Hansen's 21 Points Leads FGCU to a Hard-Fought Road Win at Belmont
Friday, January 13, 2012 | by Mike Hill (mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Florida Gulf Coast (15-2, 7-0 A-Sun)
Belmont (4-13, 3-3 A-Sun)
1/12/2012 | Curb Event Center (Nashville, Tenn.) | Attendance: 319
Florida Gulf Coast282957
Stats at a GlanceFGCUBEL
FG Percentage.425 (17-40) .417 (20-48)
3P FG Percentage.429 (9-21) .313 (5-16)
FT Percentage.700 (14-20) .714 (5-7)
Offensive Rebounds411
Defensive Rebounds1822
Total Rebounds2233
Bench Points224
Statistical LeadersFGCUBEL
PointsHANSEN - 21
ReboundsHANSEN - 5
AssistsJACOBSON - 4
StealsCHIHIL - 3
BlocksKNIGHT - 3

NASHVILLE, TENN. – Sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa.General McLane HS) scored a game-high 21 points, including 10 in the last 4:24, as the FGCU women’s basketball team scratched and clawed their way to a 57-50 win over A-Sun foe Belmont on the road Thursday night at the Curb Event Center.

With the win, FGCU improves to 15-2 overall (7-0 A-Sun), while the Bruins fall to 4-13 (3-3 A-Sun) on the season. The Eagles are now 7-1 all-time against Belmont and 72-8 all-time in games played in the month of January.

The Eagles, who lead the nation in three-point field goals per game (12.2), knocked down 9-of-21 shots from behind the arc. The nine triples by FGCU marks just the fourth time this season the team has not drained double digit three-pointers in a game. Four different players made at least one trey for the Green and Blue, led by redshirt-freshman Amber Rechis’ (Martin, Tenn./Westview HS) 3-of-4 night.

Hansen scored 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe, while also adding five boards and two steals. Freshman Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds HS) chipped in with 12 points, five rebounds, three blocks and a pair of assists in 26 minutes off the bench. Senior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) finished with 11 points, four assists and two rebounds. Jacobson, the A-Sun’s all-time leader and the nation’s leader (among active players) in career three-pointers (305), hit 3-of-8 shots from behind the arc and has now made 28-of-41 (.683) shots from long distance over the last six contests.

Haley Nelson notched her seventh double-double of the season with 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Tristan Daniel notched 10 points and seven boards in the loss.

Belmont shot out to a quick 9-0 lead thanks to seven FGCU turnovers. Trailing 9-0 with 15:00 left in the opening half, the Eagles used a 22-5 run, highlighted by 10 points and solid defense from Knight, to take a 22-14 advantage with under nine minutes left in the half. The Bruins responded with an 8-2 run to cut the Green and Blue’s lead down to 23-22 with 2:52 left in the opening stanza. FGCU got a layup from Hansen and a triple from Jacobson and outscored Belmont 5-2 over the final 2:37 of the period to take a 28-24 lead into the locker room at the intermission.

FGCU shot 11-of-22 (50 percent) from the floor and 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) from behind the arc in the opening frame, while Belmont hit 41.7 percent (10-of-24) of their shots from the field and were forced into 11 turnovers in the first half.

After a slow start to the second half, the Eagles allowed Belmont to take a 46-45 lead on a layup from Nelson with 5:45 left in regulation. Hansen responded in a big way with a quick 4-0 run to give FGCU a 49-46 lead with just under four minutes remaining in the game. After Nelson knocked in a pair from the charity stripe to cut the Green and Blue’s lead down to one point (51-50), senior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) hit Hansen in stride for a layup off a curl cut (53-50) with 53 second left in regulation. The Eagles got a pair of huge defensive stops on Belmont’s next two possessions and went on to pick up the 57-50 win.

The Green and Blue will return to the court to take on the Bisons of Lipscomb (3-14, 1-5 A-Sun) on Jan. 14 at 5:00 pm ET.