Eagles Stun UCF in Orlando, 81-75
Sunday, December 09, 2007
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Freshman Shannon Murphy scored a career-high 21 points in the Eagles 81-75 win over UCF.
Freshman Shannon Murphy scored a career-high 21 points in the Eagles 81-75 win over UCF.

ORLANDO, Fla. - Five Eagles scored in double figures and freshman Shannon Murphy scored a career-high 21 points to lead FGCU in a 81-75 victory on Sunday afternoon against Central Florida at the New UCF Arena.

The Eagles (3-4) started the game on a 13-6 run that was capped by a Jackie Thiel (Plainview, Tex.) jumper at the 14:59 mark. UCF (4-5) quickly answered FGCU’s run with an 8-0 run of their own that gave the Golden Knights a 14-13 lead with 12:40 left in the half.

The Eagles and the Golden Knights traded baskets until UCF used a 7-0 run to take their largest lead of the game (27-21) with 8:00 left in the first half. But the Eagles answered by outscoring UCF 20-10 over the final 8:00 to head into the locker room at halftime with 41-37 lead.

UCF came out firing in the second half and outscored the Eagles 14-4 in the first 6:54 of the second half to take a 51-45 lead. FGCU used a quick 9-2 to run, capped by a Delia De La Torre (Las Cruces, N.M.) layup, to regain the lead and never looked back.

The Eagles pushed the advantage to as many as 11 points (72-61) on a layup by freshman guard Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich.) with 5:36 to go, but UCF did not go away quietly. The Golden Knights threw a full court press at the Eagles, hoping to get easy layups off of turnovers, but the Eagles handled the pressure and forced the Golden Knights to foul them down the stretch.

FGCU knocked in 5-of-6 free throws, including 3-of-4 from senior Ashley Haegele (Imperial, Mich.), in the final minute of the game to lock up the victory.

In the first ever match-up between the two teams, Shannon Murphy scored a career-high and game-high 21 points on 8-of-12 (66.7 percent) shooting, including 3-of-5 (60 percent) from beyond the arc, to pace the Eagles in their third victory this season.

Senior Chelsea Dermyer (Fort Collins, Col.) had 20 points, six rebounds and six steals on 6-of-9 (66.7 percent) shooting from the field and 6-of-7 (85.7 percent) from the free throw line. Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich.) and Delia De La Torre (Las Cruces, N.M.) both scored in double-figures for the Eagles, totaling 12 points apiece. Ashley Haegele also scored in double-figures, registering 11 points, with nine of those coming in the second half. It was the first game this season where five-different FGCU players scored 10 points or more.

For the game, FGCU shot 52 percent (26-of-50), while the Golden Knights made 43.8 percent (28-of-64). The Eagles made 6-of-15 attempts from long-range (40 percent) and forced UCF into 22 turnovers. FGCU was 23-of-29 from the free throw line (79.3 percent), while UCFwent 13-of-18 (72.2 percent).

Tia Lewis led the Golden Knights with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

FGCU is in action again on Monday, Dec. 17 when it travels to Florida A&M for a 5 p.m. contest.