FGCUAthletics.com
@FGCU_WBB Looks to Extend Winning Streak Against USC Upstate on ESPN3
Friday, February 08, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@Mike_Hill84)
Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson
USC Upstate (9-14 5-7 A-Sun)
at
Florida Gulf Coast (19-5 12-0 A-Sun)
2/9/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 3461
1st2ndFinal
USC Upstate272249
Florida Gulf Coast403272
Stats at a GlanceUPSTFGCU
FG Percentage.465 (20-43) .444 (24-54)
3P FG Percentage.167 (1-6) .263 (5-19)
FT Percentage.667 (8-12) .655 (19-29)
Offensive Rebounds1014
Defensive Rebounds2015
Total Rebounds3029
Turnovers2712
Steals613
Bench Points2120
Statistical LeadersUPSTFGCU
PointsHICKS - 12
HANSEN - 15
ReboundsSTARLING - 5
HANSEN - 7
AssistsSMITH - 4
KENNEDY - 4
StealsCOPNEY - 3
KENNEDY - 4
BlocksMcROBERTS - 1
GLUESING - 2
KENNEDY - 2

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
FGCU (18-5, 11-0 A-SUN) vs. USC Upstate (9-13, 5-6 A-SUN)
Date:
Saturday, February 9, 2012
Time:
7:30 p.m.
City:
Fort Myers, Fla.
Site:
Alico Arena (4,500)
Live Stats:
FGCUAthletics.com
Live Video:
ESPN3.com/WatchESPN App (Free)
Talent:
Paul Crane & Dee Romine
Twitter:
@FGCU_WBB
Twitter Hashtags:
#ASUNWBB/#FGCU/#PlayLikeAnEagle/#GogglesUp
Current Streak:
W12
At Home:
9-1
Last 5:
5-0
Last 10:
10-0
Last 15:
14-1
vs. Upstate:
11th Meeting; FGCU leads 8-2
Last Meeting:
FGCU 77, Upstate 54 | Jan. 14, 2013 at the Hodge Center

COACHING MATCHUP
FGCU Head Coach:
Karl Smesko (Kent State ‘93)
Career Record:
340-81 (14th Season)
Record at FGCU:
279-54 (11th Season)
A-Sun Record:
93-12

Head Coach: Tammy George (Charlotte ‘93)
Career Record:
142-148 (10th Season)
Record at USC Upstate:
99-127 (8th Season)
A-Sun Record:
49-56

KAY YOW NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
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

AT A GLANCE
Riding an overall 12-game winning streak and a league record 29-game A-Sun conference winning streak, that dates back to the 2011-12 season when they finished 18-0, the Eagles are set to host the Spartans of USC Upstate (Feb. 9) in a game that can be seen live on ESPN3. Tip off at Alico Arena is set for 7:30 p.m.

UP NEXT
After battling the Spartans on Saturday night, the Eagles will host ETSU at ‘The Nest’ (Feb. 11; 7:05 p.m.), before hitting the road for the final three regular season A-Sun contests (at Lipscomb, at NKU, at Stetson).

STARTING 5 QUICK HITS
#5 Sarah Hansen (F)

• 3rd in the A-Sun in points per game (16.6)
• Scored in double figures in 21 of the team’s 23 games
• Scored a career-high 30 points in FGCU’s upset of LSU (Dec. 28)
#13 Anthi Chatzigiakoumi (F)

• Made her first collegiate start at ETSU (Jan. 12)
• Registered a career-high 17 points vs. NKU (Jan. 19)
• Hit 3 of FGCU’s 22 triples at ETSU (Jan. 12)
#21 Jaime Gluesing (G)

• Shooting .475 from the field and .443 from behind the arc
• 2nd in the conference in 3-pt percentage (.500) - A-Sun Games Only
• Led the team in scoring in two of the last three outings
#24 Brittany Kennedy (G)

• Registered 14 points and 8 assists vs. Stetson (Jan. 26)
• Led the team in assists in 17 of the 22 games she’s played in
• Dished career-high 12 assists at ETSU (Jan. 12)
#30 Joyce Iamstrong (G)

• 8th in the conference in 3-pt field goal percentage (.360)
• 15th in the conference in field goal percentage (.421)
• Averaging 10.2 points and 4.0 rebounds this season

