Hansen, Murphy and Smesko Earn A-Sun Postseason Awards
Tuesday, March 01, 2011

FORT MYERS, Fla. – After winning the Atlantic Sun regular season championship for the second time in four years, the FGCU women's basketball team earned a few more honors on Tuesday. The conference announced their postseason honors and awards, with FGCU taking home four awards.

FGCU earned its fourth first team selection in program history as senior Shannon Murphy (Brighton, Mich./Brighton HS) followed up her second team selection last season by averaging a team-best 4.3 assists and 2.1 steals and ranking second on the Eagles in scoring (12.3). Murphy, who sits second all-time in scoring in program history with 1,123 points, also ranked in the top-15 in the A-Sun in three-point percentage (.335) and assist-to-turnover ratio (.1.50). The senior captain scored in double figures 20 times this season, leading the Eagles in scoring in eight contests.

Redshirt-freshman Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS), a three-time A-Sun Newcomer of the Week and MVP of the 2010 Caribbean Challenge, earned second team All-Atlantic Sun and All-Freshmen team honors, helping the Eagles secure their eighth 21-plus win season in the nine year program history. Hansen, who led the A-Sun and ranked 38th in the nation in field goal percentage (.520), is the first freshman in FGCU history to lead the team in scoring (13.1) and rebounding (6.1). The chemistry major scored in double figures 19 times this season, led the Eagles in rebounding on 14 occasions and in scoring in nine contests.

FGCU’s Karl Smesko claimed a regular season conference crown for the second time in the program’s existence as his squad amassed a 17-3 conference mark earning him Coach of the Year. The Eagles, who own the nation’s third longest home winning streak (38 games), behind UConn and Stanford, have earned their fourth automatic WNIT bid in as many years of eligibility.

“It is good to see Shannon and Sarah receive All Conference recognition,” said Smesko. “It is well deserved. They have had very good seasons, and in Shannon’s case a great career. Although individual recognitions are nice, I think we as a team agree that the conference honor we are most proud of is being Atlantic Sun Champions.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an 11-member league committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun stands for achievement with integrity in both the academic and athletic arenas, with a focus on the balance between the two for our student-athletes. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, Campbell University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

Player of the Year
Chelsea McMillan, USC Upstate

Defensive Player of the Year
Larkira Jones, UNF

Freshman of the Year
Briana Williams, Mercer

Coach of the Year
Karl Smesko, FGCU

First Team
*Chelsea McMillan, USC Upstate
Tara Davis, ETSU
Brittany Kirkland, UNF
Shannon Murphy, FGCU
Tonisha Baker, Campbell
*Unanimous Selection

Second Team
Destiny Mitchell, ETSU
Victoria McGowan, Stetson
Sarah Hansen, FGCU
Jenna Bartsokas, Lipscomb
Tee’Ara Copney, USC Upstate
Briana Williams, Mercer
*A tie in the voting resulted in a 6-player second team

All-Freshman Team
* Briana Williams, Mercer
* Destiny Mitchell, ETSU
Sarah Hansen, FGCU
Molly Ernst, Belmont
Sasha Sims, Stetson
*Unanimous Selection