FGCUAthletics.com
Eagles Set to Open Conference Play at UNF
Wednesday, December 01, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The FGCU women’s basketball team will open A-Sun conference play in Jacksonville, Fla. on Dec. 2 when they take on the Ospreys of UNF. The Eagles (4-0) and the Ospreys (1-4) tip-off at 5:30 p.m.

FGCU (4-0) @ UNF (1-4) Game Central
DATE/TIME: Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010/5:30 P.M. ET
SITE: Jacksonville, Fla. - UNF Arena
LIVE AUDIO: FGCUATHLETICS.COM
TALENT: J.P. Shadrick (Play-by-Play)
LIVE STATS: UNFospreys.com
LIVE VIDEO: ASun.TV
SERIES: 7th Meeting: FGCU leads 4-2

KNOW YOUR OPPONENT: UNF
Series History

Thursday’s game will be the seventh time that UNF and Florida Gulf Coast have met. FGCU leads the all-time series 4-2. The two teams will meet again on February 26 at FGCU’s Alico Arena.

Quick Hits
• The Ospreys have struggled turning the basketball over all season. UNF has committed 18 or more turnovers in every game this season for an average of 24.6 turnovers per game.
• Brittany Kirkland leads the team in minutes (33.8), points (14.8) and assists (2.8). Kirkland has led UNF in points in four of five contests.
• The Ospreys have only one player averaging in double figures - Brittany Kirkland (14.8 ppg); followed by Juliemay Syquio’s 8.0 ppg and Larkira Jones’ 6.6 ppg.
• This is the third consecutive season that UNF has started the season 1-3.

FGCU News and Notes
Opening Tip

FGCU will open up A-Sun play with a pair of games in Jacksonville, Fla. The Eagles will face UNF and Jacksonville to begin conference play. The Eagles lead the all-time series against both the Ospreys (4-2) and the Dolphins (5-1). The Blue and Green are coming off wins over ACC for Virginia Tech and Montana at the 2010 Caribbean Challenge.

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 #3 In Mid-Major Preseason Poll
After picking up huge wins over Virginia Tech and Montana, the Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned the No. 3 spot in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday, Nov. 30. The Eagles began 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
Six newcomers join the Eagles for ’10-11. That list includes one true freshmen (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)

Off On The Right Foot
After defeating Seton Hall 64-57, FGCU is now 8-1 all-time in season openers, including wins in three of the last four. 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).

Best Start
The Eagles are off to their best start since joining the Division I ranks in 2007-08. The FGCU women sit at 4-0 with wins over BCS foes Seton Hall and Virginia Tech.

A-Sun Openers
The Eagles are 1-2 all-time in conference openers. The Blue and Green dropped their first two A-Sun openers to JU (07-08) and Stetson (08-09), but defeated Stetson 70-43 last season to pick up their first win in an Atlantic Sun Conference season opener.

FGCU Struggles at UNF Arena
The Eagles are 1-2 all-time at UNF Arena. The Blue and Green have struggled at UNF, only shooting just 54-of-162 (.333) from the field and 21-of-89 (.236) from long distance. FGCU is also averaging just 53.3 points per game on UNF’s home floor.

¡Nos encanta Mexico! (We Love Mexico!)
After leading the Eagles to wins over ACC foe Virginia Tech and 17-time Big Sky champ Montana at the 2010 Caribbean Challenge, freshman Sarah Hansen was named tournament MVP, the Triple Crown Sports office announced on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Senior Shannon Murphy joined Hansen on the All-Tournament team.

Hansen averaged 15.0 points and 5.5 rebounds and shot a blazing 68.4-percent from the floor and 66.7-percent from long distance at the Caribbean Challenge, while Murphy averaged 16.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 50-percent from the field and 41.2-percent from 3-pt range.

And the A-Sun Awards go to...
Shannon Murphy and Sarah Hansen led FGCU to a pair of big wins at the 2010 Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico, and for their performances, they claimed A-Sun Player and Newcomer of the Week, the conference office announced on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Shannon Murphy
• Second A-Sun Player of the Week award
• Passed out a game-high seven assists in the 73-65 win against Virginia Tech
• Added 11 points in the game against the Hokies for program’s first win against ACC foe
• Tallied a game-high 21 points versus Montana to lead Eagles to a 16-point victory
• Averaged 16 points and five assists per game on the week and shot .500 from the field

NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK: Sarah Hansen
• First A-Sun Newcomer of the Week award
• Helped FGCU to a 2-0 record at the Caribbean Challenge with 15 points and 5.5 rebounds
• Registered a career-high 19 points in the 73-65 win against Virginia Tech
• Added 11 points, six rebounds and two steals in a victory against Montana
• Shot .684 from all field goals and .667 from behind the arc

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. FGCU’s 60-48 win over Troy (Nov. 21) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 26 games. FGCU’s 26-game home winning streak is the third longest streak in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.

 Team

 Streak

1. UConn 

 66

2. Stanford 

 49

3. FGCU 

 26


We Must Protect This House
FGCU has a 121-9 (.931) all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 43-3 (.935) home record.

Year

Record

2010-11 

2-0 

2009-10 

14-0 

2008-09 

15-1 

2007-08 

12-2 

2006-07 

23-0 

2005-06 

17-1 

2004-05 

11-4 

2003-04 

12-1 

2002-03

15-0 

TOTAL

121-9 


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 43-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .935 winning percentage. Only Tennessee, who has a .942 winning percentage (327-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home.

Fillin’ the Stat Sheet
Playing in just her second game after suffering a knee injury in the final game of the 2009-10 season (at Miami; 3/18/10), junior Courtney Chihil came very close to becoming the first player in FGCU history to register a triple-double against Troy. Chihil’s dominating performance on both ends of the court featured 10 points, nine rebounds, seven steals and five assists over 37 minutes. Her seven steals were a career-high and also rank second all-time in the FGCU record books for steals in a single game.

Nation’s Best
FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2010-11 version of the Eagles is no different. FGCU ranks second in the nation in 3-pointers made per contest: per contest:

NCAA D-I TEAM - 3-Pointers Made Per Game Team 3-pt FG/gm
1. Villanova, 10.3
2. FGCU, 10.0
3. BYU, 9.2
    Central Arkansas 9.2

Three Is The Key
• The Eagles are 4-0 when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• FGCU are 4-0 when they drain five or more shots from behind the arc.
• The Blue and Green are also undefeated when they knock down more 3-point shots than their opponent.
• FGCU is holding their opponents to .238 (15-of-63) from behind the arc, while the Eagles have drained 40-of-133 (.301) three-pointers this season.
• FGCU took 76 three-pointers (made 26) in two games at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico (Nov 25 & 27).