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@FGCU_WBB Set for Stetson as Atlantic Sun Play Commences
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||28||44||72|
|Stats at a Glance||STET||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.356 (21-59)||.368 (21-57)|
|3P FG Percentage||.133 (2-15)||.289 (11-38)|
|FT Percentage||.800 (12-15)||.864 (19-22)|
FORT MYERS, Fla. – In a rematch of the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship, the FGCU women’s basketball team will take on Stetson University on Saturday, Jan. 4 to begin conference action. Tipoff at Alico Arena is slated for 7 p.m. With David Moulton and J. Webb Horton on the air, the game can be watched live and free of charge on ESPN3.
Fans in attendance are encouraged to wear white.
THE GREEN & BLUE
As the reigning regular season champions, the Eagles enter conference play with a record of 6-6 on the season after a grueling nonconference schedule. The team most recently fell to Atlantic-10 power, Saint Joseph’s and faced foes from Conference-USA, the Big 12, Pac 12 and ACC to prepare for A-Sun action.
As a team, the Eagles have scored 65.8 points per game this season, while allowing opponents to hold a slight advantage with 67.1 points per contest. Eagle foes have also held the advantage on the glass through 12 games with a 41.8-33.1 margin, while the Eagles have maintained control of the ball with just 14.3 turnovers per game. FGCU has forced 17.5 opponent turnovers per game this season but has allowed opponents to maintain a .413 shooting percentage.
Offensively, FGCU has recorded a shooting percentage of .394 this season with a .344 mark from 3-point range. The team has made a combined 110 shots from long range, with an average of 9.2 per game to rank eighth among the NCAA.
After recording a season-high 28 points against Saint Joseph’s, senior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) jumped to the top of the team rankings with an average of 13.8 points per game. The captain also leads the team with 6.4 rebounds per game and 35 steals on the season.
Sophomore Stephanie Haas (Avon Lake, Ohio/Magnificat High School) has consistently led the Eagles this season and is currently averaging 13.1 points per contest. Haas paces the team with a shooting percentage of .487 and has added 12 assists in her last five games. Redshirt-Sophomore Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) adds 12.5 points per game and leads the team with 32 blocks. Knight ranks among the top 20 nationally with 2.67 blocks per game and leads the Eagles with 27 made shots from beyond-the-arc.
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 lineup with 7.4 and 7.0 points per game, respectively.
Off the bench, sophomores 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 duo has combined for 19 3-point buckets this season and average 4.3 and 3.7 points per game.
GAME DAY TWEETABLES
- The Eagles have made 3,252 3-pointers in 256 games for an average of over 9 per game through 12 years. #RainingThrees
- FGCU & Stetson have faced off 14 times since 2008 with the Eagles holding an 11-3 advantage in the win column.
- FGCU’s starting five (Atwater, Cobb, Hansen, Haas, Knight) have averaged 82 percent of the team’s 65.8 points per game.
- Head Coach Karl Smesko picked up his 350th career win against FIU on Nov. 8. That’s a career record of 354-92 & a win percentage of .800.
- Sarah Hansen set a new Division I FGCU record with 9 steals against Saint Francis last week.
LAST TIME OUT
Despite strong second-half shooting and a season-high 28 points by senior Sarah Hansen, the team fell 76-64 at the hands of Saint Joseph’s University last Sunday night. With the loss, the Eagles finished nonconference action with a record of 6-6, while the Hawks of the Atlantic 10 improved to 10-2 on the year.
The Hawks stifled FGCU’s signature 3-point shooting and scored 24 points on 16 Eagle turnovers to serve the Green and Blue its second-consecutive home loss. The Eagles shot 55 percent in the second half but could not stop the visiting team’s offensive effort long enough to spark a comeback.
As a team, the Eagles shot 46.8 percent on the night, while allowing the Hawks to convert 47.5 percent of shots. From 3-point range, the Eagles went 4-for-9, while holding SJU to 4-of-16. The visiting team outrebounded FGCU, 33-28 and although the teams each made 16 shots from the free-throw line, Saint Joseph’s held the advantage at the line, 94.1 percent to 61.5 percent.
