FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team will head across Alligator Alley to face the Golden Panthers of Florida International at US Century Bank Arena in Miami on Tuesday night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Date: Tuesday, Dec. 22
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Miami, Fla.
Arena: US Century Bank Arena
Live Stats: www.FIUsports.com
Series: First Meeting
2009-10 Record: 5-3 overall (2-0 A-Sun)
Head Coach: Karl Smesko (Kent State ’93)
Career: 247-64 (10th year)
at FGCU: 186-37 (8th year)
FIU Golden Panthers
2009-10 Record: 5-5 overall (1-1 Sun Belt)
Head Coach: Cindy Russo (Old Dominion ’91)
Career: 622-313 (33rd year)
at FIU: 582-291 (31st year)
• Through eight games, the Eagles are shooting .384 from the field, .368 from three-point land and .694 from the free-throw line…FGCU’s opponents are shooting .395 overall, .330 from long range and .630 from the stripe…the Eagles average 16.1 assists per game to the opponents’ 12.8.
• The Eagles are 1-1 all-time on December 22.
• FGCU has an all-time record of 45-12 in games played in the month of December.
• The Eagles matchup with the Golden Panther’s marks the first between the two schools.
• The Eagles three losses this season have occurred on the road.
• FGCU’s final game of 2009 will be Dec. 29, as the Eagles welcome Bethune-Cookman to Alico Arena.
About The FIU Golden Panthers
• The Golden Panthers come into the contest with the Eagles after earning their first conference victory of the season with a 64-55 defeat of North Texas. After sitting out for the first nine games due to NCAA transfer rules, sophomore Rakia Rodgers announced her debut with authority, scoring a team-high 16 points. Junior Elisa Carey posted her third-straight double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and senior Monika Bosilj posted her first double-double of the season and the third of her career with 15 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. She also added a career-high six steals.
• The Golden Panthers are 5-5 overall and 3-2 in the last five games. FIU posted a 2-4 record in November with wins over Western Michigan (64-61 OT) and Jacksonville (67-41) with losses at the hands of North Carolina State (87-71), Green Bay (67-56), Saint Joseph’s (64-48), and Florida (71-60).
• In December, the Golden Panthers are 3-1 with wins over Barry (65-43), Memphis (81-72), and North Texas (64-55) and their lone loss at Denver (62-48).
• FIU uses a strong rotation of players, with only four players competing in all ten games of the season. Five Golden Panthers average double digits points on the year. Leading the way is junior guard Michelle Gonzalez , starting all ten contests and averaging 12.9 points per game. Playing in six games, senior forward Marquita Adley averages a double-double with 11.7 points and 12.3 rebounds. Elisa Carey averages 11.7 points (7 GP- 6 GS), Monika Bosilj averages 11.1 points (7 GP-6 GS), and Rakia Rodgers averages 16.0 points (1 GP-0 GS).
• In 34 years of women’s basketball at FIU, head coach Cindy Russo has been the driving force for 30 of them. Over that time, she has guided FIU to 22 consecutive winning seasons (1981-2003), and at least 20 victories on 17 occasions. She has led her teams to six NCAA Division I Tournament berths, five postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournaments and two NCAA Division II Tournaments, in addition to winning eight regular-season conference titles and seven tournament crowns. Russo has an overall career record of 622-313 (582-291 at FIU and 40-22 at Lamar) with a 219-95 record in Sun Belt Conference play.
The Eagles Dec. 13 game at No. 21/24 Michigan State marked the second time that FGCU faced an opponent ranked in the top-25. The first time the Eagles faced a top-25 program was during the 2008-09 season when FGCU faced the Seminoles of Florida State…who were ranked No. 21/24.
Big Things To Come
The Eagles Dec. 13 matchup with Michigan State was the front-end of a home-and-home series between the Spartans and Eagles, with MSU coming to Alico Arena in 2011-12.
Three Is The Key
• The Eagles are 4-1 this season when they shoot 24 or more three-pointers in a game.
• FGCU is 4-2 when they knock down 9 or more shots from behind the arc this season.
• The Blue and Green hold a 4-1 record this season when they knock down more 3-point shots than their opponent.
• FGCU is holding their opponents to .337 (32-of-95) from behind the arc, while FGCU has drained 71-of-191 (.372) three-pointers this season.
Away From Home
FGCU has a 61-20 (.753) all-time record as the visiting team. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 17-13 (.567) road record.
FGCU in December
• FGCU has an all-time record of 45-12 (.789) in games played in the month of December.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 FGCU has a 10-4 record in the month of December, which include key wins over UCF (twice), Memphis and Cornell.
