Eagles Look To Extend Home Winning Streak on Monday
Sunday, January 02, 2011
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GAME DAY CENTRAL
Belmont (4-7, 1-1) @ FGCU (9-0, 2-0)
DATE: Monday, Jan. 3, 2010
CITY: Fort Myers, Fla.
SITE: Alico Arena (4,500)
TIP-OFF: 5:15 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
TALENT: Tom James (Play-by-Play) J. Webb-Horton (Analyst)
LIVE VIDEO: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
LIVE STATS: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
SERIES: FGCU leads, 4-1
LAST MEETING: FGCU 67, Belmont 46 Feb. 20, 2010

SCOUTING BELMONT
LAST TIME OUT: Belmont 61, Chattanooga 66 - Dec. 30
The Bruins were edged in the final 90 seconds of regulation and fell, 66-61, in their non-conference finale.

UTC shot 37.5 percent from the floor, 29.6 from behind the three-point arc and 69.6 percent from the free-throw line. The Mocs held the advantage in rebounds, 36-34, blocks, 2-1, and steals, 6-3.

Chattanooga was led in scoring by Tenisha Townsend, who netted 18 points. Whitney Hood and Bailey Dewart also reached double figures, adding 15 and 11 points, respectively.

Belmont shot 40.4 percent from the hardwood, 30 percent from three-point range and 72.2 percent from the charity stripe. The Bruins and UTC were even in assists at 12 apiece.

The Bruins were led in scoring by Shaundra Strayhorn’s 17 points. Haley Nelson, who was one rebound short of her second consecutive double-double with a team-high nine, also reached double digits, adding 12 points in the effort. Tristan Daniel and Kristin Nash netted nine points apiece.

OPENING TIP
FGCU will ring in the New Year and continue its Atlantic Sun Conference home schedule by hosting Belmont (4-7, 1-1 A-Sun) at Alico Arena on Monday evening. The game marks the beginning of a busy month for the Eagles, who will play four conference games in the next eight days and 10 contests in January. FGCU is 2-1 all-time in the first game of the New Year since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

FGCU RANKED #3 In MID-MAJOR POLL; PICK UP 3 1ST PLACE VOTES
After extending their winning streak to nine games with a 73-69 win over Indiana on Dec. 21, the Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned the No. 3 spot in the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday, Dec. 28. The Eagles, who have held the No. 3 spot for five consecutive weeks, received two of the 31 first place votes, while Green Bay and Bowling Green, the only squads ranked higher than the Eagles, picked up 28 and one first place votes, respectively.

AND THE A-SUN AWARDS GO TO...
Senior Shannon Murphy, juniors Courtney Chihil and Sarah Whitfield and redshirt-freshman Sarah Hansen have all earned A-Sun weekly awards so far this season.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Courtney Chihil (Dec. 28)
• First A-Sun Player of the Week award
• Nearly recorded a triple-double in a win against Indiana; 14 points, 12 assists and 9 rebounds
• Added two steals and shot .556 from the field

NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK: Sarah Whitfield (Dec. 21)
• First A-Sun Newcomer of the Week award
• Tallied a career-high 14 points in a 15-point victory against FIU
• Registered four three-point field goals on five attempts

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Shannon Murphy (Nov. 30)
• Second A-Sun Player of the Week award
• Averaged 16 points and five assists per game on the week and shot .500 from the field

NEWCOMER OF THE WEEK: Sarah Hansen (Nov. 30)
• First A-Sun Newcomer of the Week award • Helped FGCU to a 2-0 record at the Caribbean Challenge, averaging 15 points and 5.5 rebounds
• Shot .684 from all field goals and .667 from behind the arc

STEPPING UP WHEN IT COUNTS
Courtney Chihil nearly recorded a triple-double as the Eagles drained 15 three-pointers en route to the Blue and Green’s third win over a BCS school this season (Seton Hall and Virginia Tech) on Dec. 21 as they defeated Indiana 73-69. The Tipp City, Ohio native finished with 14 points and added 12 assists and nine rebounds on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from long range in a team-high 38 minutes.

