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Eagles Take Unbeaten Streak to Stetson
FGCU (14-0, 6-0 A-Sun) @ Stetson (8-9, 4-4 A-Sun)
DATE: Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011
CITY: DeLand, Fla.
SITE: Edmunds Center
TIP-OFF: 7 p.m. ET
LIVE AUDIO: www.GOHATTERS.com ($9.95)
LIVE VIDEO: www.GOHATTERS.com ($9.95)
LIVE STATS: www.GOHATTERS.com
SERIES: FGCU leads, 5-1
The Eagles begin a four-game roadtrip when they head to DeLand, Fla. to face the Stetson Hatters in A-Sun action at the Edmunds Center on Jan. 20. The Blue and Green, who are 5-1 all-time vs. the Hatters, look to remain undefeated in the 2010-11 campaign.
SCOUTING THE HATTERS
• In their last game, the Stetson women’s basketball team picked up its third win in four tries with a 74-60 win over visiting Kennesaw State Monday evening (1/17) at the Edmunds Center. Senior forward Jessica Conner put up a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double and senior guard Tierra Brown scored 22 as well to lead the Hatters. Sophomore guard Victoria McGowan completed the high-scoring trio with 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
• Victoria McGowan picked up her 1st career A-Sun Newcomer of the Week award after averaging 13.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.5 assists in the Hatters two contests last week.
I GOT NOTHIN’ BUT DUB’S FOR YA BABY
The Blue and Green (14-0 overall) are one of two remaining undefeated teams left in Division I (as of Jan. 19). The other undefeated team is No. 3 Duke.
The Eagles are off to their best start since joining the Division I ranks in 2007-08. The FGCU women sit at 14-0 with wins over BCS foes Seton Hall, Virginia Tech and Indiana.
WE’RE GOING STREAKING
FGCU has not lost a home game in Alico Arena since January 8, 2009 against East Tennessee State University. FGCU’s 87-52 win over Mercer (Jan. 17) bumped the Eagles home win streak to 32 games. FGCU’s 32-game home winning streak is the third longest streak in the nation behind UConn and Stanford.
1. Connecticut 71
2. Stanford 54
3. FGCU 32
4. Tennessee 29
4. West Virginia 29
Sarah Hansen, Shannon Murphy and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 51.6 percent (38.1 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .448 (187-of-417) from the floor and .374 (85-of-227) from long distance.
Alico Arena has become one of the most intimidating places for opposing teams in all of Division I women’s basketball. The Eagles have accumulated a 49-3 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .942 winning percentage. Only Tennessee, who has a .944 winning percentage (334-20), has a higher all-time winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena).
ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF
Sarah Hansen signed with FGCU on April 27, 2009, but utilized a redshirt during the 2009-10 season. Hansen took all of last season to work on her game and become acclimated and comforable in Coach Smesko’s offense and it’s paying dividends in 2010-11.
Hansen currently ranks first on the team in field goal pct. (.530) and rebounds (6.9 rpg), while ranking second in scoring (12.6 ppg). The redshirt-freshman’s .530 shooting percentage leads the A-Sun and ranks her 38th in the nation.
8 MINUTES OF PAIN
Over their last nine contests, the Eagles have used runs from the 16-minute mark to the 8-minute mark of the first half to pull away from their opponents. The Blue and Green have outscored the opposition 160-100 over the last nine games during that eight-minute span.
FGCU IN JANUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 64-7 (.901) in games played in the month of January.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 28-5 (.848) record in the month of January, all versus Atlantic Sun conference opponents.
FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2010-11 version of the Eagles is no different. Through its first 14 games, FGCU leads the nation with an average of 11.9 threes per game, almost a two trifectas in front of second place Fresno State (10.1). As a team, FGCU has sank double-digit threes in 10 games this season, including 98 over its last seven contests.
RANK TEAM, 3-PT FG/GAME
1. FGCU, 11.9
2. Fresno State, 10.1
3. Samford, 8.7
4. Bowling Green, 8.6
THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 12-0 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Blue and Green are 14-0 on the year when they drain five or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is also undefeated in 2010-11 when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.
• Nine of the 11 players who have seen time this season have at least two threes.
LEADER OF THE PACK
With 47 of her 55 made field goals come from beyond the arc this season, junior Kelsey Jacobson ranks first in the A-Sun (4th in the nation) at 3.36 treys per game. Jacobson has knocked down 47-of-127 three-pointers this season to also rank ninth in the league at a 37.0 clip. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 13 straight games, highlighted by a 6-of-7 night against FIU that tied a career-high for makes.
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 167 threes this season compared to just 59 from its opponents. Led by junior Kelsey Jacobson’s 3.36 trifectas per contest, seven different players have made 10 or more shots from long range. Senior Shannon Murphy is fifth in the A-Sun in threes per game (2.14), while Eglah Griffin (1.69) is sixth. FGCU is the only team in the A-Sun with three players in the top 10 in three-pointers made.
MAKING A LIVING FROM LONG RANGE
It’s no secret that junior Kelsey Jacobson is FGCU’s top three-point threat. Through 74 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 200 three-pointers to rank second all-time behind Candy Myers’ (2003-06) 212. Jacobson has made a three in 30 straight games, 47 of her last 48 contests and 69 of 74 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 39 times, 5+ threes on 10 occasions and a career-best of six twice.
