Women's Basketball Set For Home Opener With Seton Hall
Friday, November 12, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team will open its 2010-11 campaign by hosting Seton Hall Friday night at 7:05 p.m. in Alico Arena.

FGCU (0-0) vs. Seton Hall (0-0) Game Central
Date (Time): Friday, Nov. 12 (7:05 p.m.)
Site: Alico Arena (4,500)
Live Audio: FGCUAthletics.com – Gary Sharpe
Live Stats: FGCUAthletics.com
Live Video: ASun.TV 
Series: First Meeting

The Donovan Era Begins

Seton Hall finished last season with a 9-21 overall record, but the Pirates will have a new look 2010-11, as they will be led by first-year head coach Anne Donovan. Donovan, one of the most decorated figures in women’s basketball history and the third head coach in Seton Hall women’s basketball program history, is the only female head coach to win a WNBA title (Seattle Storm, 2004). The former head coach of the USA Women’s Basketball Senior National Team, Donovan, who owns a remarkable 132-10 (.930) all-time record on the sidelines for USA Basketball, led the 2008 USA National Team to gold in Beijing and as a result was chosen with Mike Krzyzewski as co-recipient of the 2008 USA Basketball National Coach of the Year award. Donovan also helped USA capture gold at the Olympics in 1998 and 2004 as an assistant coach. The NCAA’s all-time shot block leader (801), Donovan led Old Dominion to the NCAA Final Four in 1983 en route to being named the first female recipient of the Naismith College Player of the Year award.

She will attempt to be the first to win her initial contest as the Pirates’ leader - Sue Dilley and company fell to CCNY on Jan. 5, 1974 by a 42-33 score, while Phyllis Mangina suffered defeat at the hands of Lehigh on Nov. 25, 1985 by a count of 72-65.

Season Openers
Seton Hall is 28-9 all-time in season openers, including wins in the last three. It will be the first season debut played under the guidance of new head coach Anne Donovan; Sue Dilley was 9-3 in 12 seasons, while Phyllis Mangina was 19-6 in 25 seasons.

Seton Hall vs. The Atlantic Sun
The Pirates have played just one game in their history against a team currently in the Atlantic Sun Conference. On Dec. 29, 2004, Seton Hall knocked off Campbell, 59-41, in the opening round of the USC Tournament in Columbia, S.C.

FGCU News and Notes
Opening Tip

The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball squad opens the 2010-11 season with a pair of home games before heading to Riviera Maya, Mexico to take on Purdue and Virginia Tech in the Caribbean Challenge ... the Eagles of head coach Karl Smesko host Seton Hall (Nov. 12; 7:05 p.m.) before welcoming Troy into ‘The Nest’ at Alico Arena on Nov 21 at 2:05 p.m. ... Smesko and his staff return seven players, including three starters from last year’s squad that went 24-7 overall, 14-0 at Alico Arena and secured the program’s third consecutive automatic bid to the WNIT.

Eagles Picked To Win A-Sun Title in 2010-11
FGCU, led by preseason All-Conference selection senior Shannon Murphy, earned top billing in the Atlantic Sun Conference preseason coaches’ and media polls, the conference office announced on Oct. 13.

FGCU Ranked #14 In Mid-Major Preseason Poll
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned a spot in the first-ever CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Wednesday, Oct. 27. The Eagles start the season ranked No. 14.

Excuse Me Mr. Chairman
FGCU women’s basketball coach Karl Smesko was named the chairman of the voting panel for CollegeInsider.com’s Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 Poll on Oct. 14.

Over a decade after creating the Mid-Major Top 25 for division I men’s basketball, CollegeInsider.com has joined forces with the Atlantic Sun Conference to establish the women’s Mid-Major Top 25.

Hi...My Name Is
Karl Smesko has assembled a young and talented staff in his ninth season at the helm of the FGCU women’s basketball program. Abby Scharlow and Herman Burge join 3rd year assistant Chelsea Dermyer as assistant coaches. Former UConn standout, Mel Thomas, came aboard as the director of operations.

Shannon Murphy Leads The Returners
Senior Shannon Murphy, a 2010 preseason All-Conference selection, is the Blue and Green’s top returning scorer (10.7 ppg). The senior ranked first in the conference and 45th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.71) last season, while also shooting .354 from three-point range and leading the team with 33.0 minutes per game.

