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Women's Basketball Set to Host Michigan State in the 2011-12 Home Opener
|Florida Gulf Coast||39||20||59|
|Stats at a Glance||MSU||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.397 (23-58)||.327 (17-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.304 (7-23)||.324 (12-37)|
|FT Percentage||.556 (5-9)||.867 (13-15)|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast women's basketball team will host Michigan State in their 2011-12 home opener Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. at Alico Arena.
DATE/TIME: Saturday, November 19, 2011/7:05 P.M. ET
SITE: Fort Myers, Fla. - Alico Arena
LIVE STATS: FGCUATHLETICS.com
LIVE VIDEO: ASun.TV
LIVE AUDIO: FGCUATHLETICS.COM
TALENT: Tom James (Play-by-Play)
SERIES: 2nd Meeting; MSU leads 1-0
LAST MEETING: Dec. 13, 2009 - MSU 94, FGCU 71 at the Breslin Center
SCOUTING THE SPARTANS
SPARTANS AGAINST THE EAGLES
Michigan State beat Florida Gulf Coast 94-71 in their lone meeting during the 2009-10 season. Six Spartans scored in double figures in the Dec. 13, 2009 meeting at Breslin Center, led by 15 points from Jasmine Thomas. MSU shot 64.9% from the field and 68.4% from behind the arc.
IN THE SUNSHINE STATE
MSU is making its eighth trip to the state, having posted an 9-4 record in their previous journeys, including a 3-0 record last season. Last year, the Spartans won two games at the UCF Thanksgiving Classic, before upsetting No. 15 Florida State, 72-64 on Dec. 1. Prior to last year, MSU last played in the state on Dec. 10, 2005, when it visited South Florida and came home with an 81-66 victory. The previous four trips were in-season tournaments in Miami during the 1984-85, 1990-91, 1999-00 and 2000-01 seasons.
In the season opening loss, Michigan State allowed Villanova to shoot 43.8% from the field, including 52.6% (10-of-19) from 3-point range. In the three wins since then, the Spartans have held their opponents to 29.4% shooting from the field and 26.9% from behind the arc (only 4.7 makes per game). They have also forced 24.0 turnovers a game in those three games, after forcing only 12 in the opener.
Freshman Jasmine Hines came to East Lansing as Michigan’s high school career points and rebounds record holder. It was thought she would need some time to adjust to the collegiate game, but through the first couple weeks of the season that hasn’t been the case. Hines is second on the team with 10.3 points, despite playing only 11.0 minutes a game. She has shot 76.5% (13-of-17) from the field, which is fourth in the conference, and grabbed 4.3 rebounds. If you pro-rate her production over 40 minutes, she would be averaging 37.5 points and 15.6 rebounds.
AT A GLANCE
FGCU, fresh off their first win of the 2011-12 season at FIU (Nov. 14), looks stay on the winning track Saturday night when they welcome the Spartans of Michigan State to Alico Arena. Tip is set for 7:05 p.m. FGCU will be presented with their 2010-11 A-Sun championship watches and their 2011 WNIT banner will be unveiled in a ceremony prior to the game.
Following the MSU game, the Eagles will play three consecutive home games. FGCU will host Richmond (Nov. 25), before welcoming Webber International (Nov. 28) and ETSU (Dec. 3) to Alico Arena.
EAGLES INK FIVE TO NLI’S
Head Coach Karl Smesko announced that Katie Meador, Taylor Gradinjan, DyTiesha Dunson, Jamie Gluesing and Bethany Murrell will join the Eagles next season.
Meador, a 5-11 wing at Salem Communuity High School in Salem, Ill., averaged 19.3 points and 9.6 rebounds and recorded 14 double-doubles as a junior.
Gradinjan, a 5-9 guard, was a first team All-State selection as a junior at Cudahy High School, averaging 20.9 points, 8.4 rebounds, 3.7 steals and 3.3 assists per game.
Dunson, a 5-8 guard, is rated the 59th-best player at her position by ESPN and averaged 16.8 points, 3.4 steals and 2.9 assists while shooting 43 percent from the floor, 45 percent from behind the 3-point line and 82 percent from the free-throw line.
Gluesing, who took visits to Cleveland State, Youngstown State, St. Francis (Pa.), Pitt and St. Bonaventure before choosing FGCU, averaged 17.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.0 blocks a game as a junior.
Murrell, who picked FGCU over Miami (OH), Ball State and Valparaiso, averaged 16.7 points as a junior, hitting 75 percent of her free throws and 36 percent from three-point range. She also averaged 6.4 rebounds per game.
FGCU VS. BCS OPPONENTS
FGCU is 5-10 all-time against BCS foes. Four of the Eagles’ five wins over BCS opponents have come at Alico Arena.
FGCU IN NOVEMBER
• FGCU has a 38-12 all-time record in games played in November.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 13-7 record in the month of November.
FGCU IN HOME OPENERS
The Eagles own a 8-1 record in home openers, with the lone loss coming at the hands of Florida State in the 2006-07 home opener. FGCU defeted Seton Hall 64-57 in last year’s home opener.
WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
FGCU has a 137-10 all-time record at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 59-4 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 59-4 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .9365 winning percentage and the third highest all-time winning percentage at home. Tennessee and UConn rank first and second all-time in winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena) and (Gampel Pavilion).
MAKING A LIVING FROM LONG RANGE
It’s no secret that Kelsey Jacobson is FGCU’s top three-point threat. Through 94 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 255 three-pointers and on Feb. 7 vs. ETSU, she became FGCU’s all-time leader in three-pointers in just three seasons. Jacobson, who currently holds the Atlantic Sun record for three-pointers in a season (96), has made a three in 50 straight games, 67 of her last 68 contests and 89 of 94 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 43 times, 5+ threes on 14 occasions and a career-best of six three times.
In the program’s nine-year history (280) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 279 contests, including 167 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 167-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 1,603 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 816 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 99-8 all-time and 54-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.
HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE COMPETITION
Kelsey Jacobson has 255 career three-pointers made. She is the nation’s leader (among active players) in career three-pointers, with her closest competition being Jessica Jenkins from St. Bonaventure
FGCU RANKED #14 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned the No. 14 spot in the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday evening. The Eagles started the season ranked No. 8 in the preseason mid-major poll.
The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast Conference.
The Green and Blue are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in this week’s Top 25.
GETTIN’ LOVE FROM ESPN
In the first edition of the mid-major top 10 written by ESPN’s Graham Hayes, the Eagles picked up the No. 5 spot. The mid-major top 10 returns with the same ground rules. All conferences beyond the BCS six (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) qualify for consideration.
Here’s what Hayes said about FGCU:
5. Florida Gulf Coast
Finally eligible for the NCAA tournament after completing the transition to Division I, FGCU might not waste much time availing itself of the new opportunity. Five of the six main rotation players return from a team that went 28-4 a season ago, including leading scorer Sarah Hansen and 3-point wizard Kelsey Jacobson. Newly eligible Oregon State transfer Brittany Kennedy and a freshman class highlighted by top-100 signee Whitney Knight and Greek foward Anthi Chatzigiakoumi suggest depth won’t be an issue.
Key player: Courtney Chihil. Any 5-8 player who leads a team in rebounding (5.8 per game) and leads a conference in assist-turnover ratio (1.89) is worth singling out for attention. The one rotation loss, Shannon Murphy, was a big one, but Chihil could soften the loss. She does everything else.