FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball team will participate in the Longwood Tournament beginning Saturday, March 6 in Farmville, Va. The Eagles (22-6) will open tournament play against Seattle on Friday at 2 p.m. The tournament field includes FGCU, North Carolina Central, Seattle and tournament host Longwood. Each of the four participating teams will play two games.
The Redhawks of Seattle, who come into the tournament with a 6-22 record, closed out the home-half of the 2009-10 schedule with a 64-44 loss to Cal State Bakersfield on Feb. 20. Despite struggling to get their complete offensive game going, junior center Tatiana Heck had a standout performance. Heck scored a game-leading 22 points, including going 10-for-17 from the field. Saturday's meeting between the Eagles and the Redhawks will be the first in program history.
On Saturday (March 7), the Eagles will play either Longwood or NCCU, depending on how the wins and losses fall on day one of the tourney.
NCCU (10-16) has won three of their last four games, including a 74-66 win over Longwood on February 26 in Durham, N.C. The Eagles are led by Joanna Miller’s 19.2 points per game.
Longwood enters the tournament with an 8-19 record, following the 74-66 loss to NCCU on February 26. The Lancers eight wins have come against Utah Valley, Texas-Pan American, Campbell, High Point, Winthrop, Troy and Savannah State, twice. Longwood is led by the duo of Brittanni Billups and Chelsea Coward. Billups leads the team in scoring (11.4), rebounding (5.6) and field goal percentage (.449). Coward is second on the team in scoring (10.9) and rebounding (4.5).
• Through 28 games, the Eagles are shooting .419 from the field, .364 from three-point land and .741 from the free-throw line…FGCU’s opponents are shooting .398 overall, .325 from long range and .715 from the stripe…the Eagles average 17.9 assists per game to the opponents’ 11.9.
• FGCU had won 22 consecutive conference games dating back to last season, prior to the loss to ETSU on Jan 16. • FGCU has an all-time record of 14-4 (.778) in games played in the month of March.
• The Eagles six losses this season have occurred on the road.
• With the 63-55 win at Jacksonville last Thursday (Feb. 11), the Eagles and Head Coach Karl Smesko picked up the program’s 200th victory.
The Eagles Dec. 13 game at No. 21/24 Michigan State marked the second time that FGCU 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.
Big Things to Come
The Eagles Dec. 13th matchup with Michigan State was the front-end of a home-and-home series between the Spartans and Eagles, with MSU coming to Alico Arena in 2011-12.
Three is the Key
• The Eagles are 17-3 this season when they shoot 24 or more three-pointers in a game.
• FGCU is 17-3 when they knock down nine or more shots from behind the arc this season.
• The Blue and Green hold a 20-3 record this season when they knock down more 3-point shots than their opponent.
• FGCU is holding their opponents to .325 (125-of-385) from behind the arc, while FGCU has drained 293-of-805 (.364) three-pointers this season.
• FGCU took a school-record 46 three-pointers in their 67-47 win at Lipscomb (previous record was 45 attempts vs. UNF on March 1, 2008)
The Eagles have attempted 543 three-pointers (30.2 per game) since the calendar changed to 2010. By comparison, FGCU’s opponents have attempted a total of 216 (12.0 per game) threes in those 18 games.
Home is Where the Heart Is
FGCU has a 119-9 (.930) all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 41-3 (.932) home record.
We’re Going Streaking
Florida Gulf Coast University has not lost a home game in Alico Arena since January 8, 2009 against East Tennessee State University. The Eagles are currently riding a 24-game home winning streak. FGCU’s 24-game home winning streak is the fifth longest streak in the nation:
1 Connecticut 58
2 Stanford 44
3 Lehigh 32
4 Green Bay 25
5 FGCU 24
6 TCU 22
**rankings as of Mar. 4, 2010**
Alico Arena has become one of the most intimidating places for opposing teams in all of Division I women’s basketball. The Eagles have accumulated a 41-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, a .932 winning percentage. Only Tennessee, who has a .941 winning percentage (320-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home.
Away from Home
FGCU has a 68-23 (.747) all-time record as the visiting team. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 24-16 (.600) road record.
FGCU in March
• FGCU has an all-time record of 14-4 (.778) in games played in the month of March.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 6-2 (.750) record in the month of March, 1-0 (1.000) against A-Sun opponents. (3/1/08 vs. North Florida, W 70-39)
FGCU vs. A-Sun Foes
• Since becoming a member of the Atlantic Sun in the Fall of 2007, FGCU has compiled a 47-9 (.839) record against conference opponents.
• FGCU had won 22 consecutive conference games dating back to last season, prior to the loss to ETSU on Jan 16.