The list of returnees from last year’s squad, includes Murphy and fellow senior Shavonne Butler, along with three juniors and a pair of redshirt-freshmen.

The returners in the junior class include a trio of highly-seasoned players in Courtney Chihil, Eglah Griffin and Kelsey Jacobson. Chihil, who returns from a knee injury suffered in the Eagles WNIT matchup at Miami, was FGCU’s top rebounder (6.2 rpg) and three-point threat (41.3-percent) last season. Griffin averaged 7.6 points per contest in 2009-10, while Jacobson, the 2009 A-Sun Freshman of the Year, is FGCU’s second ranked returning scorer and three-point threat.

Redshirt-freshmen Kiara Bomben and Sarah Hansen round out the returning players.

Fresh Faces
Seven newcomers join the Eagles for ’10-11. That list includes two true freshmen (Katlyn Payne and Amber Rechis). Transfers Nancy Aguilar, Lerrin Cook, Nicoya Jackson, Katie Lyon and Sarah Whitfield also join the program.

Follow the Eagles
There are multiple ways for fans to keep up with the Eagles during the 2010-11 season.

On The Web
1. FGCUAthletics.com (official site of Eagle athletics)
2. CourtsideWithKiara (Kiara Bomben’s basketball blog)
3. Facebook.com/FGCUAthletics (official Facebook Page of FGCU Athletics)
4. Facebook.com/FGCUWBB (official Facebook Page of FGCU WBK)

On Twitter
1. FGCUEagles (FGCU Athletic Department)
2. FGCUCoachSmesko (Karl Smesko)

Season Openers
FGCU is 7-1 all-time in season openers, including wins in two of the last three. The Eagles only loss in a home opener came at the hands of Florida State in the 2007-08 home opener (1st season of Division 1).

The Blue And Green vs. The BIG EAST
The Eagles have played a pair games in their history against a team currently in the BIG EAST. On March 21, 2009, USF defeated FGCU, 88-81 (OT), in the second round of the WNIT. On March 21, 2008, the Eagles knocked off the USF Bulls, 67-65, in the opening round of the WNIT.

Look Mom I’m On TV
FGCU will be on TV (Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast - CSS) twice this season. The Eagles will have a TV slate that includes a road contest with the Bruins of Belmont on Monday, January 31 in Nashville, Tenn. The Blue and Green make their second CSS appearance in as many weeks when they host the defending A-Sun champion ETSU Lady Bucs on Monday, February 7 at Alico Arena.

We’re Going Streaking
Florida Gulf Coast University has not lost a home game in Alico Arena since January 8, 2009 against East Tennessee State University. The squad went 14-0 at Alico Arena in 2009-10, bumping the Eagles home win streak up to 24 games. FGCU’s 24-game home winning streak is the fourth longest streak in the nation behind UConn, Stanford and Lehigh.



1. UConn 


2. Stanford 


3. Lehigh 


4. FGCU 


5. TCU 


We Must Protect This House
FGCU has a 119-9 (.930) all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 41-3 (.932) home record.





















Home Cookin’
Alico Arena has become one of the most intimidating places for opposing teams in all of Division I women’s basketball. The Eagles have accumulated a 41-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .932 winning percentage. Only Tennessee, who has a .942 winning percentage (323-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home.

Nation’s Best
FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2009-10 version of the Eagles was no different. FGCU finished the season ranked second in the nation in 3-pointers made per contest:

NCAA D-I TEAM - 3-Pointers Made Per Game Team 3-pt FG/gm
1. Morehead State 10.3
2. FGCU 10.2
3. Middle Tennessee 10.1
4. Oral Roberts 9.2
5. Fresno State 8.9

Three Is The Key
• The Eagles went 19-3 when they shot 24 or more three-pointers in a game in 2009-10.
• FGCU finished 18-3 when they drained nine or more shots from behind the arc during the 2009-10 season. The Blue and Green also held a 22-4 record when they knocked down more 3-point shots than their opponent.
• FGCU held their opponents to .317 (134-of-423) from behind the arc, while the Eagles drained 317-of-876 (.362) three-pointers in 2009-10.
• FGCU took a school-record 46 three-pointers in their 67-47 win at Lipscomb (previous record was 45 attempts vs. UNF on March 1, 2008).