USC Upstate (16-12/12-7 A-SUN) vs. FGCU (24-2/17-2 A-Sun)
DATE/TIME: Monday, Feb. 28, 2011/5 P.M. ET
SITE: Spartanburg, S.C. - Hodge Center (1,535)
LIVE STATS: UPSTATESPARTANS.COM
LIVE VIDEO: ASUN.TV
SERIES: FGCU leads, 5-1
LAST MEETING AT UPSTATE: Upstate 86, FGCU 78 - Feb. 25, 2010
The A-Sun regular season champion FGCU women’s basketball team will close out the 2010-11 regular season Monday evening when it takes on the USC Upstate Spartans at 5 p.m. in the Hodge Center. The game was originally scheduled to be played on Jan. 10, but a large snowstorm caused the game to be postponed until Monday night. FGCU owns a 5-1 lead in the series that dates back to when both schools made the jump to NCAA Division I in 2007.
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 70-54 win over UNF (Feb. 26) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 38 games. FGCU’s 38-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 53.0 percent (37.0 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .437 (343-of-785) from the floor and .359 (145-of-404) from long distance.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
FGCU has a 133-9 all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 55-3 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 55-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .948 winning percentage and the highest all-time winning percentage at home. Tennessee, who has a .944 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. (.529) and rebounds (6.2 rpg) and scoring (13.1 ppg). The redshirt-freshman’s .529 shooting percentage leads the A-Sun and ranks her 33rd in the nation.
FGCU IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 57-7 in games played in the month of February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 28-4 record in the month of February, 27-4 against A-Sun opponents.
With three players averaging double figure points and two more at 8.5 points per game or higher, FGCU is third the A-Sun in scoring at a 69.7 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 (+14.3). Five different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by nine from freshman Sarah Hansen, eight from senior Shannon Murphy, five from junior Eglah Griffin and four from junior Kelsey Jacobson.
GET READY, GET SET GO!
During its 17-2 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 681-501. Fueling that big differential is the fact that FGCU is shooting 43.4 percent (248-572) from the floor, while limiting their opponents to 36.2 percent (187-516) clip with 197 turnovers. Senior Shannon Murphy and redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen have done the most damage individually in the first half, averaging 8.5 points and 8.3 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 26 games, FGCU leads the nation with an average of 10.7 threes per game, almost a whole trifecta in front of second place Fresno State (9.8). As a team, FGCU has sunk double-digit threes in 14 games this season.
THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 21-2 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Blue and Green are 24-2 on the year when they drain five or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 24-1 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 78 of her 92 made field goals come from beyond the arc this season, junior Kelsey Jacobson ranks first in the A-Sun (6th in the nation) at 3.00 treys per game. Jacobson has knocked down 78-of-212 three-pointers this season to also rank seventh in the league at a 36.8 clip. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 22 of 26 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 279 threes this season compared to just 104 from its opponents. Led by junior Kelsey Jacobson’s 3.0 trifectas per contest, eight different players have made 10 or more shots from long range. Junior Eglah Griffin is second the A-Sun in three point percentage (.402), while Shannon Murphy (2.08) is 7th 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 86 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 231 three-pointers and on Feb. 7 vs. ETSU, she became FGCU’s all-time leader in three-pointers. Jacobson has made a three in 42 straight games, 59 of her last 60 contests and 81 of 86 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 (272) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 271 contests, including 159 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 159-game run, the Blue and Green have knocked down 1,510 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 774 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 96-6 all-time and 51-4 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.
GRIFFIN CAN SHOOT WITH THE BEST OF ‘EM
Eglah Griffin’s three point percentage (.402) leads the team and Atlantic Sun, but it also ranks her among the nation’s best shooters. The junior, who has knocked down 50-of-120 three-point attempts, ranks 36th in the country in three-point percentage.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Already shooting at an A-Sun-best 41.7 percent from the field, FGCU sports the conference’s lowest turnover per game rate at 14.0. The Eagles have +6.69 turnover margin which is also best in the A-Sun. Junior Courtney Chihil, who is ninth in the A-Sun in assists (3.73), leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at +1.73 thanks to passing out 97 helpers to just 56 giveaways over the last 21 games. Senior Shannon Murphy is right behind Chihil in second place with a +1.51 ratio while ranking fifth in the A-Sun at 4.12 assists per game.
In 765 minutes of action this season, Kelsey Jacobson has launched 245 shots and assisted on 56 field goals, while turning the ball over just 27 times.
MURPHY LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Shannon Murphy has scored 1,112 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 393 assists and recorded 158 steals as an Eagle, which makes her the program’s all-time leader in those categories
1415 Adrianne McNally (128 games) - 2006-10
1112 Shannon Murphy (117 games) - 2007-Present
1062 Katie Schrader (65 games) - 2005-07
953 Candy Myers (87 games) - 2003-06
393 Shannon Murphy - 2007-Present
338 Megan Jones - 2002-05
335 Adrianne McNally - 2006-10
158= Shannon Murphy - 2007-Present
141 Candy Myers - 2003-06
137 Megan Jones - 2002-05