FLORIDA GULF COAST
12/29/2013 | Alico Arena - Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 1946
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||30||34||64|
|Stats at a Glance||SJU||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.250
Saint Joseph's University (9-2) at FGCU (6-4)
Sunday, Dec. 29 | 6 p.m. | Alico Arena
Live Stats: Statbroadcast via FGCUAthletics.com
Game Notes: FGCU | SJU
FORT MYERS, Fla. – With Atlantic Sun Conference action looming, the FGCU women’s basketball team will conclude nonconference action on Sunday, Dec. 29 when they host Saint Joseph’s University at Alico Arena. Tipoff against the Atlantic-10 power is set for 6 p.m.
THE GREEN & BLUE
The Eagles enter the bout with a record of 6-5 on the season after defeating Saint Francis University but falling to The University of Virginia in the 2013 FGCU Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Classic last week.
As a unit, the Eagles have scored 65.9 points per game this season, while allowing opponents to hold a slight advantage with 66.3 points per contest. Eagle foes have also held the advantage on the glass through 11 games with a 42.6-33.5 margin, while the Eagles have maintained control of the ball with just 14.1 turnovers per game. FGCU has forced 18 opponent turnovers per game this season but has allowed opponents to maintain a .408 shooting percentage.
Offensively, FGCU has recorded a shooting percentage of .389 this season with a .341 mark from 3-point range. The team has made a combined 106 shots from long range, with an average of 9.6 per game to rank fourth among the NCAA.
Sophomore Stephanie Haas (Avon Lake, Ohio/Magnificat High School) has consistently led the Eagles this season and currently tops the field with 13.4 points per game. Sophomore Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) adds 12.8 points per contest and leads the team with 31 blocks. Knight ranks among the top 15 nationally with 2.8 blocks per game and leads the Eagles with 26 made shots from beyond-the-arc. Senior captain Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) contributes 12.5 points and a team-leading 6.7 rebounds per game and leads the team with 33 steals.
Transfers Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School) and Kaneisha Atwater (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Westover High School) round out the Eagles’ starting five with 7.8 and 7.0 points per game, respectively.
Off the bench, Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind./Seymour High School) and Jaime Gluesing (Solon, Ohio/Solon High School) have aided the Eagles’ offense from 3-point range. The sophomore duo has combined for 19 3-point buckets this season and average 4.1 and 4.0 points per game.
GAME DAY TWEETABLES
- The Eagles will conclude nonconference action against Saint Joseph’s on Sunday evening.
- Saint Joseph’s is the Eagle’s fifth foe to have reached the 2013 NCAA Tournament last season. FGCU is 2-2 thus far against tournament teams.
- FGCU’s starting five (Atwater, Cobb, Hansen, Haas, Knight) have averaged 53.5 of the team’s 65.9 points per game.
- Head Coach Karl Smesko picked up his 350th career win against FIU on Nov. 8. That’s a career record of 354-90 & a win percentage of .800.
- Of the Eagles’ 65.9 points per game this season, 27.6 points are scored by players who did not wear Green & Blue last season (Knight - injury, Atwater & Cobb - transfers).
LAST TIME OUT
After earning a 75-68 win over Saint Francis University, the Eagles finished the Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Classic with an 85-56 loss to Virginia on Dec. 21.
FGCU produced an 11-point lead to open the contest but saw as Virginia cut the Eagles’ advantage and took control of the game midway through the first half with stellar long-range shooting. The Cavaliers never relinquished the lead and handed the Eagles their worst loss since the 2007-08 season.
Overall, the Eagles shot 36 percent from the floor, while allowing the Cavaliers to convert 50.9 percent of shots and 64.7 percent of attempts from beyond-the-arc. The Eagles matched UVA’s 3-point baskets, each with 11, but shot just 33 percent from distance.
Individually, sophomore Atwater led the Eagles with 13 points. Knight (Winston-) and Haas also contributed double-figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Hansen paced the FGCU rebounding effort with five on the night. Hansen also produced a career-high seven assists.
FGCU and Saint Joe’s have never met before. The Eagles are 101-34 in all-time first meetings.
SCOUTING THE HAWKS
- After winning the Atlantic-10 title last season and earning a no. 9 seed in the NCAA tournament, the Hawks of Saint Joseph’s are off to a 9-2 start this year. The Hawks have earned notable wins over Princeton, Quinnipiac, Temple, Villanova and Hofstra and have lost to only LSU and Syracuse.
- As a unit, SJU has averaged 73.3 points per game, while holding opponents to 63.5 points per contest. With help from four players shooting over 45 percent, the team has maintained a shooting percentage of 45.4 percent through 11 games but has been out-rebounded by an average of three boards per game. The Hawks have converted 36.1 percent of 3-point attempts this season and rank second in the nation with an 80.7 shooting percentage from the free-throw line.
- The team returns eight players, including three starters, from last season’s team that went 23-8. Senior Erin Shields leads the team with 16.3 points per game and has shot an impressive 47.6 percent from long range and 96.6 percent from the charity stripe this season. Sophomore post Sarah Fairbanks has taken off this season and currently averages 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, while converting 56.6 percent of shot attempts. Junior Natasha Cloud adds 11.1 points per contest for SJU with a team-leading 93 assist on the year. Cloud ranks second in the NCAA with 8.5 assists per game.
- The Hawks were selected to finish second in the Atlantic 10 this season, behind only Dayton. SJU began the season ranked 36 in the NCAA RPI and received votes in the most recent Associated Press poll.
Following the final nonconference tilt, the Eagles will open the 2013-14 Atlantic Sun Conference slate at home on Saturday, Jan. 4. FGCU will take on Stetson at 7 p.m. in a rematch of last season’s A-Sun Championship game. The Eagles were selected to finish atop the conference standings this season and will look to finish a third-consecutive year with a perfect 18-0 conference record.
FOR MORE INFO
For all the details on Sunday’s matchup check out:
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 and single-game 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.