Eagles Look to Secure Perfect A-Sun Regular Season on Saturday at ETSU
Saturday, February 25, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
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Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Florida Gulf Coast (26-2, 18-0 A-Sun)
at
ETSU (8-21, 7-11 A-Sun)
2/25/2012 | MSHA Athletic Center (Johnson City, TN) | Attendance: 2527
1st2ndFinal
Florida Gulf Coast343771
ETSU234164
Stats at a GlanceFGCUETSU
FG Percentage.449 (22-49) .348 (24-69)
3P FG Percentage.400 (10-25) .000 (0-7)
FT Percentage.680 (17-25) .762 (16-21)
Offensive Rebounds926
Defensive Rebounds2221
Total Rebounds3147
Turnovers1916
Steals79
Bench Points187
Statistical LeadersFGCUETSU
PointsHANSEN - 20
MITCHELL - 23
ReboundsHANSEN - 12
MITCHELL - 20
AssistsKENNEDY - 4
GORDON - 5
StealsKENNEDY - 2
GRIFFIN - 2
MITCHELL - 4
BlocksHANSEN - 1
WASHINGTON - 1

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The Eagles, who have won 17 consecutive games and have the seventh best win-loss percentage in the nation, will look to wrap up the regular season with a perfect record in conference play when they take on the Lady Bucs of ETSU on Feb. 25 at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Tip-off is set for 1:30 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN3.com.

FGCU (25-2, 17-0 A-SUN) at ETSU (8-20, 7-10 A-SUN)
DATE: Saturday, February 25, 2012
TIME: 1:30 P.M. ET
SITE: Johnson City, Tenn. - ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center
LIVE STATS: ETSUBUCS.com
LIVE VIDEO: ASUN.TV & ESPN3.COM
TALENT: Paul Krane & Dee Romine
SERIES: 9th Meeting; FGCU leads 6-2
LAST MEETING: FGCU 88, ETSU 60 on Dec. 3 at Alico Arena
CURRENT STREAK: W 17
LAST 20: 19-1
LAST 25: 24-1

KNOW YOUR OPPONENT: ETSU BUCS
- The Lady Bucs are coming off a thrilling 74-72 win against Stetson on Thursday night. After seeing its 11-point lead evaporate late in the second half, Gordon stepped up and scored ETSU’s final five points, while banking in a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down and 35 seconds showing on the game clock. Stetson had one final look at a game-winning three, but Victoria McGowan’s attempt at a three fell short at the buzzer, lifting the Lady Bucs to the two-point conference win.

- The Lady Bucs trail the all-time series with FGCU, 6-2, and have lost the last four games in the series, including an 88-60 setback in Fort Myers back in December. Freshman Maria Bond led the Lady Bucs with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting with six rebounds, while Gordon added 12 points, four rebounds and two assists. The Eagles netted 16 threes (37 attempts) and had three players score in double figures with Kelsey Jacobson finishing with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc. The last time the Lady Bucs defeated FGCU was back on Jan. 16, 2010 when ETSU knocked off the Eagles by five, 88-83, in Johnson City.

FGCU NOTES
LAST TIME OUT: Eagles Defeat USC Upstate to Win 17th Straight and Stay Undefeated in A-Sun Play (Feb. 23)

Sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) scored a game-high 22 points as the No. 29 FGCU women’s basketball team defeated Atlantic Sun foe USC Upstate, 76-63, on Thursday night at the Hodge Center. • With its 17th straight victory, FGCU improves to 25-2 overall (17-0 A-Sun), while the Spartans fall to 8-20 (7-10 A-Sun) on the season. The Eagles are now 7-2 all-time against USC Upstate. • Since joining the A-Sun in 2007-08, the Eagles have 125 victories, which ties them for first all-time in conference history for wins in a 5-year span with FIU (1994-98). The win also gives FGCU 53 wins over the last two seasons, giving the Green and Blue the best 2-year win total in conference history. The Eagles’ 52 wins from 2009-11 and FIU’s 52 wins from 1993-95 now rank second in A-Sun history. • Hansen, who finished with 22 points in just 22 minutes of play, shot 10-of-11 from the field and 2-of-2 from the charity stripe. The McKean, Pa. native also had three rebounds, one block and one steal. • The Eagles, who lead the nation in three-point field goals per game (10.9), knocked down 6-of-15 shots from behind the arc and now have 294 triples as a team. • Ranked No. 3 in the CollegInsider.com Mid-Major poll and receiving votes in both national polls, the Green and Blue forced the Spartans into 24 miscues, which led to 24 FGCU points off turnovers. Upstate’s 63 points mark the 24th time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (52.3 ppg), have held an opponent to 65 points or fewer this season

UP NEXT
Following their matchup with the Lady Bucs, the Eagles will begin to prepare for their first appearance in the A-Sun Tournament. The No. 1 seed in the tournament, FGCU will face the No. 8 seed (ETSU or USC Upstate) on Feb. 29 at noon ET.

