Eagles Set to Host Mercer in A-Sun Action
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | by Mike Hill (mike_hill84)
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Mercer (3-18, 1-9 A-Sun)
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Florida Gulf Coast (18-2,10-0 A-Sun)
1/26/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1745
1st2ndFinal
Mercer193655
Florida Gulf Coast484492
Stats at a GlanceMERWFGCU
FG Percentage.375 (24-64) .467 (35-75)
3P FG Percentage.143 (1-7) .333 (9-27)
FT Percentage.750 (6-8) .722 (13-18)
Offensive Rebounds1220
Defensive Rebounds2230
Total Rebounds3450
Turnovers1710
Steals28
Bench Points2650
Statistical LeadersMERWFGCU
PointsPHILLIPS - 12
BRIDGES - 12
HANSEN - 16
ReboundsSMITH - 9
HANSEN - 9
AssistsBRADSHAW - 4
CHIHIL - 4
StealsWILLIAMS - 1
SMITH - 1
GRIFFIN - 2
IAMSTRONG - 2
BlocksWILLIAMS - 1
PHILLIPS - 1
ROBINSON - 1
KNIGHT - 4

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Eagles, who are off to the best A-Sun start in program history (9-0), will look to stay undefeated in conference play when they play host to the Bears of Mercer on Jan. 26 at Alico Arena. Tip off at ‘The Nest’ is set for 7:05 p.m. ET.

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
FGCU (17-2, 9-0 A-Sun) vs MERCER (3-17, 1-8 A-Sun)

DATE: Thursday, January 26, 2012
TIME: 7:05 P.M. ET
SITE: Fort Myers, Fla. - Alico Arena
LIVE STATS: FGCUATHLETICS.com
LIVE VIDEO: ASUN.TV
LIVE AUDIO: FGCUATHLETICS.COM
TALENT: Tom James & J. Webb Horton
SERIES: 10th Meeting; FGCU leads 9-0
LAST MEETING: FGCU 98, Mercer 50 on Jan. 2, 2012 in Macon, Ga.
CURRENT STREAK: W 9
LAST 5: 5-0
LAST 10: 9-1

KNOW YOUR OPPONENT: MERCER BEARS
LAST TIME OUT: Mercer vs. UNF (Jan. 21)

The Bears are coming off a 49-39 loss to UNF. Sophomores Briana Williams and Jasmine Blakemore each scored eight points in the loss.

Mercer had its best defensive showing of the year on Saturday, setting season-bests in points allowed (49), field goals allowed (15) and opponents' field goal percentage (.300).

SCORING THREAT
Sophomore Briana Williams is one of two A-Sun players with six or more 20+ point performances. Williams broke the 20-point barrier at High Point (33), versus Troy (27), at UNC Asheville (23), versus Winthrop (23), versus Stetson (26) and versus Jacksonville (26).

SCORING IN BUNCHES
On January 7, Briana Williams scored her 750th career point at ETSU. She became the first Mercer player to score 750 points in two seasons since both Courtney Ford (861 points) and LaToya Jackson (797 points) accomplished the feat during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons. Williams is now less than 200 points short of becoming the program’s 22nd player in the 1,000 point club.

FGCU NOTES
LAST TIME OUT: Eagles Pull Out Huge, 59-55, Road Win Over A-Sun Rival Stetson (Jan. 21)
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Senior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) scored a game-high 15 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team snapped Stetson’s 12-game home winning streak by picking up an important, 59-55, win over the Hatters at the Edmunds Center on Saturday afternoon. • With the win, FGCU improved to 17-2 overall (9-0 A-Sun), while the Hatters fell to 16-5 (7-2 A-Sun) on the season. The Eagles, who dealt Stetson their first home defeat since they fell 80-62 to ETSU on Feb. 5, 2011, now have a two-game lead over the second place Hatters in the A-Sun standings entering the second half of conference play and are off to their best start to open A-Sun competition in program history (9-0). • The Eagles picked up the victory despite recording season-lows in both field goal percentage (17-of-60; 28.3 percent) and three-point percentage (7-of-31; 22.6 percent). • Chihil scored 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe, while also adding six rebounds and six steals. Griffin chipped in with 12 points and two steals. Senior Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS), the active NCAA leader and A-Sun all-time leader in career three-pointers made (308), finished with 10 points, three boards and a pair of assists. Redshirt-sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) added nine points, nine rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal.

UP NEXT
Following their matchup with Mercer, the Eagles will host Kennesaw State in A-Sun action. FGCU will take on the Owls on Jan. 28 (7:30 p.m.).

