Florida Gulf Coast
(9-5 (2-0 A-Sun))
(6-7 (0-2 A-Sun))
1/2/2013 | Macon, Ga. - Hawkins Arena | Attendance: 1079
|Florida Gulf Coast||31||39||70|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||MER|
|3P FG Percentage||.538
MACON, Ga. – Redshirt senior Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes HS/Valpo) tied her career-high with six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team hit 14 triples en route to a 70-41 Atlantic Sun Conference victory at Mercer Wednesday night at Hawkins Arena.
“This was a very good start to conference play for us,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “We had a very solid defensive effort tonight and stuck to our gameplan. It’s encouraging to see us start to hit some shots from the three-point line at a high percentage. Hopefully we can continue that trend.”
With the win, FGCU, winners of 20 straight A-Sun games, improves to 9-5 overall and 2-0 in the A-Sun, while Mercer falls to 6-7 overall (0-2 A-Sun). The victory also improves the Green and Blue’s record against MU at Hawkins Arena (6-0) and in the all-time series with the Bears (11-0).
Mercer’s 41 points mark the fifth time this season that the Green and Blue have held the opposition below 50 points and the second consecutive game that the Eagles have surrendered less than 45 points.
The Eagles, who average 8.2 three-point field goals per game this season, knocked down 14 shots from behind the arc, led Adams’ six treys.
Adams turned in 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from behind the arc. Senior Joyce Iamstrong (Chicago, Ill./Thornton Fractional South HS/Jefferson College) chipped in with 10 points and seven assists. Redshirt junior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) and senior Brittany Kennedy (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS/Oregon State) each registered a double-double. Hansen recorded 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Kennedy tallied 10 points and 11 boards.
Mercer jumped on the Eagles early, taking an 8-5 lead at the first media timeout (15:38). The Green and Blue responded with a 16-3 run, highlighted by seven points from Iamstrong and four from Hansen, to grab a 10-point advantage (21-11) with 8:23 left in the opening period.
The teams would play even the final eight minutes of the half as the Eagles, who outscored the Bears 10-9 to close the half, took a 31-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. After going down early (8-5), FGCU outscored MU, 26-12, over the final 16:08 of the period.
Adams led the Green and Blue with eight points in the first half, while Iamstrong and Hansen added seven points each. Hansen also added six rebounds and a block in the half. FGCU shot 34.5 percent (10-for-29) from the floor and knocked down five shots from behind the three-point line. The Bears, who were forced into six first half turnovers, shot just 33.3 percent (8-for-24) from the field and missed all five of their attempts from long distance in the opening 20 minutes.
As they did two days earlier (Dec. 31) at Kennesaw State, FGCU came out on a mission in the second half. The Eagles outscored the Bears 37-13 over the first 15:50 of the second half to take a commanding 68-33 lead. During their 37-13 spurt, the Green and Blue drained eight three-pointers, highlighted by a trio of treys from Adams.
The Eagles would cruise the rest of the way and went on to pick up the 70-41 conference victory.
Mercer shot 30.8 percent (16-for-52) from the floor, 11.1 percent (1-for-9) from long range and 53.3 percent (8-for-15) from the free throw line.
FGCU shot 40.4 percent (21-for-52) from the floor and hit a season-high 14 three-pointers on 26 attempts (53.8 percent). The Eagles also registered 35 rebounds, including 12 offensive boards, and tallied 15 assists on 21 made baskets.
The Green and Blue are back in action on Saturday, January 5 when they host their first conference game of the season. FGCU and Jacksonville (6-7, 2-0 A-Sun) will face off at Alico Arena in a contest that is scheduled to tipoff at 4:15 p.m.
Fans can follow FGCU on Twitter (@FGCU_WBB), Instagram (@FGCUWbb) and on Facebook by liking FGCU Women’s Basketball (www.Facebook.com/FGCUWbb).