A-Sun Preseason Favorites Square Off on Saturday
Friday, January 07, 2011
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GAMEDAY CENTRAL
FGCU (11-0, 4-0 A-Sun) at ETSU (6-7, 3-1 A-Sun)
DATE:
Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011
CITY: Johnson City, Tenn.
SITE: ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center
TIP-OFF: 1:30 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO: www.ETSUBUCS.com
LIVE VIDEO: www.ASun.TV
LIVE STATS: www.ETSUBUCS.com
SERIES: FGCU leads, 3-2
LAST MEETING: FGCU 92, ETSU 55 - Feb. 4, 2010

OPENING TIP
The Eagles hit the road for their third Atlantic Sun Conference road game of the season when they visit Johnson City, Tenn. to face reigning three-time A-Sun champion ETSU (6-7 overall, 3-1 A-Sun) at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. The Blue and Green, who are 3-2 all-time vs. the Bucs, will look remain undefeated in the 2010-11 campaign and snap the Lady Bucs’ 11-game home conference winning streak. ETSU’s last conference home loss occurred on Feb. 28, 2009 when Mercer handed the Lady Bucs a 90-79 loss.

SCOUTING THE BUCS
• Junior Natalie Pickwell has been red-hot lately as she has scored at least 18 points in five of her last seven games, including a pair of career-high 21-point efforts at North Carolina and Kennesaw. Pickwell, who entered the season averaging only 3.3 points per game in two seasons with the Lady Bucs, is currently the third leading scorer on the team at 12.2 points per contest.

• Saturday’s matchup marks the sixth meeting between the two clubs as the Eagles hold a slight 3-2 series advantage. Both teams defended their home floors a year ago.

• The Lady Bucs put their 11-game home conference winning streak on the line Saturday. ETSU’s last conference home loss occurred on Feb. 28, 2009 when Mercer handed the Lady Bucs a 90-79 defeat inside the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center.

FGCU IN JANUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 61-7 (.897) in games played in the month of January.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 25-5 (.833) record in the month of January, all versus Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

I GOT NOTHIN’ BUT DUB’S FOR YA BABY
The Blue and Green (11-0 overall) are one of three remaining undefeated teams left in Division I (as of Jan. 6). The other undefeated teams are: Duke and West Virginia.

BEST START
The Eagles are off to their best start since joining the Division I ranks in 2007-08. The FGCU women sit at 11-0 with wins over BCS foes Seton Hall, Virginia Tech and Indiana.

Year

 Record

2010-11

 11-0

2009-10

 8-3

2008-09

 9-2

2007-08

 5-6

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 75-57 win over Lipscomb (Jan. 5) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 30 games. FGCU’s 30-game home winning streak is the third longest streak in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.

Team

Streak

1. UConn 

69 

2. Stanford 

52 

3. FGCU 

30

4. Nebraska 

28 

5. West Virginia    

27

THREE AMIGOS
Sarah Hansen
, Shannon Murphy and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 51.8-percent (38.2 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .467 (148-of-317) from the floor and .376 (64-of-170) from long distance.

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
FGCU has a 125-9 (.933) all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 47-3 (.940) home record.

Year

Record

2010-11 

6-0 

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

125-9 

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 47-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .940 winning percentage. Only Tennessee, who has a .943 winning percentage (331-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena).

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. Through their first time games, FGCU leads the nation with an average of 11.5 threes per game, a full two trifectas in front of second place Fresno State (9.2). As a team, FGCU has sank double-digit threes in eight games this season, including 57 over its last four contests. Even more impressive, the Eagles have shot over 44 percent from long range in four of those games.

RANK              TEAM 3-PT FG/GAME
1.                        FGCU 11.5
2.                  Fresno State 9.2
3.                  Oklahoma 8.8
3.                  Sacramento State 8.8
5.                  Samford 8.7

THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 9-0 when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• FGCU is 11-0 when they drain five or more shots from beyond the arc.
• The Blue and Green are also undefeated when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.
• Nine of the 11 players who have seen time this season have at least two threes.

LEADER OF THE PACK
With 35 of her 43 made field goals come from beyond the arc this season, junior Kelsey Jacobson ranks second in the A-Sun at 3.18 treys per game. Jacobson has knocked down 35-of-92 three-pointers this season to also rank seventh in the league at a 38.0 clip. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in ten straight games, highlighted by a 6-of-7 night against FIU that tied a career-high for makes.

