#12 FGCU Women Host Palm Beach Atlantic Saturday Night
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team makes its first appearance at Alico Arena in nearly a month when it hosts Palm Beach Atlantic Saturday night at 7 p.m. It is the only game this week for FGCU (21-1, 18-1 South Region) which is ranked fifth regionally and No. 12 nationally entering the weekend.
FGCU, currently on a nine-game winning streak, plays its first home game since January 7. The Eagles will face a Sailfish squad that has lost three straight and four of its last five. PBA enters the contest 5-15 overall. This will be the first of two scheduled meetings between the two teams. They will hook up again on February 17 in West Palm Beach.
FGCU continues to makes its mark among the top teams in the country in several statistical categories, according to the NCAA. The Eagles are third in team defense, allowing just 46.8 points per game and fifth in field goal percentage allowed at 32.9%. FGCU is eighth in rebounding margin at plus 9.6. Offensively, the Eagles are 31st in scoring offense with 74.5 points per game and third in scoring margin at 27.7 points. They are also eighth in 3-point field goals made per game at 8.1. The Eagles winning percentage is fourth in Division II (95.0%), behind the three remaining unbeaten teams.
FGCU has benefited from a very balanced scoring attack. Junior Katie Schrader (Fort Collins, Colo.) leads FGCU with 15.2 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game. Senior guard Candy Myers (Leipsic, Ohio) scores at an 11.4 points per game clip while junior Jen Conely (Warren, Minn.) adds 11 points per game. Among all Division II players, Conely ranks third in 3-point field shooting percentage (47.6%) and 3-point field goals made per game at 2.5. Both Conely and Myers are tied fourth nationally in most 3-pointers made by a player with eight. Senior guard Ebonie Halliburton (East St. Louis, Ill.) averages 10 points per game and leads the team in assists (89).
Defensively, junior forward Alex Nelson (Edinburgh, Scotland) has 42 steals and freshman Princess Stewart (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) has 40 as six players have recorded at least 24 steals. Nelson is one of just nine players in the country to record as many as nine steals in a single-game.
Off the court this week, two Eagles are under consideration for their excellence in the classroom. Both Halliburton, a criminal justice major, and forward Jessica Hathaway (Fort Wayne, Ind.), a sophomore biology major, were included in the balloting for academic All-Region honors. The top five student-athletes in the South move onto the Academic All-America balloting, conducted by the College Sports Information Directors of America in conjunction with ESPN.