@FGCU_WBB Earns Convincing 71-38 Win Over Bethune-Cookman in Home Opener
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Kaneisha Atwater added 11 points in her second game with FGCU (Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson)
Kaneisha Atwater added 11 points in her second game with FGCU (Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson)
BCUW (0-2)
11/12/2013 | Alico Arena | Attendance: 1828
Stats at a GlanceBCUWFGCU
FG Percentage.304 (14-46) .412 (21-51)
3P FG Percentage.235 (4-17) .391 (9-23)
FT Percentage.429 (6-14) .741 (20-27)
Offensive Rebounds912
Defensive Rebounds2229
Total Rebounds3141
Bench Points2321
Statistical LeadersBCUWFGCU
PointsEVANS - 8
ReboundsEVANS - 5
AssistsTAYLOR - 2
COBB - 2
StealsCOLYER - 2
BlocksCRAWFORD - 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball team extended its program record in home openers to 11-1 with a 71-38 rout of Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday night at Alico Arena.  With the win, the Eagles improve to 2-0 on the season, while the Wildcats drop to 0-2.

After recording three tie scores in the opening minutes of the contest, the Eagles took control of the game in the first half when they held Bethune-Cookman to zero field goals over the final 8:35 of the half.  The Green and Blue increased its lead to 33 points in the second half and ultimately took the win, 71-38.

Redshirt sophomore Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C., R.J. Reynolds High School) led the Eagles for the second-consecutive game with 14 points on the night.  Kaneisha Atwater (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Westover High School/VCU) chipped in 11 points in the contest and played a notably strong game defensively, while senior captain Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) added four steals, nine points and 10 rebounds for FGCU.

As a unit the Eagles pulled down 41 rebounds, while holding the Wildcats to just 31 and outshot the visiting team, 42 percent to 30 percent.

“I definitely think we had some really good stretches of play,” explained head coach Karl Smesko.  “But this early in the season it’s tough to be consistently good, especially when you’re rotating as many players in the game as we are right now.  Kaneisha has had two really good games and today she really gave us a spark.  She used her speed to create easy baskets and she was an emotional leader for us today.”

After tying the game at 10, a three-point shot from Atwater coupled with a layup by junior transfer and team captain Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School/Butler) gave the Eagles a five-point lead with 12 minutes to play in the half. 

Two quick shots from distance by sophomore Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind./Seymour High School) extended the Eagle lead before eight-consecutive points by Atwater gave the team its first double-digit advantage.

The Eagles used the momentum created by Moore and Atwater to finish the half with a 14-2 run and to hold the Wildcats scoreless from the field in the final eight minutes before the break.

Two free-throws from Knight in the final minute put the Eagles ahead, 39-20, at halftime.

With help from 10-quick points from Knight and three-pointers from Cobb and Moore, the Eagles claimed a 30-point lead with a 16-2 run to open the half.  The Green and Blue used a well-balanced attack to conclude the game and capitalized on a string of Wildcat errors to maintain the lead.  FGCU saw six different players record points in the final nine minutes of play and scored 32 points off 26 Bethune-Cookman turnovers, while adding 10 second-chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.   

With 10 points on the night, Moore claimed new career records in points, field-goals made and three-pointers attempted.

The Eagles will return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 20 when they host Charlotte in a 7 p.m. contest.

For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the women’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_WBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUWBB.

2013-14 women’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.