Eagles Look To Take Season Sweep At Mercer
FGCU (19-1, 12-1) @ Mercer (2-21, 2-12)
DATE: Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011
CITY: Fort Myers, Fla.
SITE: Alico Arena (4,500)
TIP-OFF: 2 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO: www.MERCERBEARS.com
LIVE STATS: www.MERCERBEARS.com
LIVE VIDEO: A-Sun.TV
SERIES: FGCU leads, 7-0
The Eagles begin their second-to-last Atlantic Sun road trip when they look to pick up a season sweep of the Bears of Mercer at the University Center on Feb. 12. The Blue and Green, who are 7-0 all-time vs. the Bears, look to extend their current winning streak to six games.
AWAY FROM HOME
FGCU has a 76-25 all-time record as the visiting team. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 32-18 road record.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
FGCU has not lost a home game in Alico Arena since January 8, 2009 against East Tennessee State University. FGCU’s 81-65 win over ETSU (Feb. 7) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 34 games. FGCU’s 34-game home winning streak is the third longest streak in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.
Sarah Hansen, Shannon Murphy and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 52.2 percent (37.2 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .437 (264-of-604) from the floor and .360 (114-of-317) from long distance.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
FGCU has a 129-9 all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 51-3 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 51-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .944 winning percentage. Only Tennessee, who has a .944 winning percentage (335-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena).
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 currently ranks first on the team in field goal pct. (.537) and rebounds (6.3 rpg) and scoring (13.2 ppg). The redshirt-freshman’s .537 shooting percentage leads the A-Sun and ranks her 29th in the nation.
FGCU IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 52-6 in games played in the month of February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 23-3 record in the month of February, 22-3 against A-Sun opponents.
With three players averaging double figure points and two more at 9.4 points per game or higher, FGCU is second the A-Sun in scoring at a 71.3 per game clip. The Eagles have scored 73 or more points 10 times this season and are the only A-Sun team with a scoring margin larger than two-points (+15.8). Five different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by eight from freshman Sarah Hansen and four from senior Shannon Murphy and juniors Eglah Griffin and Kelsey Jacobson.
GET READY, GET SET GO!
During its 12-1 start in A-Sun play, FGCU has gotten out of the gates quick to take control of the game. Over the first 20 minutes in each of their conference games, the Eagles are out-scoring their opponents 478-333. Fueling that big differential is the fact that FGCU is shooting 43.8 percent (172-393) from the floor, while limiting their opponents to 35.5 percent (124-349) clip with 149 turnovers. Senior Shannon Murphy and redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen have done the most damage individually in the first half, averaging 8.4 and 8.5 points, respectively, by the break. Three of FGCU’s 10 A-Sun opponents haven’t reached 20 points at the half.
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. Through its first 20 games, FGCU leads the nation with an average of 11.1 threes per game, a full trifecta in front of second place Fresno State (10.0). As a team, FGCU has sunk double-digit threes in 12 games this season, including 146 over its last 11 contests.
RANK TEAM, 3-PT FG/GAME
1. FGCU, 11.1
2. Fresno State, 10.0
3. Samford, 8.5
4. UT Martin, 8.3
THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 16-1 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Blue and Green are 19-1 on the year when they drain five or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is undefeated in 2010-11 when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.
• Nine of the 11 players who have seen time this season have at least two threes.
LEADER OF THE PACK
With 65 of her 75 made field goals come from beyond the arc this season, junior Kelsey Jacobson ranks first in the A-Sun (6th in the nation) at 3.25 treys per game. Jacobson has knocked down 65-of-172 three-pointers this season to also rank fifth in the league at a 37.8 clip. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 19 of 20 games, highlighted by a 6-of-7 night against FIU that tied a career-high for makes.
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 222 threes this season compared to just 80 from its opponents. Led by junior Kelsey Jacobson’s 3.25 trifectas per contest, seven different players have made 10 or more shots from long range. Junior Eglah Griffin leads the A-Sun in three point percentage (.426), while Shannon Murphy (2.00) is 7th in the conference in 3-pointers made per game. FGCU is the only team in the A-Sun with four players in the top 7 in three-pointers made.
MAKING A LIVING FROM LONG RANGE
It’s no secret that junior Kelsey Jacobson is FGCU’s top three-point threat. Through 80 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 218 three-pointers and on Feb. 7 vs. ETSU, she became FGCU’s all-time leader in three-pointers. Jacobson has made a three in 36 straight games, 53 of her last 54 contests and 75 of 80 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 41 times, 5+ threes on 11 occasions and a career-best of six three times.
In the program’s nine-year history (266) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 265 contests, including 153 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 153-game run, the Blue and Green have knocked down 1,453 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 750 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 94-6 all-time and 49-4 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.
GRIFFIN CAN SHOOT WITH THE BEST OF ‘EM
Eglah Griffin’s three point percentage (.426) leads the team and Atlantic Sun, but it also ranks her among the nations best shooters. The junior, who has knocked down 43-of-101 three-point attempts, ranks 17th in the country in three-point percentage.
The FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down a 2010-11 NCAA single-game high 20 three-pointers on a NCAA Division I record 55 long range attempts in their 87-52 Atlantic Sun win over Mercer on Jan. 17 at Alico Arena.
The Eagles’ 20 three-point makes fell one short of the NCAA record of 21 set by New Mexico State against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 23, 2002. The 20 threes were also an A-Sun record, as FGCU made 10 in each half, highlighted by a 10-for-21 clip in the final frame in which it out-scored the Bears 50-26.
FGCU RANKED #3 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team jumped up to the No. 3 spot in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday evening. The Blue and Green ranked No. 4 last week and have grabbed a spot in the top three on nine occasions during the 2010-11 campaign.
The Eagles, the nation’s leader in three-pointers made per game, are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in this week’s Mid-Major Top 25.
The FGCU women’s basketball team received 6 votes in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll to rank No. 33.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Already shooting at an A-Sun-best 42.1 percent from the field, FGCU sports the conference’s lowest turnover per game rate at 14.1. The Eagles have had a positive assist/turnover ratio in 12 of their last 18 games resulting in a +7.85 turnover margin also best in the A-Sun. Junior Courtney Chihil, who is seventh in the A-Sun in assists (4.20), leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at +1.95 thanks to passing out 62 helpers to just 32 giveaways over the last 15 games. Senior Shannon Murphy is right behind Chihil in second place with a +1.54 ratio while ranking fourth in the A-Sun at 4.40 assists per game.
In 578 minutes of action this season, Kelsey Jacobson has launched 198 shots and assisted on 54 field goals, while turning the ball over just 19 times.
The Eagles are 2-0 in TV games (CSS) this season. Sarah Hansen scored a game-high 18 points as FGCU won at Belmont, 67-50, in the CSS/Atlantic Sun Game of the Week (Jan. 31). In FGCU’s second CSS Game of the Week, all five starters scored in double figures and the Eagles drained 15 three-pointers en route to an 81-65 Atlantic Sun win over ETSU.
EAGLE FANS...COME ON DOWN!
In the Feb. 7 CSS Game of the Week vs. ETSU, which was also FGCU’s “Pink Zone” and “Pack the House” game, the Eagles saw a program regular season record 2,921 fans come out to support the team.
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