LAST TIME OUT (FEB. 4): FGCU Uses Strong 2nd Half to Defeat UNF & Extend Winning Streak
Four players scored in double figures as the FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down 10 three-pointers to defeat UNF, 66-50, to pick up their 12th consecutive win.  •  With the win, FGCU, winners of 29 straight A-Sun games, improved to 18-5 overall and 11-0 in the A-Sun, while North Florida fell to 10-12 overall (6-5 A-Sun). FGCU’s 29 consecutive conference victories ranks as the second longest streak in the country behind defending national champion Baylor.  •  The Eagles, who have made at least one three-pointer in 220 consecutive contests and 332 of 333 games in program history, made 10 triples on the night and now have 213 triples as a team. Five different players made at least one trey for the Green and Blue, led by senior Betsy Adams’ 4-of-6 night.  •  Senior Joyce Iamstrong turned in a game-high 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the floor and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. She also added four rebounds and three assists in 37 minutes. Adams totaled 14 points and five boards. Redshirt junior Sarah Hansen registered 11 points and five rebounds in a foul-plagued 23 minutes, while sophomore Anthi Chatzigiakoumi scored 11 points in 11 minutes off the bench.

SCOUTING UPSTATE

• Upstate closed out a four-game homestand (Feb. 4), with a 78-62 victory over Lipscomb as head coach Tammy George tabbed her 100th win at Upstate in eight seasons. She became the winningest coach in program history during the 2010-11 season.

• The Spartans improved to 3-7 on the road Jan. 21, picking up a 61-52 win at Kennesaw State to snap a five-game skid and mark the beginning of a three-game winning streak, which came to an end with an 81-61 setback to Northern Kentucky (Feb. 2).

• During the three-game win-streak, Upstate averaged 65.7 points a game and beat opponents by a margin of 13.3 points.

• Starling leads Upstate on the boards this season, pulling down 5.8 rebounds per game and is 15th in the A-Sun. She is second on the team for Upstate in scoring and leads all newcomers, averaging 9.4 points per game. Starling climbed to second in the conference with a 51.7 field goal percentage, leading all A-Sun freshmen.

• Tee’Ara Copney paces Upstate this season, averaging 13.5 points per game to rank fourth in the A-Sun. She posted a team-high 21 points against LU (Feb. 4), marking her sixth 20-point outing this season.

FGCU VS. UPSTATE AT ALICO ARENA
The Green and Blue are 5-0 all-time at home against USC Upstate at Alico Arena. The Eagles average 71.8 points per game in Fort Myers, while the Spartans average 54.8 points.

The last time the two squads met at ‘The Nest’ was on Dec. 18, 2011. SARAH HANSEN scored a game-high 23 points as the Eagles team gave head coach KARL SMESKO his 300th career victory with a 77-53 win over Upstate in front of 1,236 fans.

FGCU VS. THE BCS
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 IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 66-9 in games played in February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 38-5 overall record in the month of February; 37-5 vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

CONFERENCE WINNING STREAKS
The Eagles have won 32 straight A-Sun games overall and 29 consecutive regular season conference contests, which are both league records and are the 2nd longest conference winning streaks in the nation. Defending National Champion Baylor has won a nation’s-best 33 consecutive regular season league contests. The Lady Bears have also won 39 straight Big 12 games overall, a continuing league record.

FGCU’s last regular season A-Sun loss was at USC Upstate, 75-74, on Feb. 28, 2011.

WE’RE GOING STREAKING
After a tough 60-53 loss to UCF at Alico Arena, the Green and Blue have won 12 straight contests, which is tied for the fourth longest winning streak in Division I (through games on Feb. 6). Defending National Champion Baylor owns the nation’s longest winning streak (19).

Team        Streak
Baylor          19
Notre Dame  16
Delaware      13
Green Bay    12
FGCU           12

Middle Tenn. 12
Quinnipiac    11
Albany (NY)  11

PROTECT THE NEST
In the program’s 11-year history, the Eagles have compiled a 159-11 record at Alico Arena, including an impressive 51-1 record in Atlantic Sun home games. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled an 81-5 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).

