Balanced Attack Leads FGCU over Mercer, 92-55
Thursday, January 26, 2012 | by Mike Hill
Mercer (3-18, 1-9 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (18-2,10-0 A-Sun)
1/26/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1745
Florida Gulf Coast484492
Stats at a GlanceMERWFGCU
FG Percentage.375 (24-64) .467 (35-75)
3P FG Percentage.143 (1-7) .333 (9-27)
FT Percentage.750 (6-8) .722 (13-18)
Offensive Rebounds1220
Defensive Rebounds2230
Total Rebounds3450
Bench Points2650
Statistical LeadersMERWFGCU
PointsPHILLIPS - 12
ReboundsSMITH - 9
AssistsBRADSHAW - 4
StealsWILLIAMS - 1
BlocksWILLIAMS - 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) finished with game-highs in points (16) and rebounds (9), as the FGCU women’s basketball team used a balanced attack to defeat the Bears of Mercer, 92-55, at Alico Arena on Thursday night. Every player that saw the floor for the Green and Blue scored at least two points in the win.

With the victory, FGCU improves to 18-2 overall (10-0 A-Sun), while the Bears fall to 3-18 (1-9 A-Sun) on the season. The Eagles are now 10-0 all-time against Mercer and 5-0 at home against the Bears.

The Eagles, who lead the nation in three-point field goals per game (11.8), knocked down 9-of-27 shots from behind the arc and now have 236 triples as a team. Seven different players made at least one trey for the Green and Blue.

Ranked No. 3 in the Mid-Major poll and receiving votes in both national polls, FGCU forced the Bears into 17 turnovers and held them to just 55 points on 24-of-64 (37.5 percent) shooting from the field. Mercer’s 55 points mark the 15th time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (51.7 ppg), have held an opponent below 60 points this season.

Hansen, scored 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, while also adding nine boards, two assists, one block and a steal. Freshman Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds HS) added 12 points, four rebounds, four blocks and two assists in 20 minutes. Senior Sarah Whitfield (Eugene, Ore./South Eugene HS/Lane CC) scored a season-high 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 from long range. Seniors Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) and Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) and redshirt-freshman Amber Rechis (Martin, Tenn./Westview HS) each chipped in with nine points.

Alex Phillips and Precious Bridges both recorded 12 points to lead Mercer in the loss.

FGCU, who scored on their first eight possessions of the game, shot out of the gate with a quick 24-8 run over the first 8:21 of the game. A jumper from Bridges cut the FGCU advantage to 27-14 with 6:04 remaining in the opening frame, but the Green and Blue used a 21-5 run, highlighted by seven points from Whitfield, to close out the half and take a 48-19 lead into the locker room at the intermission.

In the second half, FGCU continued to dominate Mercer and extended their lead to as many as 39 points before picking up the 92-55 conference win.

Winners of 10 consecutive games, the Green and Blue will return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 28 when they welcome the Kennesaw State Owls to ‘The Nest’ at Alico Arena. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and is the second game of a double-header with the men’s team.