FORT MYERS, Fla. - FGCU women's basketball and head coach Karl Smesko have announced the Eagles’ 2009-10 schedule. The Eagles will navigate a slate that will see them play a minimum of 14 home games.
“We accomplished everything we wanted to do with the schedule this season,” said Smesko. “We received an invite to the preseason WNIT, scheduled a game at Michigan State for all of our Midwest players, and have very good non-conference competition to help prepare us for what should be an incredibly competitive Atlantic Sun Conference.”
FGCU’s regular season will get underway with the Eagles hosting UTEP on Nov. 13 in the first round of the Preseason WNIT. The event, which features a three-game guarantee format and could result in additional home games for FGCU, consists of a 16-team field and will conclude with the championship game on Nov. 22.
The Eagles will then play a pair of contests in the FGCU Thanksgiving Classic. FGCU will open play against Tulsa on Nov. 27 before taking on Rider the following day.
A road date and conference opener with Stetson on Dec. 5 precedes a huge road contest at Michigan State in the Breslin Center a week later for the Eagles. The Spartans finished 22-11overall and lost 69-68 to Iowa State in the “Sweet 16” last season.
The Blue and Green will then host conference foe USC Upstate (Dec. 19), before heading to Miami, Fla. to face Florida International at U.S. Century Bank Arena on Dec. 22. FGCU will then close out its non-conference slate with a home game as Bethune-Cookman will visit Alico Arena.
Road contests in Nashville, Tenn. against Belmont (Jan. 2) and Lipscomb (Jan. 4) will kick off the new year for the Eagles. After hitting the road for five straight games, FGCU returns to Alico Arena for the first time in 2010 with a matchup against North Florida on Thursday, Jan. 7. The Eagles take on Jacksonville two days later (Jan. 9) before hitting the road for games at Campbell (Jan. 14) and ultimate showdown against the reigning back-to-back A-Sun Tournament Champion, ETSU on Saturday, Jan. 16.
Five of the next seven outings for FGCU will come at home as games against Kennesaw State, Mercer, Stetson, ETSU and Campbell will be sandwiched around Jan. 30 and Feb. 1 tilts at Kennesaw State and Mercer in Georgia.
The Eagles will then travel to Duval County for games at Jacksonville (Feb. 11) and North Florida (Feb. 13).
The Blue and Green closes out its home slate with games against Lipscomb on Feb 18 and Belmont on Feb. 20 (Senior Day).
FGCU will wrap up the Atlantic Sun regular season on Feb. 25 when it heads up to South Carolina to face USC Upstate in Spartanburg.
The Eagles wrap up the season by participating in the two-day Longwood Tournament on the campus of Longwood University in Farmville, Va. on March 6 and 7. The tournament field includes Longwood, Seattle and North Carolina Central.
FGCU, the defending Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season champion, returns four starters, seven letter-winners and 87-percent of their scoring from last year’s 26-5 team, which advanced to the second round of the WNIT for the second consecutive year before losing in overtime to eventual champion USF.
For the most up-to-date schedule throughout the season, click the 'Schedule' link on the women's basketball page.