FLORIDA GULF COAST
(15-7, 9-1 A-Sun)
(7-14, 3-7 A-Sun)
2/6/2014 | ETSU/MSHA Athletics Center | Attendance: 486
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||32||38||70|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||ETSU|
|3P FG Percentage||.389
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Backed by four double-digit scorers, the FGCU women’s basketball team defeated East Tennessee State University 70-45 Thursday night at the MHSA Center. With the win, the Eagles improve to 15-7 on the season with an 9-1 mark in Atlantic Sun action, while the Bucs fall to 7-14 and 3-7 in league play.
The victory secures a position in the Atlantic Sun Championship Tournament for the Eagles for the third-consecutive season.
“It was good to get a conference win today, especially on the road,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “I think our team was looking forward to getting back on the court. ETSU has a good team and I think they competed really well. Fortunately, we hit a few threes to take the lead.”
The Eagles outshot the Bucs by 10 percent with a success rate of 41 percent from the field and made 14-of-36 3-point attempts, while holding ETSU to just four made shots from beyond-the-arc. FGCU forced 17 ETSU turnovers, while grabbing 13 steals and dishing out 14 assists. The Eagles were barely edged on the glass at 39-38 rebounds.
Individually, junior Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School/Butler) paced the team with 14 points, while senior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) added 12 to the Eagles’ offensive surge. DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover High School) and Katie Meador (Salem, Ill./Salem Community High School) also contributed double-figures for FGCU with 11 and 10 points, respectively, while the Eagles saw nine points each from Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) and Stephanie Haas (Avon Lake, Ohio/Magnificat High School).
Hansen led the Eagles on the glass with nine rebounds, while Dunson pulled down seven and dished out five assists. Cobb added five steals to the all-around effort.
ETSU opened the game with the lead and held FGCU scoreless for the first four minutes of action. After Hansen scored the Eagles’ first basket with 16 minutes to play, the teams exchanged the lead five times in the next six minutes.
Midway through the half, back-to-back 3-point buckets from Cobb and Hansen gave the Eagles a five-point lead at 16-11. The Eagles extended the run to 10 points and held ETSU scoreless for over six minutes to take a 20-11 lead. After an ETSU jumper, a long-range basket from Haas put the Eagles ahead by 10 points with four minutes to play.
The teams traded baskets before a layup from Cobb and a steal and 3-point basket at the buzzer sequence from Meador gave FGCU a 15-point advantage in the final minute of action.
The Eagles entered the break with a 32-17 lead.
After starting the game at 1-for-9 from the field, the Eagles increased their shooting percentage to 36 percent in the half, while holding ETSU to just 23 percent.
The teams again traded baskets to begin the second half. However, the Eagles’ sharp shooting from 3-point range enabled FGCU to extend the advantage to 20 points with 14 minutes left to play.
ETSU constructed a 10-2 run over the next five minutes to cut the deficit to just 10 points but could not reach single digits. A Dunson 3-pointer broke the ETSU streak and sparked another run in favor of the Eagles.
With three 3-pointers, the Eagles compiled a 13-0 run to go ahead 62-39 with five minutes on the clock. After allowing an ETSU trey, the Eagles outscored the home team 8-1 over the next five minutes to take a game-high 27 point lead. The Bucs ultimately scored on a layup in the final six seconds but handed FGCU a 75-40 win as time expired.
FGCU will continue the Atlantic Sun road trip with a contest in Spartanburg, S.C. The Eagles will take on USC Upstate on Saturday, Feb. 8. in a game set to be broadcast live on ESPN3.
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.