In the program’s nine-year history (260) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 259 contests, including 147 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 147-game run, the Blue and Green have knocked down 1,398 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 729 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 92-6 all-time and 47-4 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.
The FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down a 2010-11 NCAA single-game high 20 three-pointers on a NCAA Division I record 55 long range attempts in their 87-52 Atlantic Sun win over Mercer on Jan. 17 at Alico Arena.
The Eagles’ 20 three-point makes fell one short of the NCAA record of 21 set by New Mexico State against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 23, 2002. The 20 threes were also an A-Sun record, as FGCU made 10 in each half, highlighted by a 10-for-21 clip in the final frame in which it out-scored the Bears 50-26.
AWAY FROM HOME
FGCU has a 73-24 (.753) all-time record as the visiting team. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 29-17 (.630) road record.
FGCU RANKED #2 IN MID-MAJOR POLL; PICK UP 2 1ST PLACE VOTES
After extending their home winning streak to 32 games with an 87-52 win over Mercer on Jan. 17, the Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned the No. 2 spot in this week’s CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday, Jan. 18. The Blue and Green held the No. 3 spot for the past seven weeks. FGCU received two of the 31 first place votes, while Green Bay, the only squad ranked higher than the Eagles, accounted for the other 29 first place votes.
The FGCU women’s basketball team received 18 votes in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll to rank No. 28 and also picked up one vote in the AP Top 25 Poll that was released on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
This marks the fourth time in program history that the Eagles have earned votes in both polls in the same week. FGCU, who holds the No. 28 spot in this week’s USA Today/ESPN poll, earned 16 votes last week (Jan. 11) to rank No. 30.
The Blue and Green’s one vote in the AP Poll is the seventh time in program history and fourth time this season that they have received votes in the national poll. FGCU received one vote in the 2009-10 AP Preseason Top 25 and also picked up a vote in back-to-back weeks in the AP Top 25 to close out the 2008-09 season.
GETTIN’ LOVE FROM ESPN.COM
ESPN women’s basketball writer Graham Hays placed the Eagles in the No. 7 spot on his Mid-Major top-10 rankings as part of his Jan. 4 blog entry. In his blog, Hays, who is an editor for ESPN.com’s SportsNation and writes for Page 2 and contributes to ESPN.com’s women’s basketball, softball and soccer coverage, says:
6. Florida Gulf Coast (14-0)
Who needs the BCS to finish a season with an unbeaten team that doesn’t win the national championship? It’s getting toward the time when it’s reasonable to ponder a perfect season for the Eagles. They had a scoring margin of 17.3 points per game entering Monday’s game against Mercer, while no other Atlantic Sun team was even in positive territory. Then they went out and beat Mercer by 35 points. Having already beaten East Tennessee State on the road Jan. 8, the biggest hurdle, such as it is, might come in the next two weeks, as Florida Gulf Coast plays four consecutive road games.
The teams ranked above the Eagles are (in order of ranking): Xavier, Marist, Green Bay, Gonzaga and Duquesne.
With three players averaging double figure points and three more at 7.2 points per game or higher, FGCU leads the A-Sun in scoring at a 72.8 per game clip. The Eagles have scored 73 or more points nine times this season, including six of their last seven, and are the only A-Sun team with a positive scoring margin (+18.6). Five different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by five from freshman Sarah Hansen, four from junior Kelsey Jacobson and three from senior Shannon Murphy and junior Eglah Griffin.
GET READY, GET SET GO!
During its first-ever 7-0 start in A-Sun play, FGCU has gotten out of the gates quick to take control of the game. Over the first 20 minutes in each of their conference games, the Eagles are out-scoring their opponents 285-178. Fueling that big differential is the fact that FGCU is shooting 44.8 percent (103-230) from the floor, while limiting their opponents to 34.9 percent (66-182) clip with 82 turnovers. Senior Shannon Murphy and redshirt freshman Sarah Hansen have done the most damage individually in the first half, averaging 10.9 points and 9.0 points, respectively, by the break. Two of FGCU’s seven A-Sun opponents haven’t reached 20 points at the half.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Already shooting at an A-Sun-best 42.9 percent from the field, FGCU sports the conference’s lowest turnover per game rate at 14.3. The Eagles have had a positive assist/turnover ratio in nine of their last 12 games resulting in a +7.5 turnover margin also best in the A-Sun. Junior Courtney Chihil leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at +2.07 thanks to passing out 40 helpers to just 19 giveaways over the last nine games. Senior Shannon Murphy is right behind Chihil in second place with a +1.52 ratio while ranking fourth in the A-Sun at 4.57 assists per game.
In 446 minutes of action this season, Kelsey Jacobson has launched 143 shots and assisted on 37 field goals, while turning the ball over just 12 times.
MURPHY LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Shannon Murphy has scored 968 points in her four-year career in the FGCU Blue and Green. With 32 more points the senior will become the third 1,000-point scorer in program history.
Murphy has also dished 350 assists as an Eagle, which makes her the program’s all-time leading in assists. (She accomplished the feat on 1/15 vs. Kennesaw State.
1415 Adrianne McNally (128 games) - 2006-10
1062 Katie Schrader (65 games) - 2005-07
968 Shannon Murphy (103 games) - 2007-11
953 Candy Myers (87 games) - 2003-06
350 Shannon Murphy - 2007-11
338 Megan Jones - 2002-05
335 Adrianne McNally - 2006-10