FGCU IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 63-8 in games played in February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 34-5 overall record in the month of February; 33-5 vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

AWAY FROM HOME
FGCU has an 88-28 all-time record as the visiting team. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 44-21 road record.

FGCU VS. ETSU AT THE ETSU/MSHA Athletic CENTER
The Green and Blue own a 2-1 record at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center against the Lady Bucs. The Eagles average 77.0 points per game at in Johnson City, while ETSU averages 75.7 points.

The last time the Lady Bucs defeated FGCU in Johnson City was back on Jan. 16, 2010 when they knocked off the Eagles by five, 88-83. The last time the two teams faced off in the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center (Jan. 8, 2011), the Green and Blue drained 12-of-24 shots from behind the arc and picked up a 77-70 road win.

EIGHT CONSECUTIVE 21-WIN SEASONS
The Eagles secured their eighth-straight 21+ win season with a 70-60 victory at JU (Feb. 4). The Green and Blue now have nine 21+ win seasons in program history. The lone year that the Eagles failed to win 21 games was during the 2003-04 campaign, when FGCU went 18-8.

Over the last eight seasons, the Eagles have accumulated 209 wins and 39 losses.

3-TIME A-SUN REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS
FGCU captured the program’s third A-Sun Regular Season crown with their 79-56 win over Stetson (Feb. 18). The Eagles’ other two regular-season championships came in 2010-11 and 2008-09. FGCU finished both the 2010-11 and 2008-09 campaigns with a 17-3 record in A-Sun play.

The Eagles have won 13+ A-Sun games in five straight seasons. FGCU is 81-12 in conference play over the last five years and has won 44 of its last 49 Atlantic Sun regular season games over the past three seasons.

LOCK IT UP
FGCU clinched the program’s first spot in the A-Sun Tournament with a 58-51 win over Kennesaw State on Jan. 28.

With their 79-56 win over Stetson (Feb. 18), the Eagles secured the outright A-Sun Regular Season title and the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament.

HISTORY BUFFS
FGCU is looking to make more Atlantic Sun history on Saturday afternoon at ESTU. With a win over the Lady Bucs the Eagles will become just the third team (second school) to go undefeated in A-Sun play. FIU completed the feat twice as a member of the A-Sun (1992-93 & 1995-96).

A win on Saturday would also give FGCU 18 A-Sun wins on the year, which would tie the 2009-10 ETSU Lady Bucs squad for the most conference victories in a season.

A-SUN TOURNAMENT: FIRST ROUND OPPONENT SCENARIOS
The Eagles, who will play the No. 8 seed on Feb. 29 (noon) in the first round of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament, will not know their opponent until the completion of the final A-Sun game on Saturday, Feb. 25.

FGCU will meet the Spartans of USC Upstate in the 1st round if:
a) ETSU defeats FGCU on Saturday OR
b) Stetson defeats USC Upstate on Saturday

The Eagles will meet the Lady Bucs of ETSU in the 1st round if:
a) FGCU defeats ETSU AND USC Upstate defeats Stetson on Saturday

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
In their last eight games, FGCU their opponents to just 55, 51, 61, 60, 54, 34, 56 and 63 points, respectively. The Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (52.3 ppg), have held opponents below 65 points 24 times this season, while also holding this year’s opponents below 55 points or fewer on 16 occasions.

HANDLING BUSINESS IN ROAD CONFERENCE GAMES
FGCU is 8-0 in A-Sun road contests so far this season, after picking up conference wins at Mercer (98-50; Jan. 2), at Kennesaw State (87-50; Jan. 4), at Belmont (57-50; Jan. 12), at Lipscomb (76-59; Jan. 14), at Stetson (59-55;  Jan. 21) at UNF (72-61; Feb. 2), at JU (70-60; Feb. 4) and at Upstate (76-63; Feb. 23).

