Women's Basketball Falls to Arkansas-Monticello
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Four players scored in double figures but it wasn’t enough as Florida Gulf Coast University's women’s basketball team dropped a tough 70-66 decision to the University of Arkansas-Monticello in a Division II South Region match-up in the 3rd Annual FGCU Classic at Alico Arena on Wednesday afternoon. It was the first loss for FGCU, which opened the season with 12 straight wins. UAM improves to 4-4.
Junior forward Alex Nelson scored a career-high 14 points but the other four starters combined to hit just 12-of-46 (26%) from the floor as the Eagles were held to just 31% shooting from the field. The Cotton Blossoms connected on 43.1% from the floor, including 9-of-19 three-point attempts, to become the first team to score more than 55 points against FGCU this season. FGCU hit just 7-of-29 from beyond the three-point arc. The Eagles won the rebounding battle 47-34.
UAM used an 8-1 run in the opening minutes of the second half to extend a 10-point halftime lead to 17 points, 43-26, in the first 2:28 of the second half. FGCU responded with a 16-6 run on the strength on two three-pointers from senior guard Candy Myers to cut the deficit to 49-42 with just over 11 minutes remaining.
But the Cotton Blossoms’ Jenna Thomas scored on three of the next four possessions as they pushed their lead to 67-56 with 3:06 to play. The Eagles scored the next eight points as UAM missed the front end of three straight one-and-ones at the foul line. FGCU cut the lead to 67-64 when junior Jen Conely sank a three-pointer from the right corner with 32 seconds left. But the Cotton Blossoms made three of their final four free throws in the final 30 seconds. FGCU’s Princess Stewart hit a jumper at the buzzer for the final margin.
Myers and senior guard Ebonie Halliburton finished with 13 points each for FGCU while junior Katie Schrader added 12 points.
Senior center Wendy Young had 14 points, while Thomas and Theresa Tran had 13 each for the winners.
FGCU returns to action in the 3rd Annual Women's Holiday Classic on Thursday, December 29 when it hosts Eckerd College at 5:45 p.m.