Women's Hoops Repeats as NCAA/A-Sun ‘Pack the House' Challenge Winner
Thursday, March 15, 2012
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Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder

MACON, Ga. – For the second straight year Florida Gulf Coast University was one of 32 winners in the NCAA Division I “Pack the House” Challenge.

“The ‘Pack the House’ game was an excellent example of campus collaboration,” said Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing Denise Da Silveira. “This ‘Pack the House’ event was a culmination of nearly a year of developing strategies to take our incredible women’s basketball program and showcase them both on campus and in southwest Florida. We look forward to trying hard to win the award next year and are so proud of our community and university support.”

Additionally, for the third consecutive year the A-Sun recorded 100 percent participation in the “Pack the House” Challenge. Additionally, in two of the last three years the A-Sun has been the lone conference with all of its members participating. Nearly 20,000 A-Sun fans cheered on their teams during the 10 PTH contests this season.

“The NCAA Pack the House Challenge is a wonderful opportunity for our conference and member institutions to promote our talented women’s basketball student-athletes and coaches,” said A-Sun Senior Associate Commissioner Sherri Booker. “We are thankful for the hard working marketing administrators in the A-Sun as they spend many days promoting our teams while also promoting this initiative. Congratulations to the A-Sun women’s basketball programs in receiving the recognition they deserve and to the conference for being the only Division I conference in the country to have 100% participation in this initiative the past three years.”

“Pack the House” is a national effort in which conferences and institutions compete to build attendance. NCAA Division I women’s basketball marketing staffs selected a home game and designated that date as a “Pack the House” game with the goal of setting an attendance record. One winner from each of the 32 conferences and one from a group of independent institutions are chosen each year, with the selections being based on marketing plan creativity and attendance criteria. The NCAA will award prizes and donate $500 to the nonprofit organization of each winning institution’s choice.

And with 153 institutions participating in the effort this year, attracting more than 431,000 fans, pack the house, they did.

Florida Gulf Coast hosted 3,489 fans at its women’s basketball game on February 18, as the Eagles topped Stetson 79-56 to complete the sweep of the defending A-Sun Tournament champions. The attendance was a regular season record at Alico Arena. The win gave the Eagles the outright A-Sun regular season title, the third in program history, and the No. 1 seed in the 2012 General Shale Brick Atlantic Sun Basketball Championship.

Two other schools, UNF (3,461) and ETSU (4,092), also set season-high attendance marks and ETSU also recorded the second-highest attendance figure in program history in its 71-68 overtime loss to LSU.

Other past A-Sun PTH winners include Lipscomb (2007-08), ETSU (2008-09) and Jacksonville (2009-10).

“In the fifth year of this initiative, we are pleased to see the continued increase in attendance, excitement and exposure for our women’s basketball programs,” said Greg Christopher, chair of the Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and director of athletics at Bowling Green State University. “The year-in and year-out success of Pack the House is a direct tribute to the commitment level put forth by the personnel at each campus. These efforts continue to help grow the game.”

Winners of the 2011-12 NCAA “Pack the House” Challenge are:

OVERALL WINNER: California- Pacific 12

CONFERENCE WINNERS

America East – Vermont
Atlantic Coast – Virginia
Atlantic Sun – Florida Gulf Coast
Atlantic 10 – Massachusetts
Big East – Marquette
Big Sky –Sacramento State
Big South – Winthrop
Big Ten – Iowa
Big 12 – Kansas State
Big West – Long Beach State
Colonial – Delaware
Conference USA – Memphis
Great West – New Jersey Institute
Horizon – Green Bay
Ivy – Pennsylvania
Metro Atlantic – Canisius
Mid-American – Central Michigan
Mid-Eastern – Morgan State
Missouri Valley – Missouri State
Mountain West – Air Force
Northeast – Central Connecticut State
Ohio Valley – Did Not Participate
Pacific-12 – California
Patriot – Bucknell
Southeastern – Kentucky
Southern – Georgia Southern
Southland – Sam Houston State
SWAC – Southern University
Summit – Oral Roberts
Sun Belt – South Alabama
West Coast – Portland
WAC – Louisiana Tech
Independents – Longwood