FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team extended its home winning streak to 24 games Saturday, with a 67-46 victory over Belmont University at Alico Arena. FGCU is currently tied for the fifth longest home winning streak in the nation.
It was Senior Night for Brittany Brown (Flint, Mich.), Chelsea Lyles (Colorado Springs, Col.) and Adrianne McNally (Howell, Mich.) The trio was honored prior to the game, and each made key contributions to help FGCU (22-5, 17-2 A-Sun) attain a regular season home record of 14-0.
Lyles finished the game with 10 points, while Brown scored all six of her points in the first half.
McNally scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds, making her FGCU’s all-time leader in rebounds. She now leads the Eagles in 10 different statistical categories all-time.
“They (the seniors) have meant a lot to our program,” FGCU coach Karl Smesko said. “It was really important to me that they got to go out on the right note.”
With Saturday’s victory over Belmont (13-13, 8-10 A-Sun), the Eagles lead the Atlantic Sun Conference by one full game over East Tennessee State.
The Blue and Green started off on an 8-2 run, and never trailed in the contest. Lyles buried a 3-pointer to open the game’s scoring and FGCU coasted to a 30-20 halftime lead.
Belmont opened the second half with a 3-point basket (30-23), which was quickly answered by McNally (32-23). The Eagles continued to pour it on, leading by as many as 22 points in the second half as they went on to pick up their 17th conference victory of the season (67-46).
Murphy led all scorers with 17 points for FGCU. Sophomore Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Oh.) scored 11 points and had a team-high seven rebounds for the Eagles.
FGCU was a perfect 16-for-16 (100-percent) from the free throw line, while Belmont was 6-for-9 (66.7-percent).
The Eagles are back in action Thursday when they take on the Spartans of USC Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m.
A win at USC Upstate could potentially give the Eagles their second consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference regular season championship, guaranteeing a third straight appearance in the postseason WNIT.