FGCU Set to Host A-Sun Foe UNF in a 'Battle of the Birds'
Sunday, January 06, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@Mike_Hill84)
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
UNF (6-9, 2-2 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (11-5, 4-0 A-Sun)
1/7/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1660
Florida Gulf Coast203353
Stats at a GlanceUNFFGCU
FG Percentage.390 (16-41) .302 (16-53)
3P FG Percentage.200 (2-10) .188 (6-32)
FT Percentage.800 (8-10) .833 (15-18)
Offensive Rebounds310
Defensive Rebounds2821
Total Rebounds3131
Bench Points110
Statistical LeadersUNFFGCU
PointsLAMAR - 11
ReboundsLAMAR - 7
AssistsJOSIL - 3
StealsCONNER - 1
BlocksKERR - 1

FGCU (10-5, 3-0 A-SUN) vs. UNF (6-8, 2-1 A-SUN)
Monday, January 7, 2012
5:15 p.m.
Fort Myers, Fla.
Alico Arena (4,500)
Live Video:
Live Stats:
Twitter Hashtags:
Current Streak:
At Home:
Last 5:
vs. UNF:
11th Meeting, FGCU leads 8-2
Last Meeting:
Jacksonville, Fla. - Feb. 2, 2012 - FGCU 72, Jacksonville 61

FGCU Head Coach:
Karl Smesko (Kent State ‘93)
Career Record:
332-81 (14th Season)
Record at FGCU:
271-54 (11th Season)

UNF Head Coach: Mary Tappmeyer (SUNY-Cortland ‘81)
Career Record:
385-384 (28th Season)
Record at UNF:
290-299 (21st Season)

After being a finalist for the 2011 award, FGCU’s KARL SMESKO was named the recipient of the 2012 Kay Yow Coach of the Year award on April 9, 2012. Smesko is the first FGCU head coach to earn a Division I National Coach of the Year honor.

Smesko, who earned his third A-Sun Coach of the Year honor and was also named 2012 CollegeSportsMadness.com Mid-Major and A-Sun Coach of the Year, led FGCU to one of the most historic season in its Division I history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament and earning a No. 12 seed in the Raleigh Region. The Eagles finished with a 29-3 overall record that included a league-first 18-0 mark in the A-Sun.

The Kay Yow Award was established in 2010 to honor the Division I women’s head coach who embodies not only a winning spirit but who also displays great character both on and off the court.

Yow was a coaching legend who led NC State to 737 wins during her 34 seasons at the school. She was wildly successful in every forum in which she coached, leading gold medal winners at the 1981 World University Games, the 1986 Goodwill Games, 1986 World Championship Games and the 1988 Olympic Games.

Past Recipients
2011 -
Matt Bollant, Green Bay
2010 -
Connie Yori, Nebraska

Riding an overall four-game winning streak and a 21-game A-Sun winning streak, that dates back to the 2011-12 season when they finished 18-0, the Eagles are set to host their second game of 2013 on Monday night (Jan. 7). The Eagles will welcome the Ospreys of UNF to ‘The Nest’ for a 5:15 p.m. matchup.

After hosting UNF, the Eagles hit the road for a pair of conference games. FGCU will face ETSU on Jan. 12 (1:30 p.m.), before heading to Spartanburg, S.C. to take on the USC Upstate Spartans on Jan. 14 (7 p.m.).

