FORT MYERS, Fla. - Four Eagles scored in double figures and freshman Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS) recorded game-highs with 16 points and eight rebounds as the FGCU women’s basketball team picked up a 75-57 win over Lipscomb at Alico Arena on Wednesday night in front of 2,005 fans.
With the win the Blue and Green move to 11-0 overall (4-0 A-Sun) and remain one of four undefeated teams in Division I, while Lipscomb falls to 6-7 overall (3-1 A-Sun). The win also extends FGCU’s home winning streak to 30-games, the third longest in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.
The Eagles, who are now 61-7 all-time and 25-5 since moving to Division I in the month of January, knocked down 13-of-40 (32.5 percent) three-point attempts on the night, to top their nation leading 11.3 three-point field goals made per game average. The Eagles have drained double digit three-pointers nine times on the season and now have 126 triples as a team, including 57 in the last four contests. Seven different players made at least one trey for the Blue and Green, led by junior Lerrin Cook’s (Kearny, Ariz./Ray HS/Yavapai College) 3-of-4 night.
FGCU’s defense was solid all night as they held the Bisons to just 57 points on 20-of-63 (31.7 percent) shooting from the field. The Eagles gave Lipscomb’s top three scorers, Jenna Bartsokas, Anna Bowers, and Hannah Phillips problems all night as they combined to shoot just 12-of-46 (26.1 percent). Lipscomb’s 57 points mark the eighth time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (54.9 ppg), have held an opponent below 60 points this season.
Hansen finished with 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and 1-of-2 from behind the arc to go with eight boards and three steals. Cook scored a career-high 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor and 3-of-4 from long distance. Junior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) chipped in with 11 points and seven rebounds in just 24 minutes. Senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) registered 10 points and a game-high five assists.
Murphy’s five assists give her six games in which she’s dished out five or more helpers this season, and also helped the Eagles finish with a positive assist/turnover ratio (19-13) for the eighth time on the year. FGCU won the battle of the boards 48-38, highlighted by 12 offensive rebounds.
Anna Bowers led the Bisons with 16 points. Jenna Bartsokas pitched in with 14 points and eight rebounds.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 9-5 lead after Murphy drained a three-pointer with 15:40 left in the first half. Following a layup from Anna Bowers that cut the FGCU lead to 9-7 with 14:51 remaining in the opening stanza, the Blue and Green used a 9-2 run to take an 18-9 advantage.
Leading Lipscomb 26-19 with more than six minutes left in the opening 20 minutes, the Eagles went on a 15-7 run to close out the half and took a 41-27 lead into the locker room at halftime. The FGCU run was highlighted by a pair of triples from junior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) and a three-pointer from junior Nicoya Jackson (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS/Southwestern Christian).
The Blue and Green have held all four of their A-Sun opponents to 27 points or less in the first half so far this season. The Eagles have also outscored their four conference opponents 174-88 in the first 20 minutes in 2010-11.
Lipscomb was limited to just 9-of-34 shooting in the first half. FGCU has held the opposition to single digit first half field goals in back-to-back games, and six times during the 2010-11 campaign.
FGCU shot 14-of-33 (42.4 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 8-of-27 (29.6 percent) from long distance.
Lipscomb’s Leah McAlister hit a jumper to open the second half and cut the FGCU lead to 41-29. The Eagles then responded by outscoring the Bisons 30-13 over the next 13:05, grabbing their largest lead of the game (29 points) at 71-42. Hansen scored eight points during the run, and a layup from senior Shavonne Butler (New Orleans, La./McDonogh HS/Hill College) with 4:54 to play capped the spurt.
Lipscomb outscored FGCU 15-4 to close out the game before falling by the final score of 75-57.
The Blue and Green will return to the court on Saturday, Jan. 8 when they head to Johnson City, Tenn. to take on reigning three-time A-Sun champion ETSU (6-7 overall, 3-1 A-Sun) at the ETSU/MSHA Athletic Center. Game tip is set for 1:30 p.m.