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Eagles Look to Clinch Regular Season Against Jacksonville
Jacksonville (13-14/8-10 A-SUN) at FGCU (22-2/15-2 A-Sun)
DATE: Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
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 (Color Analyst)
LIVE STATS: www.FGCUATHLETICS.com
LIVE VIDEO: A-Sun.TV SERIES: FGCU leads, 6-1
Just one win away from clinching a share of the Atlantic Sun Regular Season crown, the Eagles play the third game of their four-game A-Sun home stand when they host the Dolphins of Jacksonville at Alico Arena on Feb. 24. The Blue and Green, who are one of eight Division I programs with two or fewer losses, look to extend their home winning streak to 37 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 64-59 win over Stetson (Feb. 21) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 36 games. FGCU’s 36-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 52.4 percent (36.7 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .436 (316-of-725) from the floor and .355 (134-of-377) from long distance.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
FGCU has a 131-9 all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 53-3 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 53-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .946 winning percentage and the highest all-time winning percentage at home. Tennessee, who has a .94428969 winning percentage (339-20), 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. (.533) and rebounds (6.3 rpg) and scoring (13.0 ppg). The redshirt-freshman’s .533 shooting percentage leads the A-Sun and ranks her 32nd in the nation.
FGCU IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 55-7 in games played in the month of February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 26-4 record in the month of February, 25-4 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 70.0 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 four-points (+14.6). Five different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by nine from freshman Sarah Hansen, six from senior Shannon Murphy, five from junior Eglah Griffin and four from junior Kelsey Jacobson.
GET READY, GET SET GO!
During its 15-2 record 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 615-453. Fueling that big differential is the fact that FGCU is shooting 43.7 percent (223-510) from the floor, while limiting their opponents to 36.7 percent (167-455) clip with 178 turnovers. Senior Shannon Murphy and redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen have done the most damage individually in the first half, averaging 8.2 points, respectively, by the break. Three of FGCU’s 15 A-Sun opponents haven’t reached 20 points at the half.
MURPHY LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Shannon Murphy has scored 1,074 points in her four-year career in the FGCU Blue and Green. She became the third 1,000-point scorer in program history on Sat. Feb. 5 vs. USC Upstate and now sits as the programs 2nd all-time leading scorer behind Adrianne McNally.
Murphy has also dished 386 assists and recorded 156 steals as an Eagle, which makes her the program’s all-time leader in those categories
1415 Adrianne McNally (128 games) - 2006-10
1074 Shannon Murphy (116 games) - 2007-Present
1062 Katie Schrader (65 games) - 2005-07
953 Candy Myers (87 games) - 2003-06
386 Shannon Murphy - 2007-Present
338 Megan Jones - 2002-05 3
35 Adrianne McNally - 2006-10
156 Shannon Murphy - 2007-Present
141 Candy Myers - 2003-06
137 Megan Jones - 2002-05
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 24 games, FGCU leads the nation with an average of 10.8 threes per game, almost a whole trifecta in front of second place Fresno State (10.0). As a team, FGCU has sank double-digit threes in 13 games this season, including 183 over its last 15 contests.
RANK TEAM 3-PT FG/GAME
1. FGCU 10.8
2. Fresno State 10.0
3. UT Martin 9.1
4. Samford 8.5
THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 19-2 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Blue and Green are 22-2 on the year when they drain five or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 22-1 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 75 of her 88 made field goals come from beyond the arc this season, junior Kelsey Jacobson ranks first in the A-Sun (6th in the nation) at 3.13 treys per game. Jacobson has knocked down 75-of-201 three-pointers this season to also rank sixth in the league at a 37.3 clip. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 21 of 24 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 259 threes this season compared to just 97 from its opponents. Led by junior Kelsey Jacobson’s 3.13 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 (.417), while Shannon Murphy (2.00) is T-8th in the conference in 3-pointers made per game. FGCU is the only team in the A-Sun with three players in the top 8 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 84 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 228 three-pointers and on Feb. 7 vs. ETSU, she became FGCU’s all-time leader in three-pointers. Jacobson has made a three in 40 straight games, 57 of her last 58 contests and 79 of 84 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 (270) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 269 contests, including 157 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 157-game run, the Blue and Green have knocked down 1,490 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 767 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 (.417) leads the team and Atlantic Sun, but it also ranks her among the nations best shooters. The junior, who has knocked down 50-of-120 three-point attempts, ranks 21st in the country in three-point percentage.
FGCU RANKED #6 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team dropped three spots to the No. 6 position 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 (10.8), 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 41.8 percent from the field, FGCU sports the conference’s lowest turnover per game rate at 14.2. The Eagles have +6.79 turnover margin which is also best in the A-Sun. Junior Courtney Chihil, who is eighth in the A-Sun in assists (3.83), leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at +1.77 thanks to passing out 92 helpers to just 52 giveaways over the last 19 games. Senior Shannon Murphy is right behind Chihil in second place with a +1.47 ratio while ranking sixth in the A-Sun at 4.17 assists per game.
In 717 minutes of action this season, Kelsey Jacobson has launched 232 shots and assisted on 55 field goals, while turning the ball over just 25 times.