Eagles Look to Extend Winning Streak at Troy
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Riding a six-game winning streak, the FGCU women’s basketball team will head to Troy, Ala. for a non-conference matchup at Troy. The Eagles (6-0, 2-0 A-Sun) and the Trojans (2-6, 0-1 Sun Belt) tip-off at 3 p.m.
FGCU (6-0, 2-0 A-Sun) @ Troy (2-6, 0-1 Sun Belt) Game Central
DATE/TIME: Sunday, Dec. 12, 2010/3 P.M. ET
SITE: Troy, Ala. - Sartain Hall
LIVE AUDIO: TroyTrojans.com
LIVE VIDEO: TroyTrojans.com
LIVE STATS: TroyTrojans.com
SERIES: 2nd Meeting: FGCU leads 1-0
KNOW YOUR OPPONENT: Troy
Sunday’s game will be the second time that Troy and Florida Gulf Coast have met. FGCU leads the all-time series 1-0.
Last Meeting: FGCU 60, Troy 48 (11/21/10 at Alico Arena)
Junior Kelsey Jacobson scored a game-high 17 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team defeated Troy, 60-48, on Sunday Nov. 21 at Alico Arena to extend their home winning streak to 26 games.
Jacobson led the Blue and Green with a season-high 17 points, while pulling down five rebounds. Junior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) finished with 10 points, nine boards, seven steals and five assists. Freshman Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) chipped in with eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and seven rebounds in her second collegiate start.
The Eagles stumbled out of the gate as the Trojans took a 14-9 lead with 9:17 to play in the half. Troy would go on to grab its biggest lead (eight points) of the game after a jumper from DeAngela Sword put them ahead 20-12 with 8:34 remaining in the first half.
The teams traded buckets and with Troy leading 20-17, Brooke Bowie knocked down a shot clock buzzer-beater to give the Trojans a 22-17 lead with 6:25 left in the opening stanza.
The Eagles responded in a big way as they went on a 12-2 run highlighted by three consecutive triples from Jacobson to take control of the game and grab a 29-24 lead. The Trojans ended the run on a lay-up with 1:47 to play in the opening half, before a Chihil free throw gave the Eagles a nine-point lead at the intermission, 35-26.
In the second half, the Eagles built their lead to as many as 16 points and went on to defeat the Trojans by 12 points (60-48) to pick up their second victory of the 2010-11 campaign.
The Eagles shot just 34.5 (20-of-58) percent from the floor and 27.3 (9-of-33) percent from beyond the arc.
FGCU News and Notes
FGCU will face Troy in their second meeting of the season on Sunday. The Eagles lead the all-time series against the Trojans (1-0). The Blue and Green are coming off their first A-Sun roadtrip of the 2010-11 campaign (at UNF and at JU). FGCU was extremely efficient shooting the ball and played lock down defense. The Eagles averaged 85.5 points and shot 60-of-106 (56.6-percent) from the floor and 23-of-46 (50-percent) from behind the three-point line, while limiting their opponents to just 31.3-percent (35-of-112) shooting from the field and 24.3-percent (9-of-37) from long distance. FGCU also outrebounded the opposition 75-66 and forced 41 turnovers.
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 a pair of blowout wins to open conference play, 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, Dec. 7. The Eagles hold the No. 3 spot for the second consecutive week.
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.
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)
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).
The Eagles are off to their best start since joining the Division I ranks in 2007-08. The FGCU women sit at 6-0 with wins over BCS foes Seton Hall and Virginia Tech.
The Eagles are now 2-2 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 and destroyed UNF 73-51 on Dec. 2 to pick up their first and second wins in Atlantic Sun Conference season openers.
¡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
FGCU vs. BCS opponents
FGCU is 4-8 all-time against BCS foes after picking up a wins over BIG EAST opponent Seton Hall and ACC foe Virginia Tech already this season. Prior to the win over Va. Tech in Cancun, the Eagles’ three wins over BCS opponents had all been in Fort Myers. The Eagles will play host to Big Ten opponent Indiana on Dec. 21.
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.
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.
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 .943 winning percentage (328-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena).
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.
In the program’s 9-year history (252 games), the Eagles have made at least one three-pointer in 251 contests.
FGCU has also hit at least one three-pointer in 139 consecutive games, with Feb. 21, 2006 at Lynn being the last time the squad went without a triple. During that span the Eagles have made 1,294 money balls while their opponents have knocked down just 694 three’s, which gives the Blue and Green an average of 12.9 points per game (600 total) more than the opposition off of three-pointers.
In games that they’ve drained double-digit 3’s, FGCU is 86-3 all-time and 41-4 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.
Ballin' Out Of Control
Sarah Hansen has been playing lights out over FGCU’s last four games. In FGCU’s last four contests, Hansen is averaging 17.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.5 apg and 2.0 spg in 27.3 minutes. She is also shooting a scorching 73.2-percent (30-of-41) from the field and 66.7-percent (4-of-6) from long distance.
Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself
Sarah Hansen signed with FGCU on April 27, 2009...but utilized a redshirt during the 2009-10 season. Hansen took all of last season to work on her game and become acclimated and comforable in Coach Smesko’s offense and it’s paying dividends in 2010-11.
Hansen is currently leading the team in scoring (14.3 ppg), field goal pct. (.698), 3pt field goal pct. (.571) and rebounds (6.3 rpg). The redshirt-freshman’s .698 shooting percentage leads the A-Sun and ranks her second in the nation, behind Boston College’s Carolyn Swords (.783).
Kelsey Jacobson might be the nation’s leader in total distance on shots, firing off 52 3-point attempts in the team’s first six games. She’s hitting them at a solid 36.5 percent clip (19-of-52), which is good for 13th in the A-Sun, and ranks tied for 13th in the nation with 3.2 three-point FG’s made per game.
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
Three Is The Key
• The Eagles are 5-0 when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• FGCU are 5-0 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 .235 (20-of-85) from behind the arc, while the Eagles have drained 52-of-160 (.325) three-pointers this season.
• FGCU took 76 combined three-pointers (made 26) in two games at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico (Nov 25 & 27).
8 Minutes of Pain
Over their last two contests, the Eagles have used huge runs from the 16-minute mark to the 8-minute mark to pull away from their opponents. The Blue and Green have outscored the opposition 42-11 over the last two games during that 8-minute span.
At UNF (12/2/10), FGCU used a 22-4 run (shot 7-of-10) to open up a big lead over the Ospreys.
At JU (12/4/10), FGCU used a 20-7 run (shot 8-of-9) to blow open the game with the Dolphins.
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