#5 Sarah Hansen (F)

• 2nd in the A-Sun in points per game (17.3)
• Scored in double figures in 14 of the team’s 15 games
• Scored a career-high 30 points in FGCU’s upset of LSU (Dec. 28)
#23 Betsy Adams (G)

• 3rd on the team in scoring in conference play (13.7)
• Shooting 52.9% from 3-point range in A-Sun play
• Scored 20 points in a win at Mercer (Jan. 2)
#21 Jaime Gluesing (G)

• Shooting .444 from the field and .375 from behind the arc
• Started five games this season
• Fifth on the team in rebounds per game (2.1)
#24 Brittany Kennedy (G)

• Registered a double-double (11 pts, 10 rebs) at Mercer (Jan. 2)
• Led the team in assists in 12 of the 14 games she’s played in
• Averaging 14.3 points in conference play
#30 Joyce Iamstrong (G)

• 11th in the conference in 3-pt field goal percentage (.365)
• 11th in the conference in field goal percentage (.421)
• Averaging 9.9 points and 3.7 rebounds this season

LAST TIME OUT (Jan. 2): Eagles Force 25 Turnovers in 74-57 Win Over Jacksonville
Redshirt junior Sarah Hansen scored 20 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team shot 50 percent from the field and forced JU into 25 turnovers en route to a 74-57 Atlantic Sun Conference victory over Jacksonville Saturday night at Alico Arena.  •  With the win, FGCU, winners of 21 straight A-Sun games, improved to 10-5 overall and 3-0 in the A-Sun, while JU fell to 6-8 overall (2-1 A-Sun). The victory also improved the Green and Blue’s record against Jacksonville at Alico Arena (6-0) and in the all-time series with the Dolphins (10-1).  •  The Eagles, who average 8.1 three-point field goals per game this season, knocked down seven shots from behind the arc, led two treys from both Betsy Adams and Joyce Iamstrong.  •  Hansen turned in 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. Senior Brittany Kennedy registered 19 points, five assists, five steals and four rebounds in 33 minutes. Adams recorded 12 points, five steals and three boards, while Iamstrong finished with nine points and nine rebounds.

• FGCU leads the all-time series, 8-2.

• Prior to their loss at Stetson (Jan.5), North Florida’s 2-0 start in conference play was the program’s best start in four years. In the Ospreys first two conference games they held their opponents to an average of 52.5 points.

• UNF’s Jadhken Kerr is now tied at No. 5 in the A-Sun record books with 236 career three-pointers

• In their last outing (at Stetson), UNF fell to the Hatters, 71-57. UNF was outshot and out-rebounded. The Ospreys were 35.3 percent (18-for-51) from the field and grabbed 31 boards. Stetson shot 46.7 percent (28-for-60) and pulled down 35 rebounds.

FGCU’s 63-56 win at Virginia Tech (Dec. 16) and 76-70 win vs. LSU (Dec. 28) marked the Eagles’ sixth and seventh wins over BCS conference opposition in last three seasons.

2012-13: Virginia Tech, LSU
2011-12: Michigan State, Virginia Tech
2010-11: Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Indiana

• FGCU has an all-time record of 78-8 in games played in January.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 42-6 record in the month of January, all vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

In their sixth year in Division I and as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Eagles are 4-2 in A-Sun openers, with five of those contests coming on the road. FGCU, with a 62-35 win at KSU (Dec. 31),  won their fourth consecutive conference opener, with the average margin of victory being 26.4 points.

Prior to their 60-53 loss to UCF (Dec. 22), FGCU had won 16 consecutive games at ‘The Nest’ at Alico Arena dating back to last season. The Eagles’ 16-game home winning streak ranked 9th in the nation behind Stanford (82), Baylor (45), Kentucky (27), Ohio St. (26), Central Arkansas (19), Chattanooga (18), Mississippi Valley (18) and Fresno State (17).

In the program’s 11-year history, the Eagles have compiled a 155-11 record at Alico Arena, including an impressive 47-1 record in Atlantic Sun home games. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 80-5 home record. Some notable home wins for FGCU came over LSU (Dec. 2012), Va. Tech (Dec. 2011), Michigan St. (Nov. 2011), Indiana (Dec. 10) and Florida (Nov. 2008).

The five losses, since moving to Division I, have come at the hands of Florida St. (Nov. 2007), Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 2007), ETSU (Jan. 2009), Florida (Mar. 2011) and UCF (Dec. 2012).

