FORT MYERS, Fla. - FGCU women's basketball and head coach Karl Smesko have announced the team’s full 2010-11 schedule on Saturday evening. The Eagles will navigate a slate that will see them play a minimum of 17 home games at Alico Arena.
“We have a challenging schedule for the 2010-11 campaign,” said Smesko. “We will need to improve some things over the next month and a half if we are going to be competitive. Our home schedule will be challenging but will be great for our supporters in Southwest Florida”
The Blue and Green open the season by facing the Seton Hall Pirates at 7:05 p.m. on Nov. 12. The Pirates will be the fourth BCS opponent to visit Alico Arena in the program’s brief three-year Division l history. FGCU is currently 2-1 at home all-time against BCS foes with its most recent meeting coming in the form of an 88-86 win over Florida in the season-opener of the 2008-09 season. FGCU also defeated USF in the opening round of the 2008 WNIT and fell to Florida State in the season opener of the 2007-08 campaign.
FGCU will host Troy, who is coming off a 12-17 season in 2009-10, on November 21.
The Eagles will then play a pair of contests in the 2010 Caribbean Classic. FGCU will open play against ACC member Virginia Tech on Nov. 25 before taking on Big Ten opponent Purdue (Nov. 26) the following day.
Virginia Tech finished last season with a 15-15 overall record (4-10 ACC) and fell to Boston College in the first round of the ACC Tournament. The Hokies will have a different look in 2010-11, as they lost their top-2 scorers (Utahya Drye and Lindsay Biggs) and 42.9-percent of their scoring.
The Boilermakers, who finished 15-17 overall (9-9 Big Ten) last season and lost to Illinois State in the second round of the postseason WNIT, will battle the Eagles on Nov. 26. Purdue returns leading scorer Brittany Rayburn (14.6 points per game), who was named second team All-Big Ten by the coaches and third team All-Big Ten by the media a season ago.
Road contests in Jacksonville, Fla. against North Florida (Dec. 2) and Jacksonville (Dec. 4) will open conference play for the Eagles. A road date for the second meeting with Troy on Dec. 12 precedes home matchups with FIU (Dec. 15) and Big Ten foe Indiana (Dec. 21). The Hoosiers, the fifth BCS opponent to visit Alico Arena since the program became Division I in 2007-08, finished 14-16 overall (7-11 Big Ten) last season and fell to Illinois in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. Indiana returns leading scorer Jori Davis (16.7 points per game), who earned second team All-Big Ten honors a season ago.
Home contests against Belmont (Jan. 3) and Lipscomb (Jan. 5) will kick off the new year for the Eagles.
Eight of the next 12 outings for FGCU will come on the road, as games against Kennesaw State (Jan. 15), Mercer (Jan. 17), USC Upstate (Feb. 5) and three-time defending A-Sun Tournament champion East Tennessee State (Feb. 7) will be sandwiched between conference road tilts at ETSU (Jan. 8), USC Upstate (Jan. 10), Stetson (Jan. 20), Campbell (Jan. 24), Lipscomb (Jan. 29), Belmont (Jan. 31), Mercer (Feb. 12) and Kennesaw State (Feb. 14).
The Blue and Green closes out its Atlantic Sun regular season slate with four consecutive home games against Campbell (Feb. 19), Stetson (Feb. 21), Jacksonville (Feb. 24) and UNF (Feb. 26).
The Eagles wrap up the season by hosting in the three-day FGCU Tournament on March 4-6. The tournament field includes FGCU, Longwood, Seattle and SIU Edwardsville.
FGCU wrapped up the 2009-10 season with a 24-7 overall record (17-3 A-Sun) and earned the program’s third straight automatic bid to the Postseason WNIT, while also securing the seventh 21-plus win season in the eight-year program history. The Eagles lost, 70-57, to eventual WNIT runner-up Miami.
FGCU returns seven players, including three starters from last year’s squad that went 14-0 at Alico Arena, bumping the current home win streak up to 24 games. Senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS), a 2010 Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team performer, is the Blue and Green’s top returning scorer (10.7 ppg). FGCU’s top rebounder (6.2 rpg) and three-point threat (41.3-percent) junior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) is another full-time returning starter, while junior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Seminole CC) made 15 starts and averaged 7.6 points per contest in 2009-10.
Single-game and season tickets are now on sale and can be purchased through the FGCU Ticket Office in Alico Arena either in person or by phone at (239) 590-7145. Tickets are also available on www.FGCUathletics.com/tickets.
For the most up-to-date schedule throughout the season, click the 'Schedule' link on the women's basketball page.