PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Freshman Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) scored a game-high 19 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team defeated ACC foe Virginia Tech, 73-65, on Thursday night in their first game of the 2010 Caribbean Challenge.
With the win, the Eagles improve their record to 3-0, while the Hokies fall to 4-1. The win also gave FGCU their first win over a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). The Blue and Green were 0-4 all-time vs. the ACC prior to the matchup with VT.
Hansen, in just her third collegiate start, led the Blue and Green with a career-high 19 points, while pulling down five rebounds. Junior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) chipped in with 14 points. Senior Shannon Murphy (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) finished with 11 points and a game-high seven assists. Junior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) recorded nine points, five rebounds and four assists. Junior Nicoya Jackson (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS/Southwestern Christian) pitched in with nine points on 3-of-3 shooting in just nine minutes of floor time.
Hansen drove by a VT defender and banked in a three-pointer to give the Eagles a quick 5-3 lead less than two minutes into the game (18:40). The Hokies then used a 13-5 run to grab a 16-10 lead with 12:32 left in the half. After a Hansen free throw made the score 19-16 in favor of Virginia Tech, the Hokies used a quick 5-0 run to grab their largest lead of the half (8) at 24-16. The Eagles would fight back and used a 13-6 run, highlighted by five points from Murphy and four from freshman Kiara Bomben (Canberra, Australia/Ankeny HS), to make the score 30-29 with 1:45 left in the opening stanza. After a pair of free throws from VT’s Porschia Hadley (32-29), the Blue and Green got back-to-back triples from Murphy and junior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) to grab a 35-32 lead with seven seconds on the clock. The Hokies got a buzzer beating three-pointer from Alyssa Fenyn to tie the game at 35-35 heading into the locker room at halftime.
The second half was tight and VT took what would be its last lead at 53-52 on an Aerial Wilson jumper at the nine-minute mark. Trailing 53-52 with 9:10 remaining in the game, the Eagles used a 14-6 run fueled by a trio of treys to take control of the game (66-59) and never look back. FGCU would not allow the Hokies to get closer than four points the rest of the way as they went on to pick up the huge 73-65 victory.
The Eagles shot 44.1 (26-of-59) percent from the floor and 38.2 (13-of-34) percent from beyond the arc. FGCU was outrebounded 43-23, but forced VT into 23 turnovers while only committing 12 miscues.
The Blue and Green return to action on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. ET against Montana.
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