Smesko, @FGCU_WBB Take NCAA 3-Point Crown for the 2nd Consecutive Season
Friday, April 12, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@Mike_Hill84)
Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Highlighted by leading the nation and the Atlantic Sun in three-point field goals per game (9.4), for the second year in a row, the FGCU women’s basketball team ranked in the top 40 in the country in 13 different statistical categories in the final NCAA rankings.

The Eagles, who finished the 2012-13 campaign 65th in the final NCAA Women’s Basketball RPI, ranked 1st in the nation in triples per game (9.4), 4th in turnover margin (+7.32), 5th in three-point field goal percentage (24.9), 7th assist-to-turnover ratio (1.25), 8th in turnovers per game (12.4), 11th in scoring margin (17.2), 22nd in scoring defense (52.9) and winning percentage (.794), 27th in steals per game (11.2), 32nd in scoring offense (70.1), 35th in assists per game (15.4), 37th in field-goal percentage (42.7) and 39th in free-throw percentage (74.3). FGCU ranked No. 1 in the A-Sun in 12 of the previously mentioned categories (2nd in field-goal percentage).

Less than 14 months after tying the all-time NCAA record and setting the 2011-12 NCAA single-game high with 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, who own the NCAA Division I single season record for three-pointers (342; 2011-12), 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.

A pair of Eagles, Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) and Brittany Kennedy (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS/Oregon State), ranked in the top 100 of national NCAA Division I statistical leaders in a several categories.
One of the most decorated players in the history of FGCU women's basketball and the Atlantic Sun Conference, Hansen racked up a lengthy list of postseason awards this season, which includes College Sports Madness and Atlantic Sun Player of the Year honors, College Sports Madness and A-Sun first team all-conference, A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Capital One Academic All-America second team, College Sports Madness All-Mid Major first team and Full Court Mid-Major All-American honorable mention honors.

Hansen, who currently ranks first in FGCU history with 1,439 points, shot 82.8 percent from the charity stripe and 48.2 percent from the field to rank 53rd and 56th, respectively, in the nation. The McKean, Pa. native also ranked 92nd in the nation in points per game (16.3).

Kennedy played in 33 games for the Green and Blue this season and was one of the 15 players from around the nation on the initial “Players Making the Buzz” watch list for the 2013 Nancy Lieberman Award (annually recognizes the top point guard in NCAA Division I women’s basketball). Kennedy, the 2013 A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year, finished the season ranked first in the A-Sun (44th nationally) in steals per game (2.7) and second in assists (37th nationally; 5.2) & assist-to-turnover ratio (28th nationally; 2.0), anchored the FGCU defense and helped the Eagles hold opponents to 52.9 points (48.4 in league play) this year. Limiting the opposition’s leading scorers well below their averages, Kennedy recorded a steal in 28 of 33 games this year.

The Eagles, the first school to go undefeated in A-Sun play in back-to-back seasons, finished the season with the most victories (27) of the 13 Division I institutions in the state of Florida and captured the program’s third consecutive A-Sun Regular Season crown (fourth in the last five years). Led by four-time Atlantic Sun Coach of the Year Karl Smesko, FGCU secured the ninth-straight 21+ win in program history and participated in their sixth consecutive Division I postseason tournament (WNIT).