FGCU Extends Home Winning Streak With 86-71 Win Over FIU
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Five Eagles scored in double figures as the FGCU women’s basketball team drained 16 three-pointers en route to an 86-71 win over FIU at Alico Arena on Wednesday night.

With the win the Blue and Green moves to 8-0 and extend their best Division I start in program history, while FIU falls to 5-5. The win also extends FGCU’s home winning streak to 27-games. The Eagles 27-game home winning streak ranks third in the nation behind UConn and Stanford. The Blue and Green have not lost a home game in Alico Arena since January 8, 2009 against ETSU.

Junior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) finished with a season-high 20 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Jacobson shot 7-of-8 from the field and 6-of-7 from three-point range. Senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) chipped in with 14 points, six assists and three steals. Junior Sarah Whitfield (Eugene, Ore./South Eugene HS/Lane CC) scored a career-high 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-5 from long range. Juniors Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) and Nicoya Jackson (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS/Southwestern Christian) rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 each.

Jerica Coley led the Panthers with a game-high 21 points. Coley also hauled down double figure rebounds (11) to help FIU hold a 34-25 edge on the glass.

The Eagles opened the first half on a 10-0 run, highlighted by a pair of layups from Chihil. The Blue and Green held the Panthers without a point until the 14:36 mark when FIU’s Michelle Gonzalez knocked in a pair of free throws. The Panthers were held without a field goal until Gonzalez knocked down a three-pointer with 12:05 left in the opening half (16-9). The Eagles then employed a 35-17 run, in which they shot 11-of-19 from the floor, 7-of-8 from three-point range and 6-of-7 from the charity stripe, over the final 12 minutes of the opening stanza to take a 51-26 lead into the locker room at halftime. Whitfield fueled the run for the Blue and Green with 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from long range.

FGCU owned the opening 20 minutes as they shot 53.1-percent (17-of-32) from the field and a scorching 69.2-percent (9-of-13) from behind the three-point line. On the flipside, the Panthers shot just 8-of-25 (32-percent) from the floor and were 4-of-12 (33.3-percent) from long distance. FGCU and FIU both finished the opening half with 17 rebounds, and the Eagles forced the Panthers into 13 first half turnovers, while only committing three miscues of their own.

FIU opened the second half with a 27-12 run over the first 7:53 to cut FGCU’s lead to 10 points (63-53). The Blue and Green would go on to outscore the Panthers 23-18 to close out the game on the strength of four triples, including a pair from Jacobson, to pick up their eighth victory of the 2010-11 campaign. FGCU shot 50-percent (12-of-24) in the final frame and knocked down 7-of-14 shots (50-percent) from the three-point line to hold off the FIU comeback and eventually seal the win. For the game, FGCU knocked down a season-high 16 three-pointers, marking the 141st consecutive game it has registered at least one long range field goal.

The Blue and Green will return to the court on Tuesday, Dec. 21 when they play host to the Hoosiers of Indiana at 7:30 p.m. at Alico Arena in the back-end of a doubleheader after the men’s team hosts N.C. Central.

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