Eagles Have Practice and Press Conference in Tallahassee
Saturday, March 17, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Don Juan Moore
Photo Credit: Don Juan Moore

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University women's basketball team spent a couple hours at Florida State’s Tucker Center on Saturday (March 17), meeting with the media before holding a 90-minute practice on the court. The Green and Blue are preparing for Sunday’s (March 18) first-round NCAA Tournament game vs. No. 5 seed St. Bonaventure.

Friday Photo Gallery - photos by Don Juan Moore

ESPN2 Regional Map

The FGCU-SBU game will be shown in its entirety in Southwest Florida and Western New York markets, and on ESPN3.com. Live audio will also be available on www.FGCUATHLETICS.com and ESPN 770AM, as voice of the Eagles Tom James (P-B-P) and Peter Longergan will call the action.

Head coach Karl Smesko, along with seniors Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) and Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) and sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS), met with members of the media during FGCU’s press conference. A transcript of the press conference follows...

2012 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament
March 17, 2012
First Round Press Conference

Tucker Center; Tallahassee, Fla.

Coach Smesko Pre-Tournament Quotes | Kelsey Jacobson Pre-Tournament Quotes

On how he handled the layoff with his team between the conference tournament and NCAA tournament:

“Well it has been a longer layoff and for one week we didn’t know who we were going to play. As our players said, we focused on us the first week. There were some things that we weren’t executing as well as we need to win an NCAA Tournament game. The past week we still have been working on some things in terms of cleaning some things up fundamentally but now we have a team to go against. We know we are playing St. Bonaventure. We can focus on the things we will have to do real well if we are going to beat this team.”

On his team’s mindset going into the school’s first ever NCAA Division I NCAA Tournament game:
“I think we are here with the idea we want to win. A lot of times when teams get there for the first time, I am sure St. Bonaventure feels the same way they have seniors who are really good players, nobody wants to get this far and then not be successful in that first game…Both teams play really hard all the time anyways, that’s how they got the records they both have. I think you are going to see just a great competition with teams that are fighting for every loose ball, where both teams are going to play about as well as they can play and then it’s going to be who can make the most plays to win.”

*Senior Guard Kelsey Jacobson*
Thoughts on being here and it being your first NCAA tournament?

“We’re pretty excited, we’ve been practicing a lot lately and to be this close to the game it’s definitely exciting to be here.”

How does it feel to be thought of as an underdog?
“We go into every game with expectations that we’re going to win so even throughout this year we never went into a game thinking that we have a better record so we’re going to win. You know that wasn’t our part of our thoughts this year so we’re going into the game the same way we always do knowing it’s going to take great execution and a lot of focus in order to win.”

How much motivation do you have after your performance in the last game of the conference tournament?
“I’ve been constantly working on my shot, but I mean we got the win as a team it’s just I want to know how to feel the play as best I can because I know that will help the team. So I’ve been putting in extra time shooting so hopefully it pays off.”