FORT MYERS, Fla. – Five Eagles scored in double figures as the FGCU women’s basketball team defeated UNF, 70-54, in front of 1,604 fans on Saturday night at Alico Arena to extend their home winning streak, which is the third longest in the nation behind UConn and Stanford, to 38 games.
With the win, the Blue and Green improve to 24-2 overall (17-2 A-Sun), while the Ospreys fall to 13-16 overall (11-9 A-Sun). The Eagles have now won 17 conference contests in three consecutive seasons. With one conference matchup remaining, FGCU has a chance to tie the Atlantic Sun record for conference wins in a single season (ETSU; 18-2 in 2009-10).
The 2010-11 A-Sun regular season champs, who lead the nation in three-point field goals per game (10.7), knocked down 12 triples on the night. UNF’s 54 points mark the 19th time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (55.4 ppg), have held an opponent below 60 points this season.
Senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) finished with a game-high 17 points on 7-of 14 shooting from the field and 3-of-5 from long distance. Murphy also added five assists and five rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Redshirt-freshman Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) registered 13 points, six rebounds and four assists. Junior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) chipped in with 12 points and three boards, while juniors Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) and Nicoya Jackson (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS/Southwestern Christian) both recorded 11 points and four rebounds.
Taylor Smith led the Ospreys with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Larkira Jones contributed 11 points and nine rebounds.
With the score tied at 13-13 with 10:25 remaining in the opening half, the Eagles used a 19-4 run, highlighted by eight points from Griffin and six points from Murphy, to grab a 15-point lead, 32-17, with just 1:40 left in the opening half.
UNF scored a pair of baskets over the final minute of the first half to cut the Blue and Green’s advantage to 32-21 heading into the locker room at the intermission
The Ospreys shot 10-of-26 (38.5 percent) from the field and 1-of-4 (25.0 percent) from behind the arc in the first half.
FGCU hit 13-of-33 (39.4 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 6-of-21 (28.6 percent) from long distance.
UNF started the second stanza just like they finished the first and continued to cut the FGCU lead down to six points, 35-29, in the opening three minutes of the second half. Back-to-back triples from Murphy and junior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) stopped the Osprey run and extend the FGCU lead back to 12 points (41-29).
UNF closed the gap to 10, but would get no closer as the Eagles used a 21-10 run to take their largest lead of the game, 67-46, with 3:08 left in the game.
The Eagles return to the court to closeout A-Sun play on Monday, Feb. 28 when they head to Spartanburg, S.C. to face the Spartans of USC Upstate (16-12 overall, 12-7 A-Sun). Tip off for the game, which was cancelled on Jan. 10 due to inclement weather, is set for 5 p.m. at the Hodge Center.