• The Eagles won a conference-record 17 A-Sun games last season.
Adrianne McNally, who already is FGCU’s leader in career points, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws made and attempted, rebounds, offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, games played, games started, and minutes played, is looking to grab the top spot in several other FGCU all-time records:
1. 338 - Megan Jones - 2002-05
2. 331 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-present
3. 301 - Chelsea Dermyer - 2005-08
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. 133 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-present
4. 122 - Alex Nelson - 2005-07
5. 103 - Katie Schrader - 2005-07
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 leading the nation in 3-pointers made per contest:
NCAA D-I TEAM - 3-Pointers Made Per Game (Through games 3/4/10)
1. FGCU 10.5
2. Middle Tenn. 10.3
3. Morehead St. 10.3
4. Oral Roberts 9.4
5. Charleston So. 8.9
6. Fresno St. 8.6
*Single season record is held by the 2007-08 Villanova Wildcats (9.9 per game)
In addition to three-pointers made per game, the Eagles are chasing down a pair of NCAA season all-time records: three-point field goals attempted and made.
NCAA D-I 3-Pointers Made
Morehead St.: 318
NCAA record: 326 – Villanova (2007-08)
FGCU record: 338* (2006-07) *NCAA Division II
NCAA D-I 3-Pointers Attempted
Morehead St.: 907
NCAA record: 893 – Fresno State (2008-09)
FGCU school record: 893* (2006-07) *NCAA Division II
Adrianne McNally’s game-high 21 points against No. 21/24 Michigan State on Sunday, Dec. 13, was the most points by any FGCU player ever versus a ranked opponent.
FGCU earned its third First-Team All-A-Sun selection in program history as senior Chelsea Lyles earned honors for the second time in her career after averaging 12.8 points, 2.7 assists, and 5.3 rebounds, good for ninth, 14th, and 17th in the A-Sun. Lyles, FGCU’s leader in blocks (21), also ranked in the top-15 in field goal percentage (.415), three-point percentage (.350), and free throw percentage (.767). The senior captain scored in double figures 19 times this season, leading the Eagles in scoring in nine contests.
Senior Adrianne McNally and junior Shannon Murphy earned Second-Team All-Atlantic Sun honors, helping the Eagles secure their seventh 21-plus win season in the eight year program history. McNally, who ranks second in the A-Sun in field goal percentage (.488), averages 12.8 points, 4.8 rebounds (third in conference), and 4.18 assists (fourth in conference). McNally, also sits second in the A-Sun in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.58). Murphy ranks first in the conference and 25th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.02), while also ranking first on the team in assists per game (4.63 apg) and third on the team in scoring (11.3 ppg).
It’s an Honor
Shannon Murphy led FGCU to conference wins over Kennesaw State and Mercer the week of Jan .18, and for her performances, she claimed the first Player of the Week award of her career, the conference office announced on Monday, Jan. 25.
In FGCU's 79-52 win against Kennesaw State on Thursday, Murphy, a native of Brighton, Mich., chipped in with 17 points, a game-high nine assists, and three steals. In the Eagles, 84-77, win versus the Mercer Bears on Saturday, the management major scored a career-high 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 7-of 11 from three-point range. Murphy’s seven triples rank her third all-time in FGCU history for three-pointers in a single game. She also added a game-high eight assists in the win over Mercer.
For the week, Murphy averaged 22.5 points, 8.5 assists and 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 69.6-percent from the field and 57.1-percent from 3-pt range.
Grabbin’ Boards and a Spot in the Record Books
Chelsea Lyles’ career-high 18 rebounds at Mercer (2/1/10) were the second-most in a single game in school history. Robyn Swain still holds the FGCU record with 21 rebounds in a game, a record that has stood since 2003.
Countin’ on Courtney
• Sophomore Courtney Chihil ranks first on the team in rebounding (6.2 rpg) and second in steals (1.4 spg).
• Chihil had a season-high six steals against USC-Upstate (12/19/09) and ETSU (1/16/10).
• The Eagles are 10-3 when Chihil leads the team in rebounds.
Career High Performances
Chelsea Lyles set a new career-high with 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-6 from behind the arc in an 88-83 loss at the hands of East Tennessee State on Jan 16. Lyles’ 25 points are the most scored by an FGCU player in a losing effort, against an A-Sun opponent.
Lyles also set a new career-high with 18 rebounds at Mercer on Feb. 1. Lyles 18 boards are the second-most in a single game in school history. In the Eagles 84-77, win versus the Mercer Bears on Saturday, Jan. 23
Shannon Murphy scored a career-high 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 7-of 11 from three-point range. Murphy’s seven triples rank her third all-time in FGCU history for three-pointers in a single game