No.12 Eagles In Independent Tournament Championship
FORT MYERS, Fla. – In a rough contact game, No.12 Florida Gulf Coast University landed another victory at home in the National Independent Tournament. The Eagles defeated Claflin University in the semi-finals 48-44 after going head to head for most of the game.
At the half the Eagles were up 24-19, led by senior guard Ebonie Halliburton (East St. Louis, Ill.) who had seven points. Junior forward Alex Nelson (Edinburgh, Scotland) took several hard fouls in the second half as the Panthers edged to a tied score with 5:02 left at 43-43. The Eagles outscored Claflin in the second half 37-29.
Junior Forward Katie Schrader (Fort Collins, CO) led the Eagles with a double-double of 24 points and 11 rebounds. Schrader hit 10-of-15 free-throws and was 7-of-12 from the field. She also picked up three steals in 30 minutes of play.
Halliburton ended the game with seven points, three rebounds and a team-high five assists. Nelson was second on the team in scoring with 10 points to go along with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sophomore forward Jessica Hathaway (Fort Wayne, IN) had nine points, four rebounds and a steal.
Overall the Eagles shot 31 percent in field-goals and from the three-point range. At the line, FGCU made just 18-of-33 (54%). As a team they caused 22 turnovers for the Panthers to their 15 and had nine steals.
The Eagles will now play in the championship game tomorrow February 26th at 1:00 pm in Alico Arena. They will play University of District of Columbia who defeated University of Puerto Rico - Bayamon 60-58 today and central state University 56-44 in round one. The Firebirds are now (11-19) overall. This will be the last home game of the season for the Eagles.