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Eagles Head to East Lansing to Face #21/24 Michigan State
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team will head north to face No. 21/24 Michigan State at the Breslin Center on Sunday, Dec. 13. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.
Date: Sunday, Dec. 13
Time: 2 p.m. ET
Location: East Lansing, Mich.
Arena: Breslin Center
Radio: ESPN770 – David Moulton
Streaming Video: BigTenNetwork.com ($2.99)
TV: Game will replay on the Big Ten Network on Monday, December 14 at 11 a.m.
Live Stats: www.MSUSpartans.com
Series: First Meeting
2009-10 Record: 4-2 overall (1-0 A-Sun)
Head Coach: Karl Smesko (Kent State ’93)
Career: 246-63 (10th year)
at FGCU: 185-36 (8th year)
Michigan State Spartans
2009-10 Record: 6-3 overall (0-1 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Suzy Merchant (Central Michigan ’91)
Career: 257-151 (15th year)
at MSU: 56-31 (3rd year)
• Through six games, the Eagles are shooting .370 from the field, .363 from three-point land and .680 from the free-throw line…FGCU’s opponents are shooting .358 overall, .250 from long range and .618 from the stripe…the Eagles average 15.5 assists per game to the opponents’ 10.3.
• FGCU has a 61-19 (.763) all-time record as the road team. • FGCU has an all-time record of 44-11 in games played in the month of December.
• The Eagles matchup with the Spartans is FGCU’s first contest against a Big Ten opponent. • FGCU is 2-6 all-time against BCS schools. • The Blue and Green are 0-1 against ranked opponents (Last meeting against a ranked opponent – Nov. 16, 2008: FGCU 62 at #21/24 Florida State 81)
• The Eagles two losses this season have occurred on the road.
• FGCU will wrap up 2009 with a Dec. 19 home game against USC Upstate at 7:05 p.m., before traveling to Miami, Fla. on Dec. 22 to face FIU. FGCU’s final game of 2009 will be Dec. 29, as the Eagles welcome Bethune-Cookman to Alico Arena.
Sunday’s game at No. 21/24 Michigan State marks the second time that FGCU has faced an opponent ranked in the top-25. The first time the Eagles faced a top-25 program was during the 2008-09 season when FGCU faced the Seminoles of Florida State…who were ranked No. 21/24.
Three Is The Key
• The Eagles are 4-0 this season when they shoot 24 or more three-pointers in a game.
• FGCU is 4-1 when they knock down 9 or more shots from behind the arc this season.
• The Blue and Green hold a 4-1 record this season when they knock down more 3-point shots than their opponent.
• FGCU is holding their opponents to just .250 (19-of-76) from behind the arc, while FGCU has drained 58-of-160 (.363) three-pointers this season.
Away From Home
FGCU has a 61-19 (.763) all-time record as the visiting team. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 17-12 (.586) road record.
FGCU in December
• FGCU has an all-time record of 44-11 (.800) in games played in the month of December.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 FGCU has a 9-3 record in the month of December, which include key wins over UCF (twice), Memphis and Cornell.
You’re in Good Hands with the trio from “The Mitten” (b.k.a. Michigan)
• Seniors Adrianne McNally (4.0 apg) and Brittany Brown (1.3 apg) and junior Shannon Murphy (4.0 apg) are top-5 on the team in assists.
• McNally’s seven assists against Tulsa (11/27/09) are a season-high.
• McNally and Murphy rank tied-sixth place in assists in the Atlantic Sun.
• McNally’s 2.00 assist-to-turnover ration ranks her second in the conference.
Adrianne McNally, who already is FGCU’s leader in career points, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws attempted, games played, games started, and minutes played, is looking to grab the top spot in several other FGCU all-time records:
Free throws made
1. 295 - Katie Schrader (65 games) - 2005-07
2. 270 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY (103 games) - 2006-10
3. 195 - Andrea Clarke (55 games) - 2003-05
4. 156 - Robyn Swain (57 games) - 2002-04
5. 151 - Ebonie Halliburton (60 games) - 2003-06
1. 640 - Robyn Swain (236o-404d) - 2002-04
2. 544 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY (197o-347d) - 2006-10
3. 409 - Katie Schrader (194o-215d) - 2005-07
4. 318 - Andrea Clarke (122o-196d) - 2003-05
5. 314 - Noreen McCallum (126o-188d) - 2002-04
1. 404 - Robyn Swain (236o-404d) - 2002-04
2. 347 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY (197o-347d) - 2006-10
3. 215 - Katie Schrader (194o-215d) - 2005-07
4. 214 - Ebonie Halliburton (52o-214d) - 2003-06
5. 196 - Andrea Clarke (122o-196d) - 2003-05
1. 236 - Robyn Swain (236o-404d) - 2002-04
2. 197 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY (197o-347d) - 2006-10
3. 194 - Katie Schrader (194o-215d) - 2005-07
4. 126 - Noreen McCallum (126o-188d) - 2002-04
5. 122 - Andrea Clarke (122o-196d) - 2003-05
1. 338 - Megan Jones - 2002-05
2. 301 - Chelsea Dermyer - 2005-08
3. 236 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-10
4. 234 - Ebonie Halliburton - 2003-06
5. 186 - Candy Myers - 2003-06
1. 141 - Candy Myers - 2003-06
2. 137 - Megan Jones - 2002-05
3. 122 - Alex Nelson - 2005-07
4. 108 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-10
5. 103 - Katie Schrader - 2005-07
Among the Nation’s Best
FGCU’s three-point prowess has the program’s calling card from day one and the 2009-10 version of the Eagles have been no different. FGCU is among the nation’s best in 3-pointers made per contest:
TEAM - 3-Pointers Made Per Game (Through games 12/6/09)
1. Iowa St., 11.2
2. Creighton, 10.5
3. Charleston So., 10.3
4. Morehead St., 10.1
5. FGCU, 9.7
5. Oregon, 9.4
6. Fresno St., 9.0
Bowling Green, 9.0
8. Central Mich., 8.9
*Single season record is held by the 2008 Villanova Wildcats (9.9 per game)
Last Time Out (FGCU at Stetson 12/5/09; W 70-43)
Courtney Chihil set a career high with 17 rebounds and Eglah Griffin scored all of her 14 points in the first half, leading the Eagles to a decisive 70-43 victory over Stetson at the Edmunds Center in DeLand, Florida. This marks the first time FGCU has won their conference opener since joining the A-Sun in 2007.
