FORT MYERS, Fla. – Following a successful 2013-14 season, the FGCU women’s basketball received votes in the final USA Today Coaches’ poll as announced Wednesday afternoon. The Eagles earned seven points to rank 35th among the nation’s top teams.
The Green and Blue finished the season with a record of 26-8 after winning both the Atlantic Sun Regular Season Championship and the A-Sun Championship tournament before falling to Oklahoma State in overtime of the NCAA Tournament First Round. The regular season title was the team’s fourth straight and fifth overall.
Behind the tournament championship crown, the Eagles made their second NCAA Tournament appearance in just three years of Division I postseason eligibility and again brought the tournament’s no. 5 seed to overtime as the no. 12 seed.
The Eagles previously received votes in the coaches’ poll during the 2012 season and picked up votes in the AP Poll twice last season.
The team finished ranked second in the country with 10.2 3-pointers made per game and ranked among the top two teams in the conference in 11 statistical categories including points per game, field goal percentage and scoring defense.
Individually, senior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) led the team with 13.6 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Hansen also added a team-high 64 steals and led the squad with a shooting percentage of .480 and concluded her season with her second-consecutive A-Sun Player of the Year award.
Alongside Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School), Hansen also earned First Team All-Conference honors, while head coach Karl Smesko was named the conference Coach of the Year for the fourth-consecutive time and fifth time overall.
The team’s final opponent, Oklahoma State, finished ranked 15th after falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Notre Dame in the Sweet 16. Previous opponents Stanford and LSU ranked among the top-25, while USF also received votes.
In addition to the USA Today Coaches’ poll, the Eagles finished the season ranked 10th in the College Insider Mid-Major Top-25 poll.
The Green and Blue will return all players for the 2014-15 season with the exception of Hansen who will graduate with honors this spring.
For more information on the FGCU women’s basketball team, stay tuned to FGCUAthletics.com and follow the official Twitter of FGCU women’s basketball at @FGCU_WBB.