FGCU to Face Florida Southern In Women's Hoop
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University concludes a seven-game home stand when it hosts Florida Southern College on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. The Eagles concluded the 2005 portion of their schedule with a 14-1 record after defeating Eckerd College and the University of Montevallo in the 3rd Annual FGCU Women’s Holiday Classic at Alico Arena last week.
FGCU comes into the contest with its highest national ranking, No. 16, after moving up four spots in this week’s USA TODAY ESPN Division II Top 25 women's basketball poll. FGCU, which received 178 total points in the voting, was one of four South Region teams represented in the poll. Henderson State (10-1) remains No.8 while Rollins (9-0) stayed at No. 11. Valdosta State (8-3) dropped to No. 21. The USA Today ESPN Board of Coaches is made up of 27 head coaches at Division II institutions. All are members of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
Florida Southern, a Division II member of the Sunshine State Conference with an enrollment of 1,750, enters the game with a 5-7 record but has lost four straight after falling 55-53 to the University of Tampa at the buzzer in their conference home opener Wednesday night. It will be the second game in this year’s home and home series between the two schools. The Eagles knocked off the Mocs 79-39 at the Jenkins Field House in Lakeland back on November 29.
Junior center Sarah Pavelecky leads the Mocs with 11.9 points and 8.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Meghana Saoji averages 11.0 points while sophomore forward Willamina Folks scores at a 10.8 clip. The Mocs score an average of 59.6 points per game while shooting 36.4% from the field and 31.8% from beyond the three-point line.
FGCU (14-1 overall, 14-1 South Region) will be playing its 16th of 17 straight region contests to open the season. In the first women’s basketball national ranking summary, the Eagles are among the best teams offensively and defensively through January 1.
The Eagles enter the game with the third best scoring defense in Division II, allowing just 47 points per game, and fourth in scoring margin at 29.4. FGCU is 11th in field-goal percentage defense at 33.3 and 20th in rebounding margin at 9.1. The Eagles are the 28th best scoring team in the country at 76.4 points per game and fifth in three-point field-goals made per game with 8.4.
Junior forward Katie Schrader (Fort Collins, Colo.) leads the Eagles in scoring (14.5) and rebounding (6.9). Junior forward Jen Conely (Warren, Minn.) is second in scoring (10.9) and ranks fourth among all NCAA Division II players in three-point field-goal shooting percentage (52.0). Senior guards Ebonie Halliburton (East St. Louis, Ill.) and Candy Myers (Leipsic, Ohio) average 10.8 and 10.1 points per game respectively.
After Saturday’s game, the Eagles will play six straight games away from Alico Arena, beginning with a trip to Puerto Rico to face UPR-Cayey on Sunday, January 15.
When: Saturday, Jan. 7 (7:00 p.m.)
Where: Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena – 4,500)
Admission: Tickets are available at box office one hour prior to tip-off or by calling the Alico Arena ticket office at 590-7145. Reserved tickets begin at $6 for adults and $5 for children five and under.
All-time Series: FGCU leads 3-1
Last Meeting (Result): The Eagles won 79-39 on November 29 as Candy Myers led four players in double figures with 19 points.
FGCU Record: 14-1
Eagles Head Coach: Karl Smesko (4th year, 83-19 at FGCU)
Florida Southern Record: 5-7
Mocs Head Coach: Diane Foli (7th year, 165-82)
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: The Eagles have made at least 2 three-point field goals in all 102 games in school history and at least three (3) three-pointers in every game this season…FGCU has made 10 or more three-pointers in four games after hitting 14 in the win over Montevallo…Defensively, FGCU has allowed more than 55 points in only two games this season…The Eagles have scored 75 or more points in 10 games…The 12 wins to open the season set a new program record for consecutive wins at the start of the season and was the second-longest win streak in FGCU history…Myers hit double figures for the seventh time this season with 15 against Montevallo…She is now 26 points shy of 800 for her FGCU career…Halliburton has nine games scoring in double figures and now has 467 career points…She leads the team with 50 assists…Jen Conely has now scored 20 points in each of the last two games and seven games in double figures…She has three games with at least 6 three-pointers, including a school-record eight against UPR-Cayey in November…Alex Nelson had a career-high 15 points in the win over Montevallo and has six games in double figures…She picked up a school record nine steals in the win over Eckerd…Schrader has led the team in scoring in six games, including five games with 20 or more points…She has led the team in rebounding nine times.
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