Women's Basketball to Host 3rd Annual FGCU Holiday Classic
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Florida Gulf Coast University will host their 3rd Annual FGCU Holiday Classic December 29-30 at Alico Arena. This year’s four-team field includes Eckerd College, Queens College of New York, and the University of Montevallo from Alabama.
The games are part of a joint Men’s and Women’s Holiday Classic that features two women’s and two men’s games on each day. The women’s bracket features two South Region teams in the all-Division II field.
Queens College, a Division II school located in Flushing, New York, has an enrollment of just over 16,000 and is a member of the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference (NYCAC). The Lady Knights (3-6) enter Thursday’s game after a 15-day layoff. They have dropped three straight games, suffering an 85-81 heartbreaker to NYCAC foe CW Post on December 14. Junior guard Jillian Henn leads the team at 16.2 points per game and is one of four players scoring in double figures.
Eckerd College (2-8), a Division II member of the Sunshine State Conference from St. Petersburg, enters Thursday’s game against FGCU after dropping a pair of pre-holiday games against College of Saint Rose and LeMoyne in New York last week. This will end the non-conference slate for the Tritons, who begin SSC play at Rollins next week. FGCU won the only previous meeting between the two teams, 57-44, in the Hillmyer-Tremont Tip-Off Classic to open last season. The SSC is part of the Division II South Region alignment.
The University of Montevallo is a Division II member located in Central Alabama with an enrollment of 3,100 and competes in the Gulf South Conference. The GSC is one of three conferences represented in the South Region, which includes FGCU, an independent member. The Falcons (4-6) are making their first trip to Fort Myers. The Eagles were victorious in Montevallo, Ala. last January 5, 85-59. UM enters the Classic after a 20-day layoff. They lost their last two games, to Ouachita Baptist and Southern Arkansas, prior to the semester break. Junior forward Trellice Moore leads the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.1). The Falcons, who average 58 points as a team, have four players scoring at least nine points per game.
FGCU (12-1 overall, 12-1 South Region), meanwhile, will try to bounce back after suffering a 70-66 loss to Arkansas-Monticello on December 21. Junior forward Alex Nelson (Edinburgh, Scotland) scored a career-high 14 points but the other four starters combined to hit just 12-of-46 (26%) from the floor as the Eagles were held to just 31% shooting from the field. The Cotton Blossoms connected on 43.1% from the floor, including 9-of-19 three-point attempts, to become the first team to score more than 55 points against FGCU this season. FGCU hit just 7-of-29 from beyond the three-point arc. The Eagles won the rebounding battle 47-34.
Junior forward Katie Schrader (Fort Collins, Colo.) leads the No. 20 Eagles in scoring and rebounding. Schrader averages 15.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Senior guards Ebonie Halliburton (East St. Louis, Ill.) and Candy Myers (Leipsic, Ohio), the school’s all-time leading scorer, are also in double figures at 10.8 and 10.2 points per game respectively. As a team, FGCU averages 75.8 points per game while holding the opposition to just 45.3 points per game.
When: Thursday, Dec. 29 (1:30 & 5:45) & Friday, Dec. 30 (1:30 & 5:45)
Where: Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena – 4,500)
Radio/Web: Both games live via Internet Broadcast.
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.
Queens College (NY) vs. University of Montevallo, Ala. (1:45 p.m.)
Eckerd College (Fla.) vs. FGCU (5:45 p.m.)
Queens vs. Eckerd (1:45 p.m.)
Montevallo vs. FGCU (5:45 p.m.)
Florida Gulf Coast Notables: Last Wednesday’s game against Arkansas-Monticello was the 100th game in school history (81-19)… The Eagles have made at least 2 three-point field goals in all 100 games in school history and at least three (3) three-pointers in every game this season…FGCU has allowed more than 55 points in only one game this season…FGCU’s scoring margin is 30.5 points… The 12 wins to open the season set a new program record for consecutive wins at the start of the season and was the second-longest win streak in FGCU history…Halliburton leads the team with 44 assists…She had a career-high 8 assists vs. Monticello and is the only Eagle with at least one in all 13 games…Eight players have at least 10 steals, led by freshman Princess Stewart with 27…Three players are shooting better than 50% from the field, including Schrader (.566), Soeby (.563) and Conely (.533).