Adrianne McNally, who already is FGCU’s leader in career points, field goals made, field goals attempted, free throws attempted, games played, games started, and minutes played, is looking to grab the top spot in several other FGCU all-time records:
Free throws made
1. 295 - Katie Schrader (65 games) - 2005-07
2. 275 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY (105 games) - 2006-present
3. 195 - Andrea Clarke (55 games) - 2003-05
4. 156 - Robyn Swain (57 games) - 2002-04
5. 151 - Ebonie Halliburton (60 games) - 2003-06
1. 640 - Robyn Swain (236o-404d) - 2002-04
2. 554 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY (200o-354d) - 2006-present
3. 409 - Katie Schrader (194o-215d) - 2005-07
4. 318 - Andrea Clarke (122o-196d) - 2003-05
5. 314 - Noreen McCallum (126o-188d) - 2002-04
1. 404 - Robyn Swain - 2002-04
2. 354 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-present
3. 215 - Katie Schrader - 2005-07
4. 214 - Ebonie Halliburton - 2003-06
5. 196 - Andrea Clarke - 2003-05
1. 236 - Robyn Swain - 2002-04
2. 200 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-present
3. 194 - Katie Schrader - 2005-07
4. 126 - Noreen McCallum - 2002-04
5. 122 - Andrea Clarke - 2003-05
1. 338 - Megan Jones - 2002-05
2. 301 - Chelsea Dermyer - 2005-08
3. 243 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-present
4. 234 - Ebonie Halliburton - 2003-06
5. 186 - Candy Myers - 2003-06
1. 141 - Candy Myers - 2003-06
2. 137 - Megan Jones - 2002-05
3. 122 - Alex Nelson - 2005-07
4. 109 - ADRIANNE MCNALLY - 2006-present
5. 103 - Katie Schrader - 2005-07
Among the Nation’s Best
FGCU’s three-point prowess has the program’s calling card from day one and the 2009-10 version of the Eagles have been no different. FGCU is among the nation’s best in 3-pointers made per contest:
NCAA D-1 TEAM - 3-Pointers Made Per Game (Through games 12/20/09)
1. Iowa St., 10.9
2. Charleston So., 10.8
3. Morehead St., 10.2
4. Fresno St., 9.9
5. FGCU, 9.6
Oral Roberts, 9.6
6. Oregon, 8.7
7. Central Michigan, 8.5
9. Creighton, 8.4
10. Cornell, 8.4
*Single season record is held by the 2008 Villanova Wildcats (9.9 per game)
Last Time Out (FGCU vs. USC Upstate 12/19/09; W 71-56)
• Four Eagles scored in double-figures and FGCU’s strong first half defense led the Blue and Green to a 71-56 victory over the visiting Spartans of USC Upstate
• The Eagles shot 52-percent from the field (13-for-25) in the first half to open up a 38-22 advantage at the break. FGCU’s defense stifled Upstate throughout the first half, holding Upstate to 22 points on 22-percent shooting (6-for-27) while forcing 13 Spartan turnovers.
• Chelsea Lyles scored a team-high 16 points, 12 of which came in the first half. Eglah Griffin added 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting. Courtney Chihil registered game-highs with 11 rebounds and six steals, in addition to scoring 15 points, including 3-for-3 from behind the arc. Chihil’s six steals are a career-high. Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich.) chipped in with 11 points, five boards, and four assists.
• The Blue and Green finished with season-highs in assists (20) and steals (15).
Senior forward Adrianne McNally’s game-high 21 points against No. 21/24 Michigan State on Sunday, Dec. 13, was the most points by any FGCU player ever versus a ranked opponent.
Grabbin’ Boards and a Spot in the Record Books
Courtney Chihil’s career-high 17 rebounds at Stetson (12/5/09) were the second-most in a single game in school history. Chihil tied Robyn Swain and Andrea Clarke. Swain grabbed 17 boards on four occasions during her time as an Eahles and Clarke pulled down 17 rebounds on Nov. 19, 2004 against Puerto Rico Bayamon.
Swain still holds the FGCU record with 21 rebounds in a game, a record that has stood since 2003.
Countin’ on Courtney
• Sophomore Courtney Chihil ranks first on the team in rebounding (6.1 rpg) and second in steals (15).
• Chihil’s six steals against USC-Upstate (12/19/09) were a season-high.
• The Eagles are 3-1 when Chilhil leads the team in rebounds.
• Last time out against USC-Upstate, Chihil recorded 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting while adding 11 rebounds, six steals, and four assists
16 of FGCU’s 30 games this season will be played on the road. The Eagles faced New Mexico (25-11 last season), who reached the Elite 8 of the 2009 Postseason WNIT, and Georgia Tech (22-10 last season), who earned their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 08-09 and were ranked No. 19 in the Preseason AP Poll, as part of the Preseason WNIT to start the 2009-10 season.
Up Next For FGCU
• The Eagles return home to take on the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday, December 29. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. from Alico Arena.
• To open 2010, FGCU will take a trip to Nashville, Tenn. to face Belmont on January 2nd at 3 p.m. before battling the Bisons of Lipscomb on January 4th at 6:15 p.m.