FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball program reeled in its first preseason accolades as College Sports Madness announced its 2012-13 Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference teams on Monday. Head coach Karl Smesko was selected as the preseason A-Sun Coach of the Year, while redshirt junior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) was named to the All-Conference first team and freshman guard DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover HS) was tabbed as the Preseason Freshman of the Year.
Hansen was joined on the Preseason All-Conference first team by 2012 A-Sun Player of the Year Victoria McGowan (Stetson), Tee’Ara Copney (USC Upstate), Sasha Sims (Stetson) and Sametria Gideon (Kennesaw State).
Smesko, a three-time A-Sun Coach of the Year, enters his 11th season at the helm of FGCU after leading the Eagles the most historic season in their Division I history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament and earning a No. 12 seed in the Raleigh Region. FGCU finished with a 29-3 overall record that included a league-first 18-0 mark in the A-Sun. The Eagles verified the conference’s third-ever unbeaten regular season by cruising through the A-Sun Tournament, taking the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament with a convincing 67-39 win over second-seeded and 20-game winner Stetson.
Hansen earned her second spot on the College Sports Madness Preseason A-Sun first team after receiving the same honor last season. The McKean, Pa. native excelled both athletically and academically in 2011-12, earning Full Court Mid-Major All-American Honorable Mention honors, the A-Sun and DI-AAA ADA Women's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, the A-Sun Tournament MVP, a Capital 1 Academic All-District 4 first team selection and FGCU’s first unanimous A-Sun All-Conference first team status in program history. She finished the season averaging a team-best 14.3 points and 6.3 rebounds and ranked second on the team in steals (2.0) and blocks (23). She also ranked in the top-15 in the A-Sun in six categories (points, rebounds, FG Pct., FT Pct., steals, blocks) and 18th in the nation in field goal percentage (.524). She has climbed to No. 7 on the school’s all-time scoring list with 884 points and sits fifth on the career rebounds list with 388 (153o-235d).
Dunson, an ESPN Hoopgurlz 3-star rated player, was a four-year standout at Westover High School, where she finished her career with more than 1,500 points. The Albany, Ga. product led led the Lady Patriots to a 73-14 record over her final three seasons. Ranked as the 59th-best player at her position by ESPN.com, Dunson led the Westover to a 25-2 record in 2011-12, which included a 23-0 start, and averaged 22 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.0 assists en route to being selected as the 2011-12 Albany Herald Willie Boston Girls Basketball Player of the Year.
FGCU will open the program’s 11th season against Division II Warner on Saturday, Nov. 10 at Alico Arena.
FGCU season tickets can be purchased in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by phone at 239-590-7145. The FGCU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
Combined season tickets for both the men’s and women’s teams are available again for a combined 50 percent discount. Season tickets for either the men’s and women’s program range from $99-$279, while a combined season ticket (both teams) ranges from $149-$419 depending on the seat location and whether or not an individual is a renewal or new purchaser.
FGCU fans can follow FGCU women’s basketball on Twitter (@FGCU_WBB) and Instagram (@FGCUWbb) and on Facebook by liking FGCU Women’s Basketball (www.Facebook.com/FGCUWbb).
College Sports Madness 2012-2013 Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference Team
Coach of the Year: Karl Smesko, FGCU
Player of the Year: Victoria McGowan, Stetson
Freshman of the Year: DyTiesha Dunson, FGCU
Victoria McGowan, Stetson
Tee'Ara Copney, USC Upstate
Sarah Hansen, FGCU
Sasha Sims, Stetson
Sametria Gideon, Kennesaw State
Briana Williams, Mercer
Shanasa Sanders, Stetson
Destiny Mitchell, ETSU
Jade Cargill, Jacksonville
Tracie Sneed, Jacksonville