129 of FGCU’s 154 wins at Alico Arena have come by at least double digits, while 58 of the Eagles’ 76 Division I home wins have come by at least 10 points.

Year          Record
2012-13     5-1
2011-12     13-0
2010-11     18-1
2009-10     14-0
2008-09     15-1
2007-08     12-2
2006-07     23-0
2005-06     17-1
2004-05     11-4
2003-04     12-1
2002-03     15-0
TOTAL       155-11

The Green and Blue own a 5-0 record at Alico Arena against North Florida. The Eagles average 65.8 points per game in Fort Myers, while the Ospreys average 44.0 points.

The last time the two squads met in Alico Arena (Jan. 7, 2012), Kelsey Jacobson scored a game-high 14 points, as the Eagles knocked down 11 triples, en route to a 68-34 blowout win.

With an RPI as low as 49 and a strength of schedule (SOS) as low as 40, FGCU was predicted as the No. 14 seed, playing No. 3 seed Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament in College Sports Madness’ Bracketology (Dec. 24).

Outlet (Date)                                           RPI      Strength of Schedule (SOS)     

NCAA                                                        --      --
Real Time (Jan. 6)                                    49      40
WarrenNolan.com (Jan. 6)                          50      52

SARAH HANSEN became the 6th player in program history to score 1,000 career points when she scored a layup with 12:59 remaining in the first half in FGCU’s 79-49 win over Maine at Alico Arena on Dec. 1.

Hansen, who currently has 1,143 points, ranks 4th in the FGCU record books behind her former teammate Shannon Murphy (1,185).

In the ‘Weekly Wrap’ by ESPN’s Graham Hayes (Dec. 30), the SARAH HANSEN Eagles got some love for their 76-70 upset of LSU (Dec. 28).

Here’s what Hayes said:

Sarah Hansen, Florida Gulf Coast:
This is why it isn’t easy for good mid-major programs to convince major programs to pay them visits. Florida Gulf Coast beat LSU 76-70 on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla., an upset at least as measured by name recognition. The leading scorer a season ago on a Florida Gulf Coast team that reached the NCAA tournament in its first season of eligibility, Hansen totaled 30 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals against LSU. The Eagles use the 3-point shot and are suffering for it this season (28 percent accuracy, compared to 37 percent a season ago), but Hansen is an all-around scorer who showed it in a win people will notice.

FGCU is nationally known for their 3-point prowess, but one thing that gets overlooked when people talk about the Eagles is their defense. The Eagles lead the A-Sun conference in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 55.7 points per contest. In conference games, FGCU has held their three opponenets to just 44.3 points per game

On Dec. 31 at Kennesaw State the Green and Blue held the Owls to 35 points. Kennesaw’s 35 points are the fewest the Eagles have allowed to a Division I opponent since UNF (Jan. 7, 2012) and Belmont (Feb. 11, 2012) managed just 34 points against FGCU. KSU’s effort marked the fourth time this season that the Green and Blue have held the opposition below 50 points.

The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team fell three spots to the No. 12 position in the eighth edition of the 2012-13 CollegeInsider.com Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Wednesday (Dec. 26). The Eagles were ranked No. 9 in last week’s poll.

Gonzaga, receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, along with Chattanooga, Delaware, Green Bay and Toledo hold the top five spots in the poll.

The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt and West Coast Conference.

The Green and Blue are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in the Top 25 and are the only A-Sun school to receive votes.

After averaging just 1.3 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 6.0 minutes of action as a junior transfer in 2011-12, JOYCE IAMSTRONG put in a lot of work on her game over the summer and is arguably the most improved player in the nation.

This season, Iamstrong is averaging 9.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 29.7 minutes. The Chicago, Ill., native is also shooting .737 from the charity stripe, .421 from the field and .365 from behind the arc, a drastic improvement from her first year in the Green and Blue.

