TCU Downs @FGCU_WBB 68-47 to Begin Hardwood Tournament of Hope
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
Whitney Knight led the Eagles with 21 points (Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson)
Whitney Knight led the Eagles with 21 points (Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson)
TCU (4-1)
11/26/2013 | Puerto Vallarta, MX | Attendance: 100
Stats at a GlanceFGCUTCU
FG Percentage.302 (16-53) .490 (25-51)
3P FG Percentage.300 (12-40) .286 (4-14)
FT Percentage.500 (3-6) .824 (14-17)
Offensive Rebounds410
Defensive Rebounds1834
Total Rebounds2244
Bench Points029
Statistical LeadersFGCUTCU
PointsKNIGHT - 21
Ventress - 14
ReboundsHANSEN - 7
Lovings - 9
Ventress - 9
AssistsHAAS - 4
Breaux - 4
StealsATWATER - 3
Lovings - 1
Hamilton - 1
Ventress - 1
Medley - 1
BlocksKNIGHT - 4
Lovings - 1
Prince - 1

PUERTO VALLARTA, Mexico – In the first game of the highly-competitive Hardwood Tournament of Hope, the FGCU women’s basketball team fell to Texas Christian University, 68-47 at the Puerto Vallarta Convention Center Tuesday night.  With their second-consecutive loss, the Eagles fall to 3-2 on the season, while the Horned Frogs improve to 4-1.

The Eagles took a brief lead early in the first half but fell behind as the Horned Frogs outshot and outrebounded the Green and Blue through the entire game.  By holding FGCU to just 20 percent from the field in the first half, TCU maintained a 27-16 lead at halftime.  The Horned Frogs extended their lead to a game-high 21 points late in the second half as each Eagle run was halted by a strong defensive effort.

TCU edged FGCU 44-22 on the glass and outperformed the Eagles 49 percent to 30.2 percent in shooting percentage.  The Eagles converted a season-high 12 3-point shots but made just four points from two-point range.  The Eagles’ starting five scored all 47 points in the loss.  

Sophomore Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) led the Eagles with 21 points on the night, while classmate Stephanie Haas (Lake Avon, Ohio/Magnificat High School) added 12 points and four assists in the Eagles’ offensive effort. Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) paced the Green and Blue on the boards with seven rebounds but was held to just three points in 33 minutes.

“I thought we started off with good defensive effort but we had too many breakdowns defensively in the second half,” said head coach Karl Smesko of the loss. “We got off to a really slow start shooting the basketball and dig ourselves a big hole that we weren’t able to get ourselves out of.”

TCU recorded the first basket of the game before Knight followed with her first 3-point shot to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead.  Junior Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School) followed Knight’s lead with another 3-point shot to give FGCU a 6-2 lead four minutes into the contest.

The Horned Frogs responded to the pair of threes with seven-consecutive points to reclaim the lead at 11-8 before Knight evened the score at 11 with another shot from long range.

With the match knotted at 11-11, both teams were held to no field goals for nearly five minutes.  TCU gained a slight edge with one made free-throw before the stalemate was broken by a TCU jumper.  The Horned Frogs added two free-throws and another jump shot to take an 18-11 lead with six minutes remaining in the half and went ahead 21-14 with less than four to play.

The Eagles added just one more bucket before the half ended, while allowing TCU to score four more points and enter the break with a 27-16 lead.

FGCU made just 5-of-24 shots in the first half, with four of those baskets from long range. Knight recorded three of the Eagles’ field goals and scored 10 points in the first period.

The Eagles opened the second half with a trey from Haas before three more long-range shots from Knight brought the score of 34-28.  TCU used a 9-2 run to extend its lead to 15 points midway through the half and went ahead 52-34 with eight minutes on the clock.

FGCU continued to fight but was met with retaliation on each offensive surge.  With four minutes to play the Green and Blue saw two-consecutive 3-pointers from Haas to cut the deficit to 12 points, 59-47.

The long-range shots were ultimately the Eagles’ last chance as TCU outscored FGCU 9-0 to end the game and earned the win, 68-47.

The loss was the Eagles’ lowest scoring performance of the season.  Knights’ 21 points included seven made field goals with five from a distance, a career high.  She also added four blocks and an assist.

The Green and Blue will continue play at The Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with two more games this week.  FGCU will take on no. 5/6 Stanford and South Dakota State on Wednesday and Friday.  Wednesday’s matchup with Stanford is slated for 5:30 p.m. EST.

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