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FGCU Earns No. 12 Seed, Faces No. 5 St. Bonaventure in NCAA Tournament
Monday, March 12, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The No. 27 FGCU women's basketball team (29-2) is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time as a Division I program, as the Eagles received a No. 12 seed in the Raleigh Region and will face No. 5 St. Bonaventure (29-3) on Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2 at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Fla.

It marks the highest seeding for an A-Sun team since 1998, when FIU earned a No. 7 seed. The Green and Blue completed a conference sweep by taking the regular season with an A-Sun first-ever 18-0 record and picking up a 67-39 victory over second-seeded and 20-game winner Stetson in the conference postseason finale.

FGCU is required to purchase a minimum number of tickets. Hence, Eagle fans are strongly encouraged to purchase their reserved tickets through the FGCU Ticket Office. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FGCU ticket office between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 239-590-7145, in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by ordering online at www.fgcuathletics.com/tickets. Adult tickets are $30 for both days and $18 for one day, while student and youth (17 & under) tickets are $12 per day.

The FGCU-St. Bonaventure winner will advance to the second round to face the winner of No. 4 seed Georgia (22-8) and No. 13 seed Marist (25-7) on Tuesday, March 20 (7 p.m.) at the Tucker Center.

With a program Division I record 29 wins already in hand, FGCU owns of the nation’s third longest winning streak (21) entering the tournament, sitting behind Baylor (34) and Stanford (28). The Eagles also have the fifth best winning percentage (.935) in Division I. Among FGCU’s record 29 wins, is a 59-58 victory on Nov. 19, 2011 over Michigan State, who earned a No. 10 seed in the Raleigh Region.

The matchup pins two of the eight teams in Division I that finished with perfect regular season conference records. FGCU 18-0 conference mark was just the third-ever unblemished season in A-Sun history while the Bonnies posted a 14-0 record in the A-10.

Making their first A-Sun postseason appearance in their first year of postseason eligibility, FGCU became only the third team in A-Sun history to win the Atlantic Sun Championship in its first appearance. The 67-39 win over Stetson in the A-Sun Championship, which was the Green and Blue’s 21st consecutive, helping FGCU become just the second team to post an A-Sun undefeated regular season and win the Championship Title (FIU; 1993).

The Bonnies are 29-3 overall and became the first squad in school history to win a regular season A-10 title. Under the leadership of head coach Jim Crowley, who is in his 12th year at the helm, St. Bonaventure went a combined 5-2 against six teams that made this year’s NCAA Tournament field of 64. The Bonnies, ranked No. 21 in last week’s AP Top 25, climbed out of a 22-point hole, but fell to Dayton (56-53) in the championship game of the Buick Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship. 

For the second straight year, FGCU leads the nation in three-point field goals per game at a 10.8 clip. The Green and Blue need just six three-pointers to break the NCAA record for three-pointers in a season (340), which is currently held by the 2009-10 Morehead St. team. FGCU’s 10.8 threes per game is on pace to break the same Morehead State team’s single-season record of 10.3 trifectas per contest.

The two teams boast the top two three-point shooters in the nation in Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) and SBU’s Jessica Jenkins. Jenkins is the Division I active leader with 331 career triples, while Jacobson has knocked down 329 shots from behind the arc. Both players are the all-time three-point leaders in their respective conferences.