FLORIDA GULF COAST
(20-7, 14-1 A-Sun)
(5-20, 1-13 A-Sun)
2/22/2014 | Jacksonville, Fla. (UNF Arena) | Attendance: 382
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||44||36||80|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||UNF|
|3P FG Percentage||.364
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With five double-digit scorers, the FGCU women’s basketball team cruised past the University of North Florida, 80-54 Saturday afternoon at UNF Arena. With the win, the Eagles improve to 20-7 overall and extend their Atlantic Sun record to 14-1. The Ospreys fall to 5-20 with a 1-13 mark in conference play.
The victory marks the 10th-straight 20-win season for head coach Karl Smesko and the Eagles.
Senior captain Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) led the Eagles with 17 points on the day with a perfect 7-for-7 performance from the field. Hansen sank two 3-pointers and grabbed five rebounds. With the strong showing, Hansen moves to the 10th position in the all-time Atlantic Sun scoring ranks with 1,815 career points.
The 7-for-7 display ranks as one of the program’s best shooting performance of all-time. Only Joyce Iamstrong’s 9-for-9 showing in 2013, also against UNF, sits higher in the record books.
Sophomores Stephanie Haas (Avon Lakes, Ohio/Magnificat High School) and Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind./Seymour High School) added 13 point each, while Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School/Butler) and Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) chipped in 11 in the Eagles’ offensive surge.
Hansen and DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover High School) led the team’s rebounding effort with five each. Dunson also led the team with five assists and three steals. Knight paced the Eagles’ in blocked shots with five in 21 minutes.
Collectively, the Eagles shot 50 percent from the field with a 36.4 percent mark from 3-point range, while holding the Ospreys to 34.5 percent overall and 25 percent from beyond-the-arc. The home team outrebounded FGCU 42-39 but FGCU held control of the ball with just nine turnovers while forcing 19 UNF miscues. The Eagles exploited UNF’s mistakes for a season-high 28 points off turnovers.
“I thought our first-half effort on defense was excellent,” said Smesko of the win. “We did a great job taking care of the ball. Hansen was huge for us in the first half and Haas was great off the bench on offense. Overall it was a great team effort and a good weekend. ”
Hansen opened the game with seven quick points for FGCU to give the Eagles a 7-0 lead in the first two minutes of action. The Eagles added three more layups to increase their lead to 13-0 at the five-minute mark. After allowing FGCU to successfully convert six of its first seven shots, the home team cut the deficit with a five-point spurt. The Eagles quickly responded to produce a 15-point run that included four made shots from the perimeter. The streak moved the lead to 28-5 before the midway point in the half.
After another 4-point run for UNF, Jaime Gluesing (Solon, Ohio/Solon Ohio) and Cobb sank back-to-back 3-pointers to increase the Eagle lead to 25 points, the largest lead of the half. The teams traded baskets for several possessions before the Ospreys cut the deficit to 20 points in the final minute of action. Hansen and Cobb each added two points in the final 30 seconds to give the Eagles a 44-20 lead at the break.
The Eagles shot a blistering 54.8 percent from the field in the opening stanza, while successfully sinking eight shots from 3-point range. FGCU outrebounded the Ospreys 19-16 and scored 19 points on 12 UNF turnovers.
UNF opened the second half with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to 19 points three minutes into the half. The Eagles were held scoreless for three minutes before Haas cut the drought with a layup. FGCU capitalized on Haas’ layup to produce a 14-0 run and increased the lead to 60-27 with 11 minutes to play. The Ospreys cut the streak with a 3-pointer but allowed the Eagles to reclaim a game-high 33-point lead at the midway point of the half.
FGCU and UNF traded possessions in the remaining minutes of the game but the Eagles maintained a hearty lead as the clock wound down. FGCU ultimately earned the 80-54 victory to improve its win streak to six games.
The Green and Blue will return to Fort Myers for the final regular season series at Alico Arena next weekend. FGCU is scheduled to take on Lipscomb on Thursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. and will host Northern Kentucky on Saturday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in the regular-season home finale. Prior to Saturday’s game Hansen will be honored for her time with the Eagles.
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.