(5-21 | 2-13 ASun)
FLORIDA GULF COAST
(21-7 | 15-1 ASun)
2/27/2014 | Alico Arena - Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 1549
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||64||44||108|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.375
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Backed by the highest point total in any FGCU Division I game, the women’s basketball team defeated Lipscomb 108-67 Thursday night at Alico Arena. With the win, the Eagles improve to 21-7 on the season with a 15-1 mark in Atlantic Sun action, while the Bisons fall to 5-21 and 2-13 in conference play.
The win keeps FGCU atop the Atlantic Sun standings, tied with Stetson University. Each team sits with just one conference loss. The Eagles defeated Stetson to begin the season and will conclude the A-Sun slate at Stetson next weekend.
“I thought we played about as well offensively in the first half as we’ve played all year and maybe in several years,” said head coach Karl Smesko of the win. “Everybody was shooting the ball well, we took care of the ball and we found space to knock down shots. The first half was exceptionally well-played.”
The Eagles used a shooting percentage of 67.6 in the first half with eight made shots from the perimeter to take a strong lead early in the game. The team produced a season-high 64 points in the first half and went into the break with a 64-27 lead. The Bisons increased their offensive production in the second half but were never able to cut the deficit to fewer than 32 points. The Eagles maintained the strong shooting performance and ultimately earned a 51-point victory.
Kaneisha Atwater (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Westwood High School/VCU) paced the Eagles with a season-high 16 points, all in the first half, while six others produced double-figure points. Sophomore Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) added 15 points with senior captain Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) and Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind./Seymour High School) each adding 13. DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover High School) contributed 12 points for FGCU and recorded a career-high nine assists. Hansen led the Eagles’ rebounding effort with 10 boards for her fifth double-double of the season.
With 13 points and 10 rebounds, Hansen moved ahead in the Atlantic Sun all-time record books. Hansen now ranks ninth with 1,830 career points and 20th with 843 rebounds.
Collectively, the Eagles successfully converted a season-high 58.8 percent of shots with 12 made buckets from the perimeter and a 50 percent shooting clip. The team outrebounded Lipscomb 41-27 and turned the ball over just nine times, while forcing 14 Lipscomb miscues.
The game marked the 11th time in program history that the Eagles have scored 100 points or more.
FGCU and Lipscomb traded baskets to open the game before a 9-0 run for the Eagles pushed the home team to a 16-5 lead just five minutes in. After another string of traded possessions, the Eagles mounted a 10-point streak to take a 20-point lead midway through the half with a score of 29-9.
The Eagles surrendered just 13 more points through the remainder of the first half, while converting eight-straight shots and increasing their lead to 29 points. FGCU again produced a run with an 11-2 stretch to take its largest lead of the half, 62-24 in the final minute.
After holding a 64-27 lead at the break, the Eagles outscored the Bisons 9-2 over the first four minutes of the second half to increase the lead to 44 points. The Bisons responded with a seven-point run to stop the Eagles’ momentum but were unable to spark a comeback.
The Eagles continued the offensive outpouring and consistently added to their point total in the second half. In the final minutes of the game the Eagles used a 15-4 run capped by a layup from Stephanie Haas (Avon Lake, Ohio/Magnificat High School) to bring the score to 101-57. The Eagles added two more quick layups to increase the margin to 46 points. The visiting team produced 10 points in the final three minutes but handed the Eagles a 108-67 victory as time expired.
The Green and Blue will conclude the home slate of the Atlantic Sun regular season on Saturday, March 2 when they host Northern Kentucky University. The Eagles will look for redemption as NKU stands as the lone blemish on the team’s conference record. Prior to the matchup, Hansen will be honored for her time with the Eagles.
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.