Women's Basketball Opens Regular Season with Win
FORT MYERS, Fla. – So much for opening night jitters for the new look Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team. The Eagles opened up their 2005-06 season with a record-setting 107-53 win over the University of Puerto Rico-Bayamon in the 4th Annual Hillmyer-Tremont Classic at Alico Arena Saturday night.
FGCU, which had not beaten Bayamon in three previous meetings, opened the season with 10 newcomers, solid shooting and a strong pressure defense to post the most points in a single-game in the four-year history of the program. It also marked the fourth straight year FGCU has started the season in the win column.
Four players scored in double figures for FGCU, as all 10 players in uniform reached the scoring column. Junior forward Katie Schrader, one of seven players to make their Eagles debut, led all scorers with a game-high 22 points. Senior guard Ebonie Halliburton finished with 20 points, including a trio of three-pointers.
Junior forward Jen Conely added 19 points while junior forward Alex Nelson added 13 points. Freshman point guard Princess Stewart came off the bench to record a team-high seven assists and team-high nine rebounds.
FGCU jumped on Baymon early, racing out to a 25-10 midway through the first half on the strength of three 3-pointers from Halliburton. The Eagles pressure defense forced 17 turnovers in the first half as they built a 49-26 lead.
The Eagles connected on 47% from the field for the game, including 9-of-19 from long-distance in the second half, while holding Bayamon to just 38.5%. More importantly, the undersized Eagles out rebounded UPR 56-28.
Puerto Rico-Bayamon was led by Pamela Roman’s 15 points.
FGCU (1-0) is back in action on Sunday when they conclude the Tip-Off Classic at 3 p.m. against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez.