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Eagles Look to Extend Home Winning Streak Saturday Night
DATE/TIME: Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011/7:30 P.M. ET
SITE: Fort Myers, Fla. - Alico Arena
LIVE STATS: FGCUATHLETICS.COM
LIVE AUDIO: FGCUATHLETICS.COM
TALENT: Tom James (Play-by-Play); J. Webb Horton (Color Commentary)
LIVE VIDEO: ASUN.TV
SERIES: FGCU leads, 6-0
After a two-game road trip last week, FGCU returns to ‘The Nest’ at Alico Arena for a four-game Atlantic Sun home stand, beginning with Campbell on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. The Blue and Green, who are 6-0 all-time vs. the Camels, look to extend their home winning streak to 35 games.
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 81-65 win over ETSU (Feb. 5) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 34 games. FGCU’s 34-game home winning streak is the third longest streak in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.
Sarah Hansen, Shannon Murphy and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 52.5 percent (37.1 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .444 (294-of-662) from the floor and .359 (124-of-345) from long distance.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
FGCU has a 129-9 all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 51-3 home record.
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 51-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .944 winning percentage and the highest all-time winning percentage at home. Tennessee, who has a .94397759 winning percentage (337-20), ranks second all-time in winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena).
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 comfortable in Coach Smesko’s offense and it’s paying dividends in 2010-11.
Hansen currently ranks first on the team in field goal pct. (.545) and rebounds (6.4 rpg) and scoring (13.4 ppg). The redshirt-freshman’s .545 shooting percentage leads the A-Sun and ranks her 24th in the nation.
FGCU IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 53-7 in games played in the month of February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 24-4 record in the month of February, 23-4 against A-Sun opponents.
With three players averaging double figure points and two more at 8.8 points per game or higher, FGCU is second the A-Sun in scoring at a 70.7 per game clip. The Eagles have scored 73 or more points 11 times this season and are the only A-Sun team with a scoring margin larger than three-points (+15.3). Five different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by nine from freshman Sarah Hansen, five from junior Eglah Griffin and four from senior Shannon Murphy and junior Kelsey Jacobson.
GET READY, GET SET GO!
During its 13-2 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 544-392. Fueling that big differential is the fact that FGCU is shooting 44.7 percent (198-443) from the floor, while limiting their opponents to 36.6 percent (147-402) clip with 167 turnovers. Senior Shannon Murphy and redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen have done the most damage individually in the first half, averaging 7.7 and 8.67 points, respectively, by the break. Three of FGCU’s 15 A-Sun opponents haven’t reached 20 points at the half.
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 its first 22 games, FGCU leads the nation with an average of 11.0 threes per game, a whole trifecta in front of second place Fresno State (10.0). As a team, FGCU has sunk double-digit threes in 13 games this season, including 165 over its last 13 contests.
RANK TEAM 3-PT FG/GAME
1. FGCU 11.0
2. Fresno State 10.0
3. UT Martin 8.5
4. Samford 8.5
THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 17-2 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Blue and Green are 20-2 on the year when they drain five or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 20-1 in 2010-11 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 71 of her 83 made field goals come from beyond the arc this season, junior Kelsey Jacobson ranks first in the A-Sun (5th in the nation) at 3.2 treys per game. Jacobson has knocked down 71-of-187 three-pointers this season to also rank fourth in the league at a 38.0 clip. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 20 of 22 games, highlighted by a 6-of-7 night against FIU that tied a career-high for makes.
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 241 threes this season compared to just 89 from its opponents. Led by junior Kelsey Jacobson’s 3.2 trifectas per contest, eight different players have made 10 or more shots from long range. Junior Eglah Griffin leads the A-Sun in three point percentage (.431), while Shannon Murphy (2.00) is 9th in the conference in 3-pointers made per game. FGCU is the only team in the A-Sun with four players in the top 9 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 82 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 224 three-pointers and on Feb. 7 vs. ETSU, she became FGCU’s all-time leader in three-pointers. Jacobson has made a three in 38 straight games, 55 of her last 56 contests and 77 of 82 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 41 times, 5+ threes on 12 occasions and a career-best of six three times.
In the program’s nine-year history (268) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 267 contests, including 155 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 155-game run, the Blue and Green have knocked down 1,472 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 759 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 95-6 all-time and 50-4 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.
GRIFFIN CAN SHOOT WITH THE BEST OF ‘EM
Eglah Griffin’s three-point percentage (.431) leads the team and Atlantic Sun, but it also ranks her among the nations best shooters. The junior, who has knocked down 47-of-109 three-point attempts, ranks 15th in the country in three-point percentage.
FGCU RANKED #3 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team remained in the No. 3 spot in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday evening. The Blue and Green ranked No. 3 last week and have grabbed a spot in the top three on 10 occasions during the 2010-11 campaign.
The Eagles, the nation’s leader in three-pointers made per game, are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in this week’s Mid-Major Top 25.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Already shooting at an A-Sun-best 42.5 percent from the field, FGCU sports the conference’s lowest turnover per game rate at 14.7. The Eagles have had a positive assist/turnover ratio in 13 of their last 20 games resulting in a +6.86 turnover margin also best in the A-Sun. Junior Courtney Chihil, who is eighth in the A-Sun in assists (4.0), leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at +1.83 thanks to passing out 88 helpers to just 48 giveaways over the last 17 games. Senior Shannon Murphy is right behind Chihil in second place with a +1.46 ratio while ranking fifth in the A-Sun at 4.3 assists per game.
In 649 minutes of action this season, Kelsey Jacobson has launched 216 shots and assisted on 55 field goals, while turning the ball over just 23 times.MURPHY LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Murphy has also dished 381 assists and recorded 153 steals as an Eagle, which makes her the program’s all-time leader in those categories.