(5-19, 5-9 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast
(22-2, 14-0 A-Sun)
2/9/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 2096
|Florida Gulf Coast||47||50||97|
|Stats at a Glance||LIP||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.600
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Freshman Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds HS) scored a game-high 19 points, as the No. 29 FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down 17 triples en route to a 97-54 win over Atlantic Sun foe Lipscomb on Thursday night in front of 2,098 fans.
With its 14th straight victory, FGCU improves to 22-2 overall (14-0 A-Sun), while the Bison fall to 5-19 (5-9 A-Sun) on the season. The Eagles are now 9-0 all-time against LU and 5-0 at Alico Arena.
Knight, who finished with 19 points, led a 57-11 advantage in bench points for the Eagles. The Winston-Salem, N.C. native also had seven rebounds, four blocks and three assists in 23 minutes of action, while shooting 6-of-13 from the field, 4-of-7 from behind the arc and 3-of-5 from the charity stripe. Knight now has 47 career blocks, which ranks second in the FGCU record books behind Robyn Swain (121).
The Eagles, who lead the nation in three-point field goals per game (11.3), knocked down 17-of-41 shots from behind the arc and now have 271 triples as a team. The Green and Blue’s 17 made triples are the most the team has made since Dec. 30, 2011 vs. Alcorn State (17).
Ranked No. 3 in the CollegInsider.com Mid-Major poll and receiving votes in both national polls, FGCU forced the Bison into 24 miscues, which led to 31 FGCU points off turnovers. Lipscomb’s 54 points mark the 15th time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (52.5 ppg), have held an opponent to 55 points or fewer this season.
Redshirt-freshman Amber Rechis (Martin, Tenn./Westview HS) scored 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 from behind the arc to contribute to the 57-point night for the bench. Senior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) registered 14 points, three rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) chipped in with 10 points, a game-high nine boards and five assists, while senior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS.) added 10 points, two rebounds and a pair of assists.
FGCU opened up the game with a 20-5 spurt, highlighted by eight points from Chihil, over the first 7:38 of the game. A triple from Anna Bowers cut the FGCU advantage to 23-10 with 9:35 remaining in the opening frame, but the Green and Blue used a 24-15 run to close out the half and take a 47-25 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
The Eagles shot 16-of-35 (45.7 percent) from the floor and 7-of-23 (30.4 percent) from behind the arc in the opening frame, while the Bison knocked down 40.9 percent (9-of-22) of their shots from the field and were forced into 14 miscues.
In the second half, FGCU continued to light it up on the offensive end and extended their lead to as many as 46 points before picking up the 97-54 conference win. The Eagles closed out the final 4:04 of the game on a 16-8 run, highlighted by a trio of three-pointers from freshman Anthi Chatzigiakoumi (Athens, Greece/General Sr. HS of Kallithea).
For the game, the Bison shot 18-of-42 (42.9 percent) from the field and 6-of-10 (60 percent) from behind the arc, while the Eagles hit 35-of-67 (52.2 percent) from the floor on the night, including 17-of-41 (41.5 percent) from long distance.
The Green and Blue will return home to host Belmont on Saturday, Feb. 11. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. and is the second game of a doubleheader with the men’s team.
With the win over Lipscomb, the Eagles assured themselves of at least top-2 seed in the 2012 A-Sun Tournament, meaning they will play their quarterfinal game on Wednesday, Feb. 29. Tip-off times still to be determined. FGCU Athletics is now offering ticket packages for the conference tournament at Mercer in Macon, Ga. Fans can get ticket booklets that include admission into every game of the men’s and women’s tournament (14 games) for $75. All tickets are general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FGCU ticket office Monday-Friday, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 239-590-7145, in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by ordering online at www.fgcuathletics.com/tickets. Tickets through the FGCU ticket office must be purchased by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27.