Women's Basketball hosts West Florida
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University faces one of its stiffest early season tests when it hosts the University of West Florida on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Alico Arena.
The Eagles are coming off their record-setting 10th consecutive win to open the season when they routed Lynn University 79-43 on Monday. Junior forward Katie Schrader (Fort Collins, Colo.) led three Eagles in double figures with a game-high 17 points, including 15 points in the first half. Senior guard Ebonie Halliburton (East St. Louis, Ill.) added 16 points, including 14 first-half points, while junior forward Alex Nelson (Edinburgh, Scotland) had 13 points for the winners. In all, 11 players hit the scoring column for FGCU, which topped 75 points for the eighth time this season.
FGCU jumped to 24th in the latest USA TODAY ESPN DIVISION II TOP 25 COACHES’ POLL released Monday night. It is the first time that the Eagles have been ranked nationally. FGCU is one of four South Region teams represented. Henderson State is eighth, Valdosta State is 13th and Rollins is 16th.
West Florida enters the game with a 6-2 mark and is second in the Gulf South Conference East Division behind Valdosta State.
The Eagles will host a pre-holiday classic on December 20-21. The Eagles will play Christian Brothers on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and Arkansas-Monticello on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
When: Thursday, 5:30 pm
Where: Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena)
Radio/Web: Sports Radio 770 ESPN / Live Internet.
Admission: Tickets are available at box office one hour prior to tip-off or by calling the Alico Arena ticket office at 590-7145. Reserved tickets begin at $6 for adults and $5 for children five and under.
All-time Series: FGCU leads 1-0
Last Meeting (Result): The Eagles won 75-69 on January 3, 2005 behind 23 points from Andrea Clarke and 14 points from Ebonie Halliburton.
FGCU Record: 10-0
Eagles Head Coach: Karl Smesko (4th year, 79-18 at FGCU)
West Florida Record: 6-2
Argonauts Head Coach: Shannon Berge (7th year, 101-69)
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: The Eagles won their record 10th consecutive game to open a season with the 79-43 win over Lynn on Monday night…FGCU head coach Karl Smesko can win his 80th game at FGCU…Senior guard Candy Myers (Leipsic, Ohio) is only six points shy of setting the all-time scoring record at FGCU…Her 721 career points are second all-time to Andrea Clarke (’05), who finished her career with 726 points…FGCU’s scoring margin through 10 games is 37.9 points…Only two games have been decided by fewer than 30 points…FGCU scored 75 points or more in each of their first 7 games…Defensively, the Eagles have not allowed more than 29 points in a half through the first 10 games…They have held opposition to 20 points or less for in a half nine times…Eagles hold opposition to average of 41.7 points per game…FGCU has made at least 3 three-pointers in each of the first 10 games…The Eagles have made at least 2 three-point field goals in all 97 games in school history…Three Eagles average double figures in points, including junior forward Katie Schrader (Fort Collins, Colo.) with a team-high 15.4 ppg, junior forward Jen Conely (Warren, Minn.) with 11.3 ppg off the bench, and senior Ebonie Halliburton (East St. Louis, Ill.) at 10.4 ppg…Myers averages 9.8 points while junior Alex Nelson (Edinburgh, Scotland) averages 9.0 points…Three players are shooting better than 50% from the field. Schrader (.602), Conely (.561), and junior Shonna Soeby (Walhalla, ND/.586)…FGCU has had a 20-point scorer in seven games this year, led by Schrader’s four 20-point games…Schrader also has two games with 13 rebounds and has posted two doubles… Halliburton has the only other double-double – 14 points/10 boards against Puerto Rico Cayey…Myers leads the team with 27 assists, followed by Nelson with 25…Halliburton is the only player with an assist in every game…Sophomore guard Sarah Franco (Sarasota, Fla.) made her Eagles debut with four points against Lynn…She sat out two semesters after transferring from Tampa.
West Florida Notables: The Argonauts (6-2) are currently second in the Gulf South Conference East Division, trailing only Valdosta State, which lost to FGCU 54-47 on December 3…Senior guard Michelle Gibson was the 2004-05 GSC East Division Player of the Year and a Division II Bulletin All-American…She has posted three 20-point games this season, including 22 points in a win over Albany State on Monday…Gibson is third in the GSC for scoring at 17.7 points per game and leads the conference in steals…Much like FGCU, West Florida has been winning with defense and rebounding…The Argonauts allow just 56 points a game and average better than 44 rebounds per contest…They have only allowed more than 62 points twice – both losses…6-foot-0 guard Erin Vierling is third in the GSC (8.8) in rebounding...They travel to Barry on Friday.