The Eagles won the games by an average of 18.4 points and shot 45.0 percent (203-of-451) from the floor and 36.0 percent (72-of-200) from behind the arc, while the opposition is shooting 168-of-407 (41.3 percent) from the field and 37-of-110 (33.6 percent) from three-point range.

ALL WE DO IS WIN
Since joining the A-Sun in 2007-08, the Eagles have 125 wins. The 125 victories rank FGCU t-1st all-time in conference history for wins in a 5-year span behind FIU (1994-98).

The Green and Blue also have 53 wins over the last two seasons and now own the best 2-year win total in conference history. The Eagles’ 52 wins from 2009-11 and FIU’s 52 wins from 1993-95 now rank second in A-Sun history.

WE ARE...FGCU
Sitting at 17-0 in A-Sun action, FGCU is one of 10 teams in the nation that are undefeated in conference play (Fresno St., Delaware, UTEP, St. Bonaventure, Baylor, Princeton, Stanford, American, Middle Tenn.). Also, with a 25-2 overall record, the Eagles are one of eight 25+ win teams in the nation (thru games played on Feb. 23).

BEATING DEFENDING CONFERENCE CHAMPS
The Eagles have picked up a trio of wins over defending conference champs so far this season.

The Green and Blue knocked off defending Big 10 champ Michigan State, 59-58, at Alico Arena in the 2011-12 home opener on Nov. 19. FGCU then went on the road and defeated defending Conference USA champ UCF, 75-36, at UCF Arena (Dec. 8) and defending A-Sun champ Stetson, 59-55, at the Edmunds Center (Jan. 21) and 79-56, at Alico Arena (Feb. 18).

GET THAT OUTTA HERE
Whitney Knight is currently ranks 2nd in the A-Sun with 1.8 blocks per game (49 total blocks). Her 1.8 blocks rank her 57th in the nation (as of Feb. 23), while her 48 blocks rank her 2nd in FGCU history behind Robyn Swain (121).

LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Courtney Chihil has scored 959 points, made 115 three-pointers, grabbed 586 rebounds, recorded 196 steals and dished out 314 assists in her four-year career in the FGCU Blue and Green.

She is currently at or near the top five in all five of those categories:

Points
1. 1415 - Adrianne MCNALLY (128 games) - 2006-10
2.   1231 - Kelsey JACOBSON (119 games) - 2008-Present

5. 959 - Courtney CHIHIL (115 games) - 2008-Present

3-point field goals made
1.   321 - Kelsey JACOBSON (119 games) - 2008-Present

5. 133 - Jen CONELY (66 games) - 2005-07
6. 115 - Megan JONES (86 games) - 2002-05
     115 - Courtney CHIHIL (115 games) - 2008-Present

Rebounds
1. 658 - Adrianne MCNALLY (240o-418d) - 2006-10
2. 640 - Robyn SWAIN (236o-404d) - 2002-04
3.   586 - Courtney CHIHIL (181o-405d) - 2008-Present

Steals
1.   196 - Courtney CHIHIL - 2008-Present

2.  168 - Shannon MURPHY - 2007-11

Assists
1. 419 - Shannon MURPHY - 2007-11
2. 338 - Megan JONES - 2002-05
3. 335 - Adrianne MCNALLY - 2006-10
4.   314 - Courtney CHIHIL - 2008-Present

THE BIG 3
Sarah Hansen, Nicoya Jackson, and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 46.0 percent (34.5 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .436 (301-of-690) from the floor and .340 (118-of-347) from long distance.

BALANCED ATTACK
With three players averaging double figure points and three more at 8.3 points per game or higher, FGCU is first the A-Sun in scoring at a 75.0 per game clip. The Eagles have scored 80 or more points eight times this season and are the only A-Sun team with a scoring margin larger than 6.0 points (+22.6). Six different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by 10 from Sarah Hansen, six from Kelsey Jacobson, four from Eglah Griffin, and two from Nicoya Jackson, Courtney Chihil, Amber Rechis and Whitney Knight.

PROTECTING THE ROCK
Shooting an A-Sun-best 43.7 percent from the field, the Eagles lead the league with a +7.44 turnover margin. Courtney Chihil, who ranks 7th in the A-Sun in assists (3.1), leads the conference with a 2.0 assist/turnover ratio. Nicoya Jackson has a 1.71 ratio while also ranking 8th in the A-Sun at 2.7 assists per game.

NATION’S BEST
FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2011-12 version of the Eagles is no different. FGCU leads the nation with an average of 10.9 threes per game, nearly one trifecta in front of second place UT Martin (10.1). As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in 15 games this season.

