Hansen's Clutch Free-Throw Gives FGCU 59-58 Win Over Michigan State
|Florida Gulf Coast||39||20||59|
|Stats at a Glance||MSU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.397 (23-58)||.327 (17-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.304 (7-23)||.324 (12-37)|
|FT Percentage||.556 (5-9)||.867 (13-15)|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) knocked down a clutch free-throw with 0.4 seconds left on the clock to lift the FGCU women’s basketball team a 59-58 victory over Michigan State in front of 3,108 fans at Alico Arena.
With the win the Green and Blue move to 2-1 overall, while the Spartans fall to 3-2 on the season. FGCU is now 2-1 all-time against the Big Ten and 1-1 all-time against MSU.
The Green and Blue, who led the nation in three-point field goals per game last season, knocked down 12 trifectas on the night. Six different players made at least one trey for the Eagles, led by freshman Whitney Knight’s (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds HS) 4-of-6 night.
Hansen finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds in 37 minutes. The Edinboro, Pa. native shot 5-of-8 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. Knight, in 25 solid minutes off the FGCU bench, registered 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and three blocks. Seniors Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) and Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) finished with nine points and eight points, respectively.
Lykendra Johnson led Michigan State with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
MSU jumped out to an early 13-10 lead after Kiana Johnson knocked down a three-pointer at the 12:40 mark. FGCU then responded with a 17-4 run, highlighted by six points and a pair of assists from Knight, to take a 27-17 lead with 6:54 left in the half. Michigan State fought back and cut the Green and Blue’s lead down to six points (31-25) with just 2:12 remaining in the opening half. The Eagles, who held the Spartans scoreless over the final two minutes of the first period, ended the half on an 8-0 run to head into the locker room with a 14-point (39-25) lead. Hansen scored five points and Knight knocked down a triple with 35 seconds left on the clock to cap the run.
FGCU shot 11-of-29 (37.9 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 8-of-23 (34.8 percent) from long distance.
A 28-8 run to open the second half helped the Spartans erase FGCU’s lead and take a 53-47 advantage with 8:45 left in regulation. FGCU employed a 9-2 run, capped by a Hansen three-pointer, to regain control of the game with just over five minutes left in the second half (56-55). A layup from MSU’s Courtney Schiffauer gave the Spartans back the lead (57-56) with just 2:03 remaining in the game.
With only 17 seconds remaining in the game Hansen snagged an offensive rebound and drained a pair of free-throws after she was fouled on the put back to push FGCU in front 58-57. MSU pushed the ball up the court and Lykendra Johnson was fouled with six seconds left. Johnson made the first free-throw, but missed the second. Hansen quickly grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball coast-to-coast and was fouled with just 0.4 seconds left in regulation. After her first attempt rimmed out, Hansen calmly drained the second free-throw to give FGCU the 59-58 win.
The Green and Blue will return to the court on Friday, Nov. 25 when they welcome Richmond (3-0) to Alico Arena. Tip is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.
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