@FGCU_WBB Set for Hardwood Tournament of Hope
Monday, November 25, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Photo Credit: Scott Richardson
Photo Credit: Scott Richardson
TCU (4-1)
11/26/2013 | Puerto Vallarta, MX | Attendance: 100
Stats at a GlanceFGCUTCU
FG Percentage.302 (16-53) .490 (25-51)
3P FG Percentage.300 (12-40) .286 (4-14)
FT Percentage.500 (3-6) .824 (14-17)
Offensive Rebounds410
Defensive Rebounds1834
Total Rebounds2244
Bench Points029
Statistical LeadersFGCUTCU
PointsKNIGHT - 21
Ventress - 14
ReboundsHANSEN - 7
Lovings - 9
Ventress - 9
AssistsHAAS - 4
Breaux - 4
StealsATWATER - 3
Lovings - 1
Hamilton - 1
Ventress - 1
Medley - 1
BlocksKNIGHT - 4
Lovings - 1
Prince - 1

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – In a field of strong competition, the FGCU women’s basketball team will play three games this week at the 2013 Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  The Eagles will face TCU, Stanford and South Dakota State at the Puerto Vallarta Convention Center.

FGCU will take on TCU on Tuesday, Nov. 26 with a 6:30 p.m. CT tipoff before facing No. 5/6 Stanford at 4 p.m. CT on Wednesday, Nov. 27.  The Eagles will break for Thanksgiving and conclude the tournament with mid-major power South Dakota State on Friday, Nov. 29 at 1:30 p.m. CT. 


The Hardwood Tournament of Hope marks the fourth-consecutive year the Eagles have traveled for a specialty tournament.  With trips to Mexico, Hawaii and the Virgin Islands, the Green and Blue holds a record of 5-3 in the last three seasons.


-This will be the first between the Eagles and all three teams they face this week.  The Eagles are 99-31 in games when facing a new opponent.

-FGCU’s starting five and FGCU’s foes have averaged an equal number of points (60.5) through four games this season.  The starting five accounts for 81.2 percent of scoring.

-Head Coach Karl Smesko picked up his 350th career win against FIU on Nov. 8. That’s a career record of 352-84 & a win percentage of .807 in 14 seasons.

-Of the Eagles’ 74.7 points per game this season, 33.5 points are scored by players who did not wear Green & Blue last season (Knight – out for injury, Atwater and Cobb - transfers).


The Eagles, who led the nation in 3-point percentage two seasons ago and set a new record in 3-point shots made in a single game last season, will look to use their long-range shooting prowess against some of the nation’s top competition.


In 11 years of highly successful basketball, the Eagles have never faced any of the three opponents they will see this week.  In all-time meetings with new opponents, the Green and Blue holds a record of 99-31.


FGCU snapped a three-game win streak Saturday with a 76-74 loss at Southern Miss. and now sits at 3-1 on the year.  The 3-1 mark matches the Eagles’ opening record from the 2011-12 season when they went undefeated in Atlantic Sun play, while earning the A-Sun regular season the tournament championships.  The year ended with the team’s first-ever NCAA tournament appearance. 


Senior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) led the Eagles with a season-high 24 points at Southern Miss., while sophomore Stephanie Haas (Lake Avon, Ohio/Magnificat High School) recorded a career-high 20 points on 8-for-10 shooting.  Junior Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School/Butler) also contributed double-figure points for FGCU with 10 points.

Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) currently leads the squad with an average of 14.5 points per game, while Hansen has equaled Knights’ performance with an additional 14.5 points.  Hansen also leads the team with 8.0 rebounds per contest and 15 steals and nine assists on the year.  Haas has increased her output with 13.5 points per game through the first four games of her sophomore campaign.

As newcomers, Cobb and Kaneisha Atwater (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Westover High School) have also facilitated the Eagles’ early success.  The pair has added 11.0 and 7.0 points per game, respectively. 


Collectively, the Eagles’ starting lineup of Atwater, Hansen, Haas, Knight and Cobb has produced nearly 81.2 percent of the team’s scoring.

As a team, the Eagles have scored 74.5 points per game this season, while holding opponents to just 60.5 points per contest.  Eagle foes have held a slight advantage on the glass through three games with a 40.5-38.0 margin, while the Eagles have maintained control of the ball with just 13.3 turnovers per game.  FGCU has forced 21 opponent turnovers per game this season and has held opponents to a .381 shooting percentage.

Offensively, FGCU has recorded a shooting percentage of .422 this season with a .322 mark from 3-point range.  The team has made a combined 28 shots from long range and has maintained a shooting percentage of .660 from the free-throw line.



-The Horned Frogs of TCU are 3-1 on the season with a loss at SMU and wins over ULM, Texas State and Grambling.

-The team is averaging 78 points per game and has outscored foes by an average of 20 points.  They also outrebound opponents by an average of 50-40 per game.

-TCU has taken a full week off since its test against Grambling on Nov. 18.

-Sophomore Zahna Medley paces the team with 20 points per game, while two others add double digits.  Medley also leads the team with 22 blocks and a field goal percentage of .543.

-Latricia Lovings leads the team on the boards with 8.0 rebounds per game. The senior ranked third in the nation in blocks per game last year and currently has 12 blocks on the season.


-National powerhouse and No. 5/6 Stanford University enters the Tournament of Hope with a record of 4-1 after losing only to Connecticut in its previous five games.

-The Cardinal are led by National Player of the Year contender Chiney Ogwumike’s 25.6 points per game.  Ogqwumike also adds a team-leading 11.8 rebounds per game and a field goal percentage of .570.  The senior currently tops NCAA active players with 1,180 career rebounds.

-In her 35th season, Head Coach Tara VanDerveer is on the verge of her 900th career win.  VanDerveer currently ranks fifth in total victories among NCAA all-time coaches.  Of active coaches, she ranks third behind only C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers) and Sylvia Hatchell (UNC).

-Stanford is currently outscoring opponents, 71-60 and outrebounding foes, 44.4-69.2.  After scoring only 57 points at UConn, the team has put up an average of 71 points per game in its last three contests.  Stanford opponents have shot just 33.4 percent this season, while the Cardinal have made 43.3 percent of their shots.


-The Jack Rabbits join the Eagles on the CollegeInsider Mid-Major Top-25.  SDSU began the season ranked eighth but has since dropped to 25 after beginning the season with a record of 3-2.

-SDSU opened the season with losses at BYU and Creighton but has since responded with wins over Georgetown, Northern Iowa and Pepperdine.  The Jack Rabbits will face TCU and Stanford before seeing the Eagles.

-South Dakota State averages 74 points per game but has scored an average of 85 points per game in their three wins of the year.

-The Jack Rabbits currently rank among the top-15 teams nationally in 3-point percentage.  Leading scorers Megan Waytashek and Steph Paluch average .444 and .500 from 3-point range, respectively.

-Waytashek paces the team with 14.2 points per game, while Palush adds 12.2.  SDSU’s rebounding effort is well-rounded as the team’s leader grabs 4.8 rebounds per contest with five others pulling down 3.8 or more.


Following the Mexican matchups, the Green and Blue will return to Alico Arena to host USF.  Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.


For all the details regarding this week’s action visit check out:



For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the women’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_WBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUWBB.

2013-14 women’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.