FORT MYERS, Fla. – Redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) scored a game-high 16 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team suffered defeat for the first time this season and had their 14-game winning streak snapped with a 70-52 Atlantic Sun loss at the hands of the Stetson Hatters at the Edmunds Center on Thursday night.
With the loss the Blue and Green fall to 14-1 overall (7-1 A-Sun), while Stetson improves to 9-9 overall (5-4 A-Sun). FGCU, the nation’s leader in three-pointers made per game (11.9), struggled from behind the arc and only managed to hit seven three-pointers on 31 attempts, while the Hatters knocked down 8-of-16 shots from long range. This marks the first time this season that the Blue and Green failed to make more three-point shots than their opponent. This also marks just the third time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (56.2 ppg), have allowed an opponent to score 70 points during the 2010-11 campaign.
Hansen finished with 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field to go with two boards, a block and one steal. Junior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) chipped in with 14 points, including four trey balls, in 38 minutes of action. Junior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) registered 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Natasha Graboski led four Hatters in double figures with 16 points (14 points in the second half), while Tierra Brown pitched in with 13 points and eight assists.
The Hatters jumped out to a quick 10-6 lead capped by a three-pointer from Sasha Sims with 15:44 left in the first half. The Blue and Green then used a 7-0 to grab a 13-10 lead with just over 11 minutes left in the opening stanza. A triple from Janelle Mills tied the game at 13-13 and ended a Stetson scoreless drought that lasted more than five minutes.
Trailing the Eagles 23-20 with more than six minutes left in the opening half, the Hatters went on an 11-3 run to close out the half to take a 31-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Blue and Green’s 26 first half points mark the third time and the first time in A-Sun play that the Eagles have been held under 30 points in the first half this season.
Stetson shot 11-of-29 from the field and 5-of-9 from long range in the first stanza, while FGCU shot 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from the floor in the first half, including just 3-of-12 (25 percent) from long distance.
The Hatters opened the second half with a 19-7 run, in which senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) picked up her fourth personal foul, to grab a 50-33 lead with 11:38 to go in the game. The Blue and Green fought hard to get back into the game, eventually cutting Stetson’s lead to 11 points, before falling by the final score of 70-52.
The Eagles will look to get back to their winning ways on Monday, Jan. 24 when they travel to Buies Creek, N.C. to take on the Camels of Campbell (7-10 overall, 6-2 A-Sun). Tip is set for 7 p.m.