota State
11/29/2013 | Puerto Vallarta, MX | Attendance: 100
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||48||36||84|
|South Dakota State||32||27||59|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||SDSU|
|3P FG Percentage||.462
PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – In the final game of the 2013 Hardwood Tournament of Hope, the FGCU women’s basketball team defeated South Dakota State 84-59 Friday afternoon at the Puerto Vallarta Convention Center. With the win, the Eagles snap a three-game losing streak and improve to 4-3 on the season, while the Jack Rabbits fall to 4-4.
The Eagles used their highest 3-point shooting percentage of the season to take control of the game early. The team saw nine shots made from beyond-the-arc in the first half alone and made 12-of-26 through the contest. The strong shooting matched with FGCU’s resilient defense enabled the Eagles to maintain the advantage through the entire game and ultimately earn a 25-point victory.
“The team played well today. It was the best game we’ve played all season,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “South Dakota State is a very strong and well-coached team. We executed our game plan, shot the ball well and forced a good number of turnovers. We hope wins like this help us down the stretch and prepare us for the rest of the season.”
Sophomore Stephanie Haas (Avon Lake, Ohio/Magnificat High School) led the Eagles with 18 points on the day, with three others added double-figures for the Green and Blue. Jaime Gluesing (Solon, Ohio/Solon High School) contributed a season-high 16 points for FGCU with four made 3-point shots, while Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) and Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) added 15 and 12, respectively.
Hansen led the Eagles’ rebounding effort with eight in 31 minutes of action, while Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School) dished out a season-high six assists in the win.
Overall, the Eagles converted 46.2 percent of their shots from long range and 50.8 percent of shots overall. FGCU was outrebounded, 35-27 but scored 31 points as a result of forcing 26 Jack Rabbit turnovers. With six from Knight leading the way, the Green and Blue recorded a season-high 15 steals while pressuring the SDSU offensive effort.
The Jack Rabbits scored the first points of the contest but saw as the Eagles produced five-straight points by Haas to take a three-point lead three minutes into the game. The Eagles constructed a nine-point run with 3-pointers from Hansen, Haas and Gluesing to take a 16-6 lead and added another eight-straight points in the next two minutes of action to go ahead 24-6 with 12 minutes to play in the half.
South Dakota State fought back against the Eagles’ strong offensive surge and cut the deficit to just eight points on a set of free throws with six minutes remaining.
A 12-2 run by the Green and Blue that included baskets by Cobb, Hansen, Haas and Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind./Seymour High School) increased the Eagles’ lead to 18 points again. The teams exchanged points through the end of the half before the Eagles scored five-straight points to end the half with a 48-32 lead.
The Eagles extended their lead to 52-32 after beginning the second half with a steal and a fast-break layup on the first two SDSU possessions and forced a total of five Jack Rabbit turnovers in the first three minutes of the half. The Green and Blue maintained control of the contest and held a 67-42 lead midway through the second half.
Another brief streak for the Eagles gave the team its largest lead of the game at 76-44 with 6:30 remaining on the clock before SDSU responded with a 10-3 run. With 13 seconds left, a layup from Gluesing sealed the victory at 84-59.
The Eagles finished the Hardwood Tournament of Hope with a record of 1-2 after handily defeating South Dakota State but falling to TCU and No. 6 Stanford. The Jack Rabbits defeated TCU but fell to FGCU and Stanford in the four-day tournament.
Haas earned All-Tournament honors after averaging 14.7 points per game with a 50 percent shooting percentage this week.
The Eagles will travel back to the United States on Saturday and will return Alico Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 4 to host USF in a 7 p.m. matchup.
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the women’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_WBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUWBB.
2013-14 women’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.