(24-8 (14-4 ASun))
Florida Gulf Coast
(27-6 (18-0 ASun))
3/9/2013 | Macon, Ga. - Hawkins Arena | Attendance: 563
|Florida Gulf Coast||40||24||64|
|Stats at a Glance||STET||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.364
MACON, Ga. – Senior Joyce Iamstrong (Chicago, Ill./Thornton Fractional South HS/Jefferson College) scored a career-high 31 points and earned Tournament MVP honors as the No. 1 seeded FGCU women’s basketball team fell to No. 2 Stetson, 70-64, in the Atlantic Sun Championship game on Saturday night at Hawkins Arena.
“You have to give Stetson credit,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “They came out and played aggressive in the second half and we did not execute and play FGCU basketball.”
With the loss, FGCU falls to 27-6 overall, while the Hatters improve to 24-8 on the season and have punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament.
The Eagles had won 41 consecutive A-Sun games overall (including the conference tournament). FGCU’s 41 consecutive conference overall victories ranked as the second longest streak in the country behind defending national champion Baylor (46).
Iamstrong went 12-for-21 from the field and 6-of-11 to finish with a career-high 31 points. She also added six boards and three steals. 2013 A-Sun Player and Scholar-Athlete of the Year Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) finished with 13 points, six boards, three steals and a pair of assists in 29 minutes before fouling out of the game.
Both teams started off slow over the first four minutes of the opening period. Hansen buried a triple at the 16:08 mark to tie the game at 5-5. The three-pointer moved Hansen past her former teammate Adrianne McNally (1,415) and into first place in the FGCU record books for career points.
A three pointer from Ashley Dennis cut the FGCU lead down to one-point (15-14) with 7:54 left on the clock. The Green and Blue responded in a big way, as senior Betsy Adams (Monticello, Ind./Twin Lakes HS/Valpo) nailed back-to-back-to-back triples to give the Eagles a 24-14 advantage (6:00).
Victoria McGowan made a layup (2:28) to makes the score 29-23, but FGCU used an 11-4 run, highlighted by 11 points from Iamstrong, over the final 2:26 of the half to take a 40-27 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
Iamstrong led the Eagles with 19 points and four boards in the first half, while Adams added nine points. Iamstrong shot 7-of-10 from the field and 5-of-6 from long distance. FGCU shot 43.3 percent (13-for-30) from the floor, while SU shot 9-of-26 (34.6 percent) from the field. The Eagles knocked down nine of their 22 attempts from behind the arc in the first half, while forcing the Hatters into nine miscues in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second half, Stetson started to score easy buckets at the rim and held the Eagles without a field goal for a span that lasted from 13:13 to 4:52 in the half to collect its fourth A-Sun Championship title.
The Green and Blue now wait to see if they will be awarded an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. If not the Eagles will be participating in the WNIT for the fifth time in program history.
Fans can follow FGCU on Twitter (@FGCU_WBB), Instagram (@FGCUWbb) and on Facebook by liking FGCU Women’s Basketball (www.Facebook.com/FGCUWbb).
2013 Atlantic Sun Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team
Joyce Iamstrong, FGCU
Brittany Kennedy, FGCU
Sarah Hansen, FGCU
Precious Bridges, Mercer
Victoria McGowan, Stetson
Sasha Sims, Stetson