FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University will host their 3rd Annual FGCU Classic on December 20-21 at Alico Arena. This year’s field includes Arkansas- Monticello, Christian Brothers, and Missouri Western.
Missouri Western and Arkansas-Monticello will meet in the first game on Tuesday at 5:30, followed by Christian Brothers and FGCU. On Wednesday, Missouri Western will meet Christian Brothers at 1 p.m. with Arkansas-Monticello facing FGCU in the final game at 3 p.m. This year’s field may be the best Classic Field.
Missouri Western (7-1) has won games with a balanced offense. 10 players have played an average of 13 minutes per game, and seven different players average between six and 13 points per game. The Griffons have averaged 71 points per contest with an average scoring margin of better than 16 points. Defensively, Missouri Western averages 11 steals and forces 20 turnovers per game.
Arkansas-Monticello (3-3) has faced a tough early schedule with nine of their first 10 games scheduled on the road. Four players average in double figures, led by 5-foot-6 senior guard TeAundra Harden, who scores 12.7 points and grabs a team-high 4.8 rebounds per game. She had a season-high 33 points at West Alabama in the season opener. The Cotton Blossoms average 73 points per game on 38.6% shooting from the floor.
The Eagles first opponent, Christian Brothers (6-1), has relied on a stifling defense effort. Only one team has been able to score more than 55 points on the Bucs, who hold teams to an average of just 51 points per game. Opponents have been able to hit just 31% from the floor this fall. 6-foot forward Crystal Shelton is their only player in double figures at 13.3 points per game, though she has scored 20 or more points in three games.
FGCU enters the Classic with a perfect 11-0 record, the most wins to start a season in the program’s history. The Eagles moved up four spots to No. 20 in this week's USA Today/ESPN Division II Coaches' Poll.
After the two-day Classic, the Eagles are off until they participate in the 4th Annual FGCU Women’s Holiday Classic. Eckerd College, Queen’s College and Montevallo fill out this year’s four-team field. The Eagles face Eckerd on Dec. 29 at 5:45 p.m.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 21 (5:30 & 7:30) & Wednesday, Dec. 21 (1:00 & 3:00)
Where: Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena – 4,500)
Radio/Web: Live Internet.
Admission: Tickets are available at box office one hour prior to tip-off or by calling the Alico Arena ticket office at 590-7145. Reserved tickets begin at $6 for adults and $5 for children five and under.
Missouri-Western vs. UA-Monticello (5:30 p.m.)
Christian Brothers vs. FGCU (7:30 p.m.)
Christian Brothers vs. Missouri-Western (1:00 p.m.)
UA-Monticello vs. FGCU (3:00 p.m.)
Christian Brothers (6-1)
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: The Eagles have won a record 11th consecutive games to open the a season…Wednesday’s game against Arkansas-Monticello will be the 100th game in school history…FGCU head coach Karl Smesko has won 80 games in three-plus seasons as FGCU head coach (80-11)…Senior guard Candy Myers (Leipsic, Ohio) scored eight points against West Florida to become the school’s all-time leading scorer with 729 points…She passed Andrea Clarke (’05), who finished her career with 726 points…With a scoring average of 9.5 points, Myers is on pace to become the second basketball player – male or female – at FGCU to top 1,000 points…Senior guard Ebonie Halliburton has 34 points in her last two games…She has topped 20 points in two games this season…Junior forward Katie Schrader has scored in double figures nine times and posted a pair of double-doubles…She has four games with at least 20 points and eight games with at least five rebounds…Sophomore forward Jessica Hathaway grabbed a season-high eight rebounds against West Florida and held UWF all-conference center Melissa Nafzger to just four points…FGCU’s scoring margin through 11 games is 35 points…The Eagles have not allowed more than 29 points in a half through the first 11 games…They have held opposition to 20 points or less for in a half nine times…Eagles hold opposition to average of 42.5 points per game…FGCU has made at least 3 three-pointers in each of the first 11 games…The Eagles have made at least 2 three-point field goals in all 98 games in school history…Three Eagles average double figures in points led by Schrader’s 15.2 ppg. Halliburton averages 11.1 points and Conely averages 10.3 points and Myers 9.6 points…Schrader leads the team in rebounding at 7.1 boards…Halliburton grabs 4.9 rebounds while junior forward Alex Nelson pulls down 4 rebounds per game… Halliburton is the only player with an assist in every game…Three players are shooting better than 50% from the field - Schrader (.567), Conely (.544), and junior Shonna Soeby (.586).