Chihil’s 12 assists were the most in a single-game since the program joined Division I in 2007-08 and helped the Eagles finish with a positive assist/turnover ratio (18-16) for the sixth time this season

NATIONAL RECOGNITION
The FGCU women’s basketball team received four votes in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll and also picked up one vote in the AP Top 25 Poll that was released on Tuesday, Dec. 28.

This marks the first time in program history that the Eagles have earned votes in both polls in the same week. It is also the third consecutive week that the Eagles have earned at least one vote in the USA Today/ESPN poll. FGCU earned three votes in last week’s poll (Dec. 21).

The Blue and Green’s one vote in the AP Poll is the fourth time the program has received votes in the national poll. FGCU received one vote in the 2009-10 AP Preseason Top 25 and also picked up a vote in back-to-back weeks in the AP Top 25 to close out the 2008-09 season.

GETTIN’ LOVE FROM ESPN.COM
ESPN women’s basketball writer Graham Hays placed the Eagles in the No. 10 spot on his Mid-major top-10 rankings as part of his Dec. 7 blog entry.

In his blog, Hays, who is an editor for ESPN.com’s SportsNation and writes for Page 2 and contributes to ESPN.com’s women’s basketball, softball and soccer coverage, points out FGCU’s wins over major opponents (Seton Hall and Virginia Tech) and also junior Kelsey Jacobson’s three-point accuracy. The Eagles were the only A-Sun squad on the top-10 list.

The other teams on the list were (in order of ranking): Xavier, Green Bay, Bowling Green, Princeton, Tulane, Charlotte, Gonzaga, Dayton and Fresno State.

FGCU VS. BCS OPPONENTS
FGCU is 5-8 all-time against BCS foes after picking up a wins over BIG EAST opponent Seton Hall, ACC foe Virginia Tech and Big Ten opponent Indiana this season. Four of the Eagles' five wins over BCS opponents have come at Alico Arena. 

BEST START
The Eagles are off to their best start since joining the Division I ranks in 2007-08. The FGCU women sit at 9-0 with wins over BCS foes Seton Hall, Virginia Tech and Indiana.

Year

 Record

2010-11

 9-0

2009-10

 6-3

2008-09

 7-2

2007-08

 5-4

 
I GOT NOTHIN’ BUT DUB’S FOR YA BABY
The Blue and Green (9-0 overall) are one of four remaining undefeated teams left in Division I (as of Jan. 2). The other undefeated teams are: Duke, North Carolina and West Virginia.

WE'RE GOING STREAKING
FGCU has not lost a home game in Alico Arena since January 8, 2009 against East Tennessee State University. FGCU’s 73-69 win over Indiana (Dec. 21) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 28 games. FGCU’s 28-game home winning streak is the third longest streak in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.

Team

Streak

1. UConn 

68 

2. Stanford 

52 

3. FGCU 

28 

4. Nebraska 

27 

    West Virginia    

27

We Must Protect This House
FGCU has a 123-9 (.932) all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 45-3 (.938) home record.

Year

Record

2010-11 

4-0 

2009-10 

14-0 

2008-09 

15-1 

2007-08 

12-2 

2006-07 

23-0 

2005-06 

17-1 

2004-05 

11-4 

2003-04 

12-1 

2002-03

15-0 

TOTAL

123-9 


HOME COOKIN' 
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 45-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .938 winning percentage. Only Tennessee, who has a .943 winning percentage (331-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena).

3’S PLEASE!
In the program’s 9-year history (255 games), the Eagles have made at least one three-pointer in 254 contests.

FGCU has also hit at least one three-pointer in 142 consecutive games, with Feb. 21, 2006 at Lynn being the last time the squad went without a triple. During that span the Eagles have made 1,331 money balls while their opponents have knocked down just 708 three’s, which gives the Blue and Green an average of 13.2 points per game (623 total three-pointers) more than the opposition off of three-pointers.

In games that they’ve drained double-digit 3’s, FGCU is 88-6 all-time and 43-4 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

THREE AMIGOS
Sarah Hansen, Shannon Murphy and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 53.8-percent (39.3 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .477 (126-of-264) from the floor and .388 (54-of-139) from long distance.

ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF
Sarah Hansen signed with FGCU on April 27, 2009...but utilized a redshirt during the 2009-10 season. Hansen took all of last season to work on her game and become acclimated and comforable in Coach Smesko’s offense and it’s paying dividends in 2010-11.

Hansen is currently ranks first on the team in field goal pct. (.588) and rebounds (6.0 rpg), while being the second leading scorer on the squad (13.3 ppg) The redshirt-freshman’s .588 shooting percentage leads the A-Sun and ranks her 11th in the nation.

SHARP SHOOTER
Kelsey Jacobson
is hitting three-point shots at a solid 41.3-percent clip (31-of-75), which is good for 5th in the A-Sun. The junior ranks 5th in the nation with 3.44 three-point FG’s made per game.

Over the last four contests, Jacobson is shooting a blazing 18-of-33 (54.5-percent) from behind the arc.

THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 7-0 when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• FGCU is 9-0 when they drain five or more shots from behind the arc.
• The Blue and Green are also undefeated when they knock down more 3-point shots than their opponent.
• FGCU is holding their opponents to .260 (38-of-146) from behind the arc, while the Eagles have drained 100-of-262 (.382) three-pointers this season.
• FGCU took 76 combined three-pointers (made 26) in two games at the Caribbean Challenge in Cancun, Mexico (Nov 25 & 27).

NATION'S BEST
FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2010-11 version of the Eagles is no different. FGCU ranks first in the nation in 3-pointers made per contest:

NCAA D-I TEAM - 3-Pointers Made Per Game Team 3-pt FG/gm

Rank
Team
3-pt FG/gm
1.
FGCU
11.1
2.
UTPA
8.9
3.
Central Michigan 8.8
 
Fresno State 8.8

8 MINUTES OF PAIN
Over their last four contests, the Eagles have used huge runs from the 16-minute mark to the 8-minute mark of the first half to pull away from their opponents. The Blue and Green have outscored the opposition 83-48 over the last four games during that 8-minute span.

At UNF (12/2/10), FGCU used a 22-4 run (shot 7-of-10) to open up a big lead over the Ospreys.

At JU (12/4/10), FGCU used a 20-7 run (shot 8-of-9) to blow open the game with the Dolphins.

¡NOS ENCANTA MEXICO!
After leading the Eagles to wins over ACC foe Virginia Tech and 17-time Big Sky champ Montana at the 2010 Caribbean Challenge, freshman Sarah Hansen was named tournament MVP, the Triple Crown Sports office announced on Tuesday, Nov. 30.

Senior Shannon Murphy joined Hansen on the All-Tournament team.

Hansen averaged 15.0 points and 5.5 rebounds and shot a blazing 68.4-percent from the floor and 66.7-percent from long distance at the Caribbean Challenge, while Murphy averaged 16.0 points, 5.0 assists and 2.0 rebounds, while shooting 50-percent from the field and 41.2-percent from 3-pt range.

FILLIN’ THE STAT SHEET
Playing in just her second game after suffering a knee injury in the final game of the 2009-10 season (at Miami; 3/18/10), junior Courtney Chihil came very close to becoming the first player in FGCU history to register a triple-double against Troy. Chihil’s dominating performance on both ends of the court featured 10 points, nine rebounds, seven steals and five assists over 37 minutes. Her seven steals were a career-high and also rank second all-time in the FGCU record books for steals in a single game.

FOLLOW THE EAGLES
There are multiple ways for fans to keep up with the Eagles during the 2010-11 season.

On The Web
1. FGCUAthletics.com (official site of Eagle athletics)
2. CourtsideWithKiara (Kiara Bomben’s basketball blog)
3. Facebook.com/FGCUAthletics (official Facebook Page of FGCU Athletics)
4. Facebook.com/FGCUWBB (official Facebook Page of FGCU WBK)

On Twitter
1. FGCUEagles (FGCU Athletic Department)
2. FGCUCoachSmesko (Karl Smesko)