133 of FGCU’s 159 wins at Alico Arena have come by at least double digits, while 62 of the Eagles’ 81 Division I home wins have come by at least 10 points.

Year          Record
2012-13     9-1
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       159-11 (.935)

LOCK IT UP
With their 80-49 win at JU on Feb. 2, FGCU clinched the program’s second consecutive berth and became the first team to clinch a spot in the 2013 A-Sun Conference Tournament. The 2013 A-Sun Conference Tournament will be held in Macon, Ga. at Hawkins Arena (Mar. 6-9).

CAPITAL 1 ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT 4 FIRST TEAM
SARAH HANSEN was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District 4 Women’s Basketball first team (Jan. 31), as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Members of CoSIDA conduct nominations and voting for the All-America programs.

The District 4 team is made up of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and South Carolina. To be nominated, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore, a starter or important reserve and must carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher.

Hansen is now eligible to be selected as a member of the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first, second and third team All-America honorees will be selected in late February.

FGCU IN LATEST BRACKETOLOGY
With an RPI as low as 60 and a strength of schedule (SOS) as low as 142, the Eagles were predicted to be a No. 11 seed, playing No. 6 Dayton (Knoxville Region), by ESPN.com’s Charlie Creme in his Jan. 21st Bracketology.

FGCU was also predicted as the No. 15 seed, playing No. 2 seed Tennessee in the NCAA Tourney in College Sports Madness’ Bracketology (updated on Feb. 4).

FGCU IN THE RPI

Outlet (Date)                                           RPI      Strength of Schedule (SOS)     
NCAA (Jan. 28)                                         60      --
RPIRatings.com (Feb. 3)                            66      --
Real Time (Feb. 6)                                    62      144
WarrenNolan.com (Feb. 5)                         62      142

A-SUN SUCCESS
Head Coach KARL SMESKO and his Eagles have enjoyed significant success in the Atlantic Sun since moving to Division I. FGCU, who owns a 93-12 all-time record in conference play, has won three regular season titles (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12) and one conference tournament title (2012) since joining the league in 2007-08. FGCU is 46-3 in conference games since the 2010-11 season.

NOT JUST ANOTHER GAME
The matchup between Stetson and FGCU on Jan. 26 was another chapter in the short rivalry between the two A-Sun squads. The Green and Blue’s defeated SU, 74-55, moved the Eagles into sole possession of first place in the A-Sun and snapped Stetson’s 11-game winning streak, which at the time was ranked as the third-longest active streak in the NCAA, trailing only Baylor and Notre Dame.

Over the last two years the matchup has become a true rivalry. The Eagles, who own a 10-2 lead in the all-time series, swept the season series with the Hatters last season and defeated Stetson, 67-39, in the 2012 A-Sun Tournament Championship. SU’s 39 points were the fewest in the Championship Final since 1991 (Miami 73, FAMU 44).

ONE TO REMEMBER
FGCU’s huge 97-60 win at ETSU was special for more than one reason. The obvious would be the team’s NCAA Division I record breaking 22 three-pointers, but there were also several other significant performances in the contest.

BETSY ADAMS scored her career-high and game-high 25 points in just 14 minutes on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 7-of-12 from behind the arc. The seven makes from long distance from Adams rank her tied for fifth place in the FGCU record books. ANTHI CHTZIGIAKOUMI, in her first collegiate start, registered a career-high 15 points and four rebounds, while BRITTANY KENNEDY totaled seven points and two steals to go with a career-best 12 assists. Kennedy’s 12 dimes rank her t-2nd in program history with former teammate Courtney Chihil (12; vs. Indiana, Dec. 21, 2010).

GETTIN’ LOVE FROM ESPN
In the ‘Weekly Wrap’ by ESPN’s Graham Hays (Dec. 30 & Jan. 27), the Eagles got some love for their 76-70 upset of LSU (Dec. 28) and their win over A-Sun rival Stetson (Jan. 26).

Here’s what Hays said:

SHE ALSO STARRED (Dec. 30)
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.

MAJOR SHOWDOWNS AMONG MID-MAJORS (Jan. 27)
It was a weekend full of conference showdowns in the mid-major ranks. Delaware got its win against Drexel to gain control in the CAA, but these teams also made the most of important games.