Against LSU on Dec. 28, SARAH HANSEN finished with a career-high and game-high 30 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, 2-of-4 from long distance and a perfect 14-of-14 from the charity stripe.

Her performance marked the second 30-point performance in FGCU’s Division I history (11th all-time) and the first since Feb. 12, 2009 (Adrianne McNally vs. Kennesaw St.; 32 points). The FGCU single game scoring record of 38 points is held by Andrea Clarke (vs. Molloy College; Dec. 18, 2004).

Hansen’s perfect night from the free-throw line tied her for first place in the FGCU record books for percentage in a single-game and is the most free-throws made in a game without a miss. 

Freshman DYTIESHA DUNSON, who started working at backup point guard after sophomore phenom WHITNEY KNIGHT was hurt only three days before the start of practice this fall, played in her first collegiate game at Richmond (Dec. 19) after missing the first nine games of the season due to a knee injury. Dunson, who had successful knee surgery in early November for a torn meniscus, played seven minutes and finished with two boards and a steal against the Spiders.

FGCU is currently first in the A-Sun in scoring defense (55.7), scoring margin (+10.7), assists (14.9), steals (11.5), turnover margin (+5.40), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1) and three-point field goals made per game (8.1).

SARAH HANSEN, BRITTANY KENNEDY and JOYCE IAMSTRONG have combined to account for 57.1 percent (37.9 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .476 (198-of-416) from the floor and .308 (40-of-130) from long distance.

Averaging 66.4 points per game (2nd in the A-Sun), the Eagles lead the league with a +5.40 turnover margin. Brittany Kennedy, who ranks 2nd in the A-Sun in assists (5.6), is first in the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 1.8. SARAH HANSEN is fifth in the A-Sun with a 1.0 ratio, while ranking sixth in the league at 3.1 assists per game.

Redshirt senior point guard BRITTANY KENNEDY is among 15 women’s basketball student-athletes from around the nation on the initial “Players Making the Buzz” watch list for the 2013 Nancy Lieberman Award, it was announced the week of Dec. 17. The honor annually recognizes the top point guard in NCAA Division I women’s basketball and is sponsored by the Detroit Rotary Club.

The “Buzz List” is simply a collection of names that have been brought to the award committee’s attention from the public. The list is strictly developed to encourage dialogue amongst their website visitors and the basketball community. It does not represent any type of endorsement of any player listed or negative connotation of any player not listed.

Award criteria include floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills - all of which personified Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman during her career. Sportswriters from across the country determine the list of the final nominees and also the award winner and finalists, who will be announced in April. The winner will be honored at a luncheon on April 17 at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Past winners of the Lieberman Award include Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame, 2012), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga, 2011), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut, 2009), Kristi Toliver (Maryland, 2008), Lindsey Harding (Duke, 2007), Ivory Latta (North Carolina, 2006), Temeka Johnson (LSU, 2005), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut, 2003-04) and Sue Bird (Connecticut, 2000-02).

2013 Players Making the Buzz - Nancy Lieberman Award
Rachel Banham, Minnesota; Alex Bentley, Penn St.; Calli Berna, Arkansas; Tiffany Bias, Oklahoma St.; Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame; Ariana Elegado, Cal Poly St.; Jamierra Faulkner, Southern Mississippi; Chelsea Gray, Duke; Ny Hammonds, UNC-Charlotte; Brittany Kennedy, FGCU; Taleya Mayberry, Tulsa; Lindsey Moore, Nebraska; Mo Moran, Boston Univ.; Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall; Odyssey Sims, Baylor

Senior BRITTANY KENNEDY and redshirt junior SARAH HANSEN give FGCU one of the top scoring tandems in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 28.0 points, 13.7 rebounds, 8.7 assists and 5.0 steals per game.

