FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball shot the lights out in the second half on Saturday night, earning a 63-46 lead over the visiting North Florida Ospreys. UNF held a 24-23 advantage at the half, but the Eagles shot 68.7% from the floor in the second half, including knocking down 8 of 12 three-point field goals. With the win, and Belmont’s loss to Kennesaw State, FGCU is now tied for second place in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
The Eagles came out of the gates shooting very well, hitting four of their first five shots en route to opening up a 10-6 lead 4:23 into the ballgame. The Ospreys rebounded to score five consecutive points and briefly regain the lead, 11-10, before the Eagles went on a tear, scoring seven straight points, taking a 17-11 lead with 7:20 left in the first half. A few minutes later, Kristine Herman's three-pointer extended the lead to eight points at 23-15. But Herman's three would be the final first half points for the Eagles, and UNF took advantage, running off nine straight points to take a 24-23 lead into the break.
The second half was a very different story. After shooting just 38.1% in the first half, the Eagles came out and improved to the tune of a 68.2% shooting percentage in the second half, including 66.7% from behind the arc. In just over 6 minutes of play in the half, the Eagles had changed the one-point deficit into a ten-point lead, 40-30. From then on, the Ospreys struggled to score on consecutive possessions, and the Eagles just continued to stretch the lead. Amanda Fesseden’s layup and free throw with 5:05 remaining opened the gap to 17 at 57-40. The lead would balloon to as much as 19 with just under two minutes left, and the Eagles would cruise to the 63-46 victory.
For the Ospreys (3-16, 2-8), Brittany Kirkland scored a team-high 15 points in addition to grabbing a team-high 3 steals. Jennifer Bowen also reached double-figures with 11 points, and Arlande Cherizol pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.
For the Eagles (14-4, 7-3), Kelsey Jacobson scored a game-high 17 points as well as dishing out 4 assists and grabbing 4 boards. Chelsea Lyles registered 15 points in addition to dishing out a game-high 7 assists and swiping a team-high 3 steals.
The Eagles next contest will be the midway point of this five-game homestand, when they host the Hatters of Stetson University on Monday night. Tip-off is set for 7:00 PM.