RANK   TEAM             3-PT FG/GAME
1.        FGCU                   10.9
2.        UT Martin              10.1
3.        Fresno State          9.7
4.        Youngstown State    9.5

THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 20-0 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Green and Blue are 19-1 on the year when they drain eight or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 24-2 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.

GUNNIN’ FOR THE NCAA RECORD
The Eagles, who own the A-Sun’s single season record for three-pointers (350; 2010-11), are 47 triples away from breaking the NCAA record for three-pointers in a season (340; 2009-10), which is currently held by Morehead St. FGCU’s 350 trifectas in 2010-11 weren’t a NCAA record because the Eagles were ineligible to set NCAA records due to the 4-year reclassifying period.

3’S PLEASE!
In the program’s nine-year history (305) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 304 contests, including 192 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 192-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 1,875 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 896 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 114-8 all-time and 69-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

RAPID FIRE
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 294 threes this season compared to just 90 from its opponents. Led by Kelsey Jacobson’s 2.7 trifectas per contest, six different players have made 29 or more shots from long range. The Eagles have four players ranked in the A-Sun’s top-15 in 3-point field goals made per game.

A-SUN ALL-TIME LEADER
Kelsey Jacobson now has 321 career triples and sits alone as the A-Sun’s all-time leader in career three-pointers.  The previous record holder was former Stetson Hatter Kristen Follis (275; 1990-94).

MAKING A LIVING FROM LONG RANGE
It’s no secret that Kelsey Jacobson is FGCU’s top three-point threat. Through 119 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 321 three-pointers and on Feb. 7, 2011 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 88 of her last 93 contests and 110 of 119 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 51 times, 5+ threes on 17 occasions and a career-best of eight twice.

Ranking 1st in the A-Sun and 26th in the nation at 2.7 treys per game, 72 of Jacobson’s 86 made field goals this season have come from beyond the arc. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 17 of 25 games this season.

HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE COMPETITION
Kelsey Jacobson has 321 career three-pointers made. She currently ranks t-1st in the nation (among active players) in career three-pointers with St. Bonaventure senior Jessica Jenkins (321).

AMONG THE BEST
With at least 3 games remaining in her collegiate career, Kelsey Jacobson is on pace to finish with 330 career three-pointers made, which would rank her top 15 in NCAA Division I history.

FGCU RANKED #3 IN MID-MAJOR POLL

The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned the No. 3 spot, for the sixth consecutive week, in this week’s version of the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday evening (Feb. 21). Delaware and Green Bay are the two teams ranked higher than FGCU in this week’s poll. The Eagles trail the Phoenix by 31 points for the No. 2 slot.

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.

PICKIN’ UP VOTES IN THE NATIONAL POLLS
The FGCU women’s basketball team received 24 votes to rank No. 29 in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll that was released on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The Eagles also received six votes to rank No. 38 in this week’s AP Top 25 that was released on Monday, Feb. 20.

This marks the ninth time in program history that the Eagles have earned votes in both polls in the same week.

GETTIN’ LOVE FROM ESPN
In the fifth edition (Feb. 13) of the mid-major top 10 written by ESPN’s Graham Hayes, the Eagles picked up the No. 4 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:

4. Florida Gulf Coast - Since a five-point loss against NC State in Hawaii on Dec. 28, Florida Gulf Coast has won 15 in a row, 12 of those games by double digits. That probably says something about both the Eagles and the Atlantic Sun, but if the past week in women’s college basketball proved anything, it’s that winning isn’t ever a given. Florida Gulf Coast hit just two 3-pointers in Saturday’s win against Belmont, missing 17 shots from the arc, but such shooting woes for the nation’s most prolific 3-point shooting team don’t matter much when you limit the league’s third-place team to 34 points and 31 percent shooting.

Mechelle Voepel in her Feb. 24 blog entry mentioned head coach Karl Smesko as a candidate for national coach of the year.

Here’s what Voepel said about Smesko:
Florida Gulf Coast’s Karl Smesko:
He has the Eagles soaring in the first season they are eligible for the Division I NCAA tournament. They are 25-2 overall and 17-0 in the Atlantic Sun.

RATING PERCENTAGE INDEX (RPI)
In the Collegiate Basketball News Women’s RPI College Basketball Ratings (for games through Feb. 18), the Eagles were ranked No. 65 and were the only A-Sun school ranked in the top 100.