Florida Gulf Coast: It was a game between conference unbeatens, but it wasn’t close. Florida Gulf Coast beat Stetson 74-55 to improve to 9-0 in the Atlantic Sun. It’s the 10th win in a row for the Eagles in a run that began with a win against LSU, and all nine conference wins came by at least 10 points.

MAKE IT UNCOMFORTABLE
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 53.6 points per contest. In conference games, FGCU has held the opposition to just 48.2 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.

The Green and Blue have held the opposition below 50 points on eight occasions and have forced opponents into 15+ turnovers 19 times this season, highlighted by JU’s 30 turnovers on Feb. 2 at Swisher Gym.

#8 IN THE ESPN MID-MAJOR TOP 10
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team moved up two positions to pick up the No. 8 spot in the latest ESPN Mid-Major Rankings (Feb. 6). The rankings are based on the women’s basketball blog of ESPN’s Graham Hays.

This marks the second time this season that the Eagles have appeared in Hays’ Mid-Major Top 10. FGCU was ranked No. 10 in the Jan. 23 rankings.

Said Hays of FGCU, “Monday’s 66-50 win at North Florida almost qualifies as a nail-biter by Florida Gulf Coast standards. The Eagles keep rolling in their conference, and their next four opponents all have at least five A-Sun losses already. Oregon State transfer Brittany Kennedy is quietly having a terrific all-around season, averaging 10.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 steals while shooting 53 percent and maintaining a two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio.”

ESPN Mid-Major Top 10
1.  Delaware
2.  Dayton
3.  Green Bay
4.  Creighton
5.  Chattanooga
6.  Princeton
7.  Middle Tennessee St.
8.  FGCU

9.  Pacific
10. Gonzaga

FGCU RANKED #12 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned the No. 9 position in the 14th edition of the 2012-13 CollegeInsider.com Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday afternoon (Feb. 5). The Eagles were ranked No. 12 in last week’s poll.

Delaware, ranked No. 20 in the AP Top 25, along with Green Bay, Gonzaga, Princeton 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 Eagles are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in the Top 25. Stetson received 26 votes.

RAPID FIRE
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 213 threes this season compared to just 92 from its opponents. Led by BETSY ADAMS’ 2.1 trifectas per contest, 13 different players have made at least two shots from long range. The Eagles, who lead the conference in three-point field goals made per game (9.3), have two players (Adams & JOYCE IAMSTRONG; 2.1 & 1.6) ranked in the A-Sun’s top-10 in the same category.

3’S PLEASE!
In the program’s 11-year history (333) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 332 contests, including 220 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 220-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 2,136 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 987 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 126-8 all-time and 81-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

BREAKING RECORDS
Less than 14 months after tying the all-time NCAA record and setting the 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 FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down 22 triples in a 97-60 win at ETSU on Jan. 12, 2013. Prior to breaking the record, the Eagles were tied for first place all-time with New Mexico State, who drained 21 triples against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 23, 2002.

The NCAA Division I record 22 three-point makes are also a program and Atlantic Sun Conference best, as FGCU made 10 treys in the first half and 12 in the second. The Green and Blue hit 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) triples in the final frame in which they outscored the Lady Bucs 46-35.

Freshman STEPHANIE HAAS made the shot that tied the record at the 6:44 mark of the second half and classmate AMANDA MOORE drilled a three-pointer with 1:48 left in the game that gave FGCU the all-time mark.

The NBA record is 23, which was set by the Houston Rockets (Feb. 5, 2013) and Orlando Magic (Jan. 13, 2009). The men’s Division I record is 28 - in 74 attempts - set by Troy on Dec. 10, 1994.

NATION’S BEST
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 Feb. 3rd, FGCU ranked second in the nation with an average of 9.2 threes per game. As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in nine games this season.

RANK            TEAM               3-PT FG/GAME
1.                 Creighton         9.6
2.                  FGCU              9.2

3.                 UT Martin         9.1                  
                   Missouri            9.1
5.                 Milwaukee        8.8

THREE IS THE KEY
• The Green and Blue are 18-4 on the year when they drain six or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 16-4 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.