RAPID FIRE
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 126 threes this season compared to just 47 from its opponents. Led junior Kelsey Jacobson’s 3.18 trifectas per contests, five different players have made 10 or more shots from long range. Senior Shannon Murphy is eighth in the A-Sun in threes per game (1.9), while Nicoya Jackson (1.5) is 15th. FGCU is the only team in the A-Sun with four players in the top 15 in three-pointers made.

MAKING A LIVING FROM LONG RANGE
It’s no secret that junior Kelsey Jacobson is FGCU’s top three-point threat. Through 71 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 188 three-pointers to rank second all-time behind Candy Myers’ (2003-06) 212. Jacobson has made a three in 27 straight games, 44 of her last 45 contests and 66 of 71 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 36 times, 5+ threes on nine occasions and a career-best of six twice.

3’S PLEASE!
In the program’s 9-year history (257) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 256 contests, including 144 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 144-game run, the Blue and Green have knocked down 1,357 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 717 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 90-6 all-time and 45-4 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

BALANCED ATTACK
With three players averaging double figure points and two more at 7.9 points per game or higher, FGCU leads the A-Sun in scoring at a 73.8 per game clip. The Eagles have scored 73 or more points seven times this season, including four straight, and are the only A-Sun team with a positive scoring margin (+18.7). Five different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by five from freshman Sarah Hansen, and three from senior Shannon Murphy and junior Kelsey Jacobson.

GET READY, GET SET GO!
During its first-ever 4-0 start in A-Sun play, FGCU has gotten out of the gates quick to take control of the game. Over the first 20 minutes in each of their conference games, the Eagles are out-scoring their opponents 174-88 for a difference of 21.5 points per contest. Fueling that big differential is the fact that FGCU is shooting 50.4 percent (63-125) from the floor, while limiting their opponents to a measly 28.8 percent (32-111) clip with 47 turnovers. Senior Shannon Murphy and redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen have done the most damage individually in the first half, averaging 11.3 points and 10.8 points, respectively, by the break. Two of FGCU’s four A-Sun opponents haven’t reached 20 points at the half.

PROTECTING THE ROCK
Already shooting at an A-Sun-best 43.9 percent from the field, FGCU sports the conference’s lowest turnover per game rate at 13.8. The Eagles have had a positive assist/turnover ratio in eight of their last nine games resulting in a +7.5 turnover margin also best in the A-Sun. Junior Courtney Chihil leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at +2.0 thanks to passing out 23 helpers to just 10 giveaways over the last six games. Senior Shannon Murphy is right behind Chihil in third place with a +1.53 ratio while ranking fifth in the A-Sun at 4.4 assists per game.

MURPHY LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Shannon Murphy
has scored 926 points in her four-year career in the FGCU Blue and Green. With 74 more points the senior will become the third 1,000-point scorer in program history.

Murphy has also dished 335 assists as an Eagle, which is four shy of making her the program’s all-time leading in assists.

Points
1415; Adrianne McNally (128 games) - 2006-10
1062; Katie Schrader (65 games) - 2005-07
953; Candy Myers (87 games) - 2003-06
926; Shannon Murphy (103 games) - 2007-11

Assists
338; Megan Jones - 2002-05
335; Shannon Murphy - 2007-11
335; Adrianne McNally - 2006-10

EAGLES LAND PAC-10 TRANSFER
On Jan. 5, head coach Karl Smesko announced that Brittany Kennedy, formerly of Oregon State University, will join the Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball program for the 2011-12 season.

Kennedy will be required to sit out a full academic year due to NCAA transfer rules, but will be eligible after the first semester of the 2011-12 campaign. Although the Spokane, Wash. native will not be able to travel with the team or suit up for games in 2010-11, she is permitted to participate in practice with the Eagles.

FGCU RANKED #3 IN MID-MAJOR POLL; PICK UP 2 1ST PLACE VOTES
After extending their winning streak to 10 games with a 79-39 win over Belmont on Jan. 3, 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, Jan. 4. The Eagles, who have held the No. 3 spot for six 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 27 and two first place votes, respectively.

NATIONAL RECOGNITION
The FGCU women’s basketball team received six 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, Jan. 4.

This marks the second time in program history that the Eagles have earned votes in both polls in the same week. It is also the fourth 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 fifth 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.