FORT MYERS, Fla. - Three Eagles scored in double figures and junior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as the FGCU women’s basketball team picked up a 57-45 Atlantic Sun win over Kennesaw State at Alico Arena on Saturday night in front of 1,654 fans.
With the win the Blue and Green move to 13-0 overall (6-0 A-Sun) and remain one of two undefeated teams in Division I, while Kennesaw State falls to 3-11 overall (0-6 A-Sun). The win also extends FGCU’s home winning streak to 31 games, the third longest in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.
FGCU, the nation’s leader in three-pointers made per game, forced KSU into 28 turnovers and held the Owls to just 45 points on 15-of-42 (35.7 percent) shooting from the field. Kennesaw State’s 45 points mark the ninth time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (55.5 ppg), have held an opponent below 60 points this season.
Griffin finished with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 from behind the arc to go with 10 boards and two assists. Junior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) chipped in with 12 points and four assists. Senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS), who became FGCU’s all-time leader in assists on Saturday night (343), registered 11 points and a game-high five assists.
Sametria Gideon led the Owls with 14 points. Angie Smith pitched in with 10 points and seven steals.
The Eagles jumped out to a quick 15-0 lead capped by a three-pointer from Griffin with 13:05 left in the first half. The Blue and Green held KSU scoreless for more than seven minutes to open the game. Kennesaw State’s first bucket came with 12:44 left in the opening stanza, when Christie Leverette knocked down a three pointer from the right wing.
Leading the Owls 15-3 with more than 12 minutes left in the opening half, the Eagles went on a 10-3 run to grab their largest lead of the half (19 points) at 25-6. Trailing 27-8, KSU used a 6-0 run to cut the FGCU lead to 27-14, but were outscored 10-8 to close the half as the Eagles took a 37-21 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Blue and Green have held five of their six A-Sun opponents to 27 points or less in the first half so far this season. The Eagles have also outscored their six conference opponents 248-152 in the first 20 minutes in 2010-11.
Kennesaw was limited to just 7-of-22 shooting in the first half. FGCU has held the opposition to single-digit first half field goals seven times during the 2010-11 campaign.
FGCU shot 14-of-29 (48.3 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 5-of-13 (38.5 percent) from long distance.
Gideon hit a jumper to open the second half and cut the FGCU lead to 37-23. The Eagles responded by outscoring the Owls 15-3 over the next 7:09, grabbing their largest lead of the game (25 points) at 52-27. Griffin scored nine points during the run, including a layup with 4:54 to play that capped the spurt.
Lipscomb outscored FGCU 18-5 to close out the game before falling by the final score of 57-45.
The Blue and Green will return to the court on Monday, Jan. 17 when they host the Bears of Mercer (1-14 overall, 1-5 A-Sun) at Alico Arena. Tip is set for 7:05 p.m.