The Eagles got off to a quick start, using a pair of Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich.) field goals to take a 6-1 lead in the opening minutes. The Hatters fought back to tie the game at six, and Stetson would keep it close until eight minutes to play in the half.
Back-to-back three-pointers, one each from Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich.) and Christina Rivette (Fenton, Mich.), just 20 seconds apart, put FGCU back out in front, 21-15. The Eagles would pull away in the final five minutes of the half, rattling off 14 consecutive points. Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla.) knocked down a pair of threes and two free throws, Brittany Brown (Flint, Mich.) converted three free throws, and Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio) added a trey during the run.
FGCU dominated the first half, shooting 41% from the field and 46% from behind the arc, while holding Stetson to just 27% from the field and 0-for-7 from three-point range. Backed by Chihil’s 11 rebounds and Griffin’s 14 points, the Eagles went into the locker room with a 38-21 lead.
The Eagles were able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the second half, holding the advantage near 17 points through the first seven minutes. In a span of 1:45 the lead ballooned to 26 points, thanks to a pair of Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn.) three-pointers and another triple from Brown.
FGCU continued to shoot well from long distance throughout the game, as a three from Samantha Gray (Greenwood, Ark.) extended the lead to 29 points with five minutes to play, and another trey from Rivette increased it to 30 with just over three to go. The Eagles would go on to claim the 70-43 victory, opening A-Sun play with a victory for the first time in school history.
Griffin’s 14 points, all scored in the first half, were a game-high, while Chihil’s career-high 17 rebounds were also a game-high. With the 17 boards, Chihil ties Robyn Swain and Andrea Clarke for the second-most in a single game in school history. Swain still holds the FGCU record with 21 rebounds in a game, a record that has stood since 2003.
16 of FGCU’s 30 games this season will be played on the road. The Eagles faced New Mexico (25-11 last season), who reached the Elite 8 of the 2009 Postseason WNIT, and Georgia Tech (22-10 last season), who earned their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 08-09 and were ranked No. 19 in the Preseason AP Poll, as part of the Preseason WNIT to start the 2009-10 season.
Up Next For FGCU
• The Eagles return home to take on conference foe USC Upstate on Friday, Dec. 19 at 7:05 p.m.
• FGCU will then travel to Miami, Fla. to face the Golden Panthers of FIU on Tuesday Dec. 22 at 7:00 p.m.
About The #21/24 Michigan State Spartans
• No. 21/24 Michigan State beat eighth-ranked Xavier 66-53 Wednesday night, knocking off a top-10 team for the second time in a week. The Spartans came out hustling on defense and outrebounded Xavier 54-30, earning them another upset.
• MSU comes into the game with a 6-3 overall record and a 0-1 record in conference play. The Spartans losses have come at the hands of Dayton (74-77), No. 5/6 Notre Dame (67-68), and Indiana (63-68).
• The Spartans are led by Allyssa DeHaan who averages 13.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game. DeHaan has recorded 35 blocked shots through the first nine games. DeHaan is 44 blocks away from surpassing Sandora Irvin (480) for the most blocks in NCAA history. Already the Big Ten career and single-season record holder, she is currently in the top five all-time nationally with 437 rejections. DeHaan is one of only five Spartans in the top-10 all-time in both scoring and rebounding; ranking seventh in points with 1,415 and seventh in rebounds with 775.
• Michigan State also receives solid minutes from redshirt-sophomore Lykendra Johnson, averaging 10.9 points per game. The forward has started all nine games and leads the team in rebounds, collecting 8.9 per game.
• Redshirt senior Aisha Jefferson became the 20th Spartan with 1,000 career points vs. Indiana. She is 19th all-time with 1,011 points and 19th all-time with 563 rebounds. This season, Jefferson is averaging 8.4 points and 4.1 rebounds a game.
• The Spartans lead the nation with 8.6 blocks per game and have the second most blocks in the nation over the past three-plus seasons with 678.
• The Spartans are under the direction of head coach Suzy Merchant. Last season, Merchant topped the 20-win plateau for fifth-straight season and for the sixth time in her career. In 14 years as a head coach, she has won more than 60 percent of her games, collecting a 246-145 (.629) career record as a head coach at Saginaw Valley State, Eastern Michigan, and MSU. She is the winningest coach in Eastern Michigan history, compiling a 147-91 record in her nine seasons. Merchant was a four-year starter and three-year captain at Central Michigan (1987-91).