Jackson’s Career Night Leads Eagles to 80-72 Win at FIU
Monday, November 14, 2011 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Florida Gulf Coast (1-1)
FIU (1-1)
11/14/2011 | US Century Bank Arena (Miami, Fla.) | Attendance: 326
Florida Gulf Coast404080
Stats at a GlanceFGCUFIU
FG Percentage.436 (24-55) .455 (25-55)
3P FG Percentage.389 (14-36) .286 (4-14)
FT Percentage.857 (18-21) .818 (18-22)
Offensive Rebounds98
Defensive Rebounds2424
Total Rebounds3332
Bench Points941
Statistical LeadersFGCUFIU
PointsJACKSON - 29
Hutlassa - 22
ReboundsHANSEN - 7
TEAM - 7
Coley - 9
AssistsJACOBSON - 4
Coley - 8
StealsCHIHIL - 2
Hutlassa - 3
BlocksColey - 3

MIAMI, Fla. – Senior Nicoya Jackson (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS/Southwestern Christian) scored a career-high 29 points to lead the FGCU women’s basketball squad to an 80-72 win over FIU on Monday night at US Century Bank Arena.

With the win the Green and Blue move to 1-1 overall and avoid starting the season 0-2 for just the second time in program history, while the Panthers fall to 1-1 on the season. FGCU is now 3-0 all-time against FIU.

The Green and Blue, who led the nation in three-point field goals per game last season, knocked down 14 trifectas on the night. Five different players made at least one trey for the Eagles, led by Jackson’s 6-of-14 night.

Jackson’s career-high 29 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the floor and 6-of-14 from long range led all scorers. The senior also added two rebounds and a pair of assists. Senior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) finished with 22 points, four assists and three rebounds. Jacobson shot 6-of-13 from the floor, 4-of-11 from behind the arc and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Sophomore Sarah Hansen (Edinboro, Pa./General McLane HS), who recorded a double-double in the season opener at Seton Hall, tallied 11 points and seven rebounds. Senior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) recorded eight points and a pair of boards, while senior Sarah Whitfield (Eugene, Ore./South Eugene HS, Lane CC) chipped in with five points, six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in 20 minutes of action.

Fanni Hutlassa and Jerica Coley led the Panthers with 22 points and 21 points, respectively.

The Eagles jumped out to a quick 20-8 lead capped by a three-pointer from Jacobson with 10:02 left in the first half. FIU responded with a 10-0 spurt that cut the FGCU lead to 20-18, before senior Eglah Griffin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) hit a pair from the charity stripe to give the Eagles a 22-18 advantage.

Leading the Panthers 26-22 with more than three minutes left in the opening half, the Eagles went on an 16-9 run, highlighted by eight points from Jacobson, to close the half and take a 40-29 lead into the locker room at halftime. Jacobson drained a pair of three’s and scored a layup at the buzzer off a dime from freshman Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds HS) during the run.

FGCU shot 13-of-29 (54.5 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 7-of-21 (33.3 percent) from long distance.

A 17-4 run to open the second half gave the Eagles their largest lead of the game (24 points), 57-33, with 13:42 left in the game. FIU responded with a 27-9 run, capped by a three-pointer from Kamika Idom, to cut the Green and Blue’s lead to just 66-60 with 7:09 left in regulation.

The Eagles went on to outscore FIU 14-12 over the final seven minutes of the game to pick up the 80-72 win.

The Green and Blue will return to the court on Saturday, Nov. 19 when they welcome No. 25 Michigan State (1-1) to Alico Arena for the 2011-12 home opener. Tip is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.