A-Sun Top Scoring Tandems
McGowan/Sanders (Stetson) - 30.1 ppg
Bridges/Grant (Mercer) - 28.4 ppg
Hansen/KENNEDY (FGCU) - 28.0 ppg

Mitchell/McQueen (ETSU) - 22.9 ppg
Hopper/Thacker (NKU) - 22.6 ppg

• The duo has reached double figures in same game seven times with FGCU going 7-0.

The reigning A-Sun Preseason Defensive Player of the Year BRITTANY KENNEDY has lived up to the honor thus far this season. The Spokane, Wash. native averaged 2.4 steals per contest (60 steals; 25 games) as a redshirt junior in 2011-12 - good for first in program single-season history and third-best in the A-Sun - and is on pace to eclipse that total this year.

This season she has recorded 44 steals in 14 games (3.1 per game; 1st in A-Sun) and averages 6.0 rebounds a game. Kennedy ranked 42nd in the nation in steals thru games played on Jan. 3.

Kennedy, known for her lock-down defense on opposing guards, held Jerica Coley, a 2012 Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention and the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year that averaged 23.4 points per game, to just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting in their matchup on Nov. 14. She also shutdown VT’s leading scorer Monet Tellier (12.9ppg) and held her to two points on 0-for-8 shooting from the floor (Dec. 16).

Kennedy most recently shutdown Kennesaw State’s’ third leading scorer (10.7 ppg) who had recorded four straight double-digit scoring performances. Ashley Holliday, was frustrated all afternoon (Dec. 31) by Kennedy and turned in five points, zero assists and 11 turnovers.

Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Florida, the Eagles (10-5) rank t-fifth for the most victories in the state.

School                Record
Florida State       (12-2)
Miami                 (12-2)
Florida                (12-4)
USF                    (11-2)
Stetson              (10-4)
FGCU                 (10-5)

FIU                    (9-5)
FAU                    (8-5)
Jacksonville        (6-8)
UNF                    (6-8)
UCF                   (6-8)
Bethune-Cookman (5-7)
FAMU                 (3-10)

Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 122 threes this season compared to just 66 from its opponents. Led by BETSY ADAMS’ 1.9 trifectas per contest, 12 different players have made at least one shot from long range. The Eagles, who lead the conference in three-point field goals made per game (8.1), have two players (Adams & JOYCE IAMSTRONG; 1.9 & 1.5) ranked in the A-Sun’s top-10 in the same category.

In the program’s 11-year history (325) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 324 contests, including 212 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 212-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 2,045 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 961 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 120-8 all-time and 75-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

The FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down an all-time NCAA record and 2011-12 NCAA single-game high 21 three-pointers on 51 long range attempts in their 106-27 over NAIA foe Webber International on Nov. 28, 2011 at Alico Arena. The Eagles’ 21 three-point ranks them tied for first place tie all-time with New Mexico State. The Aggies drained 21 triples against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 23, 2002. The 21 threes are also an A-Sun record, as FGCU made six treys in the first half and 15 in the second.

FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2012-13 version of the Eagles is no different. Through games played on Jan. 3rd, FGCU ranked 11th in the nation with an average of 8.2 threes per game. As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in three games this season.

RANK            TEAM               3-PT FG/GAME
1.                 Missouri           9.5
2.                 UConn             9.3
3.                 Boston U.         9.0
4.                 Creighton         8.9
5.                 UT Martin         8.9
11.               FGCU               8.2

• The Green and Blue are 10-4 on the year when they drain six or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 8-4 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.

The Eagles, who own the A-Sun’s single season record for three-pointers (350; 2010-11), set a pair of NCAA records last season (2011-12).

FGCU, with their seven trifectas vs. St. Bonaventure in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (Mar. 18, 2012), set the NCAA record for three-pointers in a season (342) and three-pointers made per game (10.7).

FGCU’s 350 trifectas in 2010-11 weren’t a NCAA record because the Eagles were ineligible to set NCAA records due to the 4-year reclassifying period.