200 3’s...AGAIN
With their 10 three-point makes at JU on Feb. 2, the Eagles eclipsed the 200 made triples mark. FGCU has recorded 200+ three-pointers in 10 of the last 11 seasons, including nine consecutive.

FINALLY FAMOUS
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.

WHEN PREPARATION MEETS OPPORTUNITY
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 10.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 29.1 minutes. The Chicago, Ill., native is also shooting .800 from the charity stripe, .421 from the field and .360 from behind the arc, a drastic improvement from her first year in the Green and Blue.

BALL SO HARD
FGCU is currently first in the A-Sun in scoring defense (53.6), scoring margin (+15.5), free throw percentage (.762), three-point percentage defense (.258), assists (15.9), steals (11.3), turnover margin (+6.09), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and three-point field goals made per game (9.3). In conference only games, FGCU ranks first in the A-Sun in scoring offense (72.6), scoring defense (48.2), scoring margin (+24.5), field goal percentage (.446), three-point field goal defense (.221), rebounding defense (33.2), assists (16.6), steals (11.5), turnover margin (+8.18) and three-point field goals made per game (10.9).

WELL DONE YOUNGSTER
JAIME GLUESING’s .443 three-point percentage would rank 10th in the nation if she averaged a minimum 2.0 treys made per game. (she averages 1.5 triples per game).

The freshman, who’s led the Eagles in scoring in two of the last three contests, is averaging 9.3 points and is shooting .500 from the field and .500 from behind the arc in A-Sun play. She’s hit a trey in 18 games this season and has multi-threes in 10 contests.

FGCU’S BIG 3
SARAH HANSEN, BRITTANY KENNEDY and JOYCE IAMSTRONG have combined to account for 54.1 percent (37.4 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .472 (298-of-631) from the floor and .304 (69-of-227) from long distance.

PROTECTING THE ROCK
Averaging 69.1 points per game (2nd in the A-Sun), the Eagles lead the league with a +6.09 turnover margin. BRITTANY KENNEDY, who ranks 2nd in the A-Sun in assists (5.5), is second in the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.0. SARAH HANSEN has a 1.02 ratio, while ranking seventh in the league at 2.8 assists per game and JOYCE IAMSTRONG owns a 1.4 ratio (4th in the conference) and ranks sixth in the league at 3.0 assists per game.

SHAKE AND BAKE
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 27.2 points, 13.2 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 5.0 steals per game.

A-Sun Top Scoring Tandems
Bridges/Grant (Mercer) - 30.8 ppg
McGowan/Sanders (Stetson) - 29.8 ppg
HANSEN/KENNEDY (FGCU) - 27.2 ppg

Copney/Starling (Upstate) - 22.9 ppg
Wells/Gideon (KSU) – 22.8 ppg

• The duo has reached double figures in same game 10 times with FGCU going 10-0.

FLORIDA’S FINEST
Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Florida, the Eagles (18-5) rank t-first for the most victories in the state (thru games played on Feb. 7).

School                Record
FGCU                 (18-5)

Florida State       (18-4)
Stetson              (16-6)
Miami                 (16-7)
USF                    (15-6)
FIU                    (14-9)
Florida                (14-9)
FAU                    (10-12)
UNF                    (10-12)
Bethune-Cookman (10-10)
FAMU                 (8-13)
UCF                   (8-14)
Jacksonville        (7-15)

PUT THE CLAMPS ON ‘EM
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 68 steals in 22 games (3.1 per game; 1st in A-Sun) and averages 5.3 rebounds a game. Kennedy ranked 31st in the nation in steals thru games played on Feb. 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 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.

The Preseason Defensive Player of the Year played lock down defense on Upstate’s leading scorer Tee’Ara Copney (Jan. 14), who was averaging 13.3 points per game, and held her to just four points on 2-of-7 shooting and forced her into five turnovers in 34 minutes.

HANSEN’S BIG NIGHT
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. 

1,000-POINT CLUB & 3RD ALL-TIME IN POINTS
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 1,266 points, ranks 2nd in the FGCU record books behind her former teammate Adrianne McNally (1,415).

MAKING ‘THE BUZZ’
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 (UConn, 2003-04) and Sue Bird (UConn, 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