Hansen paced the Eagles’ individual efforts with 28 points in 39 minutes, while Haas added 10 points and a team-high five rebounds.
Individually, the Hawks saw four double-digit scorers with senior Erin Shields leading the way with 17 points.
FGCU and Stetson have met 14 times since the 2007-08 season with the Green and Blue having won on 11 occasions. The Eagles held a six-game winning streak before falling to Stetson in the A-Sun Championship game last season. FGCU has outscored Stetson by an average of 66.9 to 55.5 points per game. The teams average margin of victory has been 17.5 points.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE HATTERS
The Eagles and Hatters last met in the 2013 Atlantic Sun Championship game. Although then-senior Joyce Iamstrong scored a career-high 31 points, the No. 1 seeded Eagles fell to No. 2 Stetson, 70-64. The loss was the Eagles’ first conference fault after 41-straight wins.
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 increased its offensive play and held the Eagles without a field goal for a span of eight minutes to collect its fourth A-Sun Championship title.
SCOUTING THE VISITING TEAM
- After defeating the Eagles in the Atlantic Sun Championship game and earning a trip to the NCAA tournament, the Hatters of Stetson began the 2013-14 campaign with a nonconference record of 8-4. The team recently faced Murray State and Nichols State in the Hatter Classic and is riding a three-game win streak.
- As a team, SU has recorded over 90 points on four occasions and now averages 79.2 points per game. The Hatters have allowed opponents to score 70.7 points per contest.
- With help from three players shooting over 50 percent, the team has maintained a league-high shooting percentage of 44.9 percent through 12 games and has out-rebounded foes by an average of three boards per game. The Hatters have converted 34.9 percent of 3-point attempts this season to lead the A-Sun.
- The team returns four players, including two starters, from last season’s team that went 24-9. Senior Sasha Sims leads the team and the A-Sun with 18.6 points per game and has shot 50.6 percent from the field this season. Sims was a unanimous selection for the Preseason All-Atlantic Sun team. Four others add double-figure points for the Hatters with rookie Amber Porter leading the rebounding effort with 8.6 rebounds per game. She also leads the team and the conference with 47 blocks per game, while junior Jama Sharp rounds out the team with 74 assists and 24 steals this season.
On the heels of two perfect Atlantic Sun seasons, the FGCU women’s basketball team was predicted to continue its success as the preseason favorite in both the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll and the A-Sun Media poll.
With 97 points, the Eagles finished nine points ahead of defending A-Sun Tournament Champion Stetson in the coaches’ poll, while FGCU earned 327 points in the media poll. The Green and Blue picked up seven of the league’s 10 first-place votes in the coaches poll and was voted as the top-ranked team 30 times by the media.
It was the fifth-consecutive year that the Eagles’ earned the league’s top vote after winning the A-Sun regular season in four of the last five seasons. In six seasons of A-Sun action, the Eagles hold a record of 100-12. The impressive mark includes a 36-game win streak in regular-season play that dates back to 2011 and a 45-game win streak at Alico Arena.
The Eagles also picked up numerous individual preseason awards with Hansen leading the way. Hansen was named the Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year, the Atlantic Sun Fan-Voted Preseason Player of the Year and the College Sports Madness Preseason Player of the Year. Knight earned Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference nod, while DyTeisha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover High School) was voted by the fans as the Defensive Preseason Player of the Year. As the reigning A-Sun Coach of the Year, Smesko was named the Preseason Coach of the Year by College Sports Madness to begin this season.
The Eagles will continue conference play at Alico Arena next weekend as they welcome ETSU and USC Upstate. The matchup with ETSU on Thursday, Jan. 9 is slated for 7 p.m. and will be available live and free of charge on ESPN3. 1
FOR MORE INFO
For all the details on Sunday’s matchup check out:
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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.