THAT GAME WAS HUGE SW FLORIDA...HUGEEEEE
The Saturday, Jan. 21 matchup between the Eagles and the Hatters was a very important one.

With the 59-55 win, FGCU snapped Stetson’s 12-game home winning streak by picking up an important, 59-55, win over the Hatters at the Edmunds Center on Saturday afternoon. The win also gave the Eagles a two-game lead over the second place Hatters in the A-Sun standings entering the second half of conference play.

A-SUN STARTS
FGCU is 9-0 in A-Sun play this season. The 8-0 start is the program’s best 8-game start to open up conference play. With a win at Stetson on Saturday, the Eagles will secure the program’s best 9-game start to A-Sun play

Year                 Record
2011-12           9-0
2010-11           8-1
2009-10           8-1
2008-09           6-3
2007-08           7-2

FGCU IN JANUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 74-8 in games played in the month of January.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 38-6 record in the month of January, all vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

FGCU VS. MERCER IN ALICO ARENA
The Eagles have a 4-0 record at home against Mercer. The Eagles average 80 points per game in Fort Myers, while limiting the Bears to 58 points.

The last time the Eagles hosted Mercer in Alico Arena (Jan. 17, 2011), the Green and Blue defeated the Bears 87-52 and shot 28-of-76 (36.8 percent) from the floor and 20-of-55 (36.4 percent) from behind the arc.

HANDLING BUSINESS IN ROAD CONFERENCE GAMES
FGCU is 5-0 in A-Sun road contests so far this season, after picking up conference wins at Mercer (98-50; Jan. 2), at Kennesaw State (87-50; Jan. 4), at Belmont (57-50; Jan. 12), at Lipscomb (76-59; Jan. 14) and at Stetson (59-55; Jan. 21).

The Eagles won the games by an average of 22.6 points and shot 43.1 percent (118-of-274) from the floor and 39.1 percent (54-of-138) from behind the arc, while the opposition is shooting 102-of-253 (40.3 percent) from the field and 22-of-71 (40.3 percent) from three-point range.

ON FIRE
Kelsey Jacobson, arguably the nation’s best three-point shooter, has been lighting it up on the court for the Eagles over the last eight contests.

Jacobson has averaged 13.5 points and has knocked down 31-of-58 (.534) shots from behind the arc in FGCU’s last eight games, all of which were wins.

NATION’S BEST
FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2011-12 version of the Eagles is no different. FGCU leads the nation with an average of 11.9 threes per game, two trifectas in front of second place Fresno State (9.7). As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in 13 games this season.

RANK   TEAM           3-PT FG/GAME
1.       FGCU                 11.9
2.       Fresno State        9.7
3.       UT Martin            9.4
4.       Charleston S’thrn 9.3

THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 15-0 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Green and Blue are 16-1 on the year when they drain eight or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 17-2 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.

A-SUN ALL-TIME LEADER
Going into FGCU’s three games in Hawaii, Kelsey Jacobson had 275 career three-pointers, tying her for first place in the A-Sun record books with former Stetson Hatter Kristen Follis (1990-94). Jacobson now has 308 career triples and sits alone as the A-Sun’s all-time leader in career three-pointers.

LEADER OF THE PACK
With 59 of her 66 made field goals coming from beyond the arc this season, Kelsey Jacobson ranks 1st in the A-Sun and 9th in the nation at 3.1 treys per game. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 13 of 19 games this season.

RAPID FIRE
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 227 threes this season compared to just 59 from its opponents. Led by Kelsey Jacobson’s 3.1 trifectas per contest, eight different players have made 10 or more shots from long range. The Eagles have four players ranked in the A-Sun’s top-15 in 3-point field goals made per game.

MAKING A LIVING FROM LONG RANGE
It’s no secret that Kelsey Jacobson is FGCU’s top three-point threat. Through 111 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 308 three-pointers and on Feb. 7, 2011 vs. ETSU, she became FGCU’s all-time leader in three-pointers in just three seasons. Jacobson, who currently holds the Atlantic Sun record for three-pointers in a season (96), has made a three in 82 of her last 85 contests and 104 of 111 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 49 times, 5+ threes on 17 occasions and a career-best of eight twice.

3’S PLEASE!
In the program’s nine-year history (297) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 296 contests, including 184 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 184-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 1,808 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 865 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 112-8 all-time and 67-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE COMPETITION
Kelsey Jacobson has 308 career three-pointers made. She is the nation’s leader (among active players) in career three-pointers, with her closest competition being Jessica Jenkins (293) from St. Bonaventure and Anne Boese (277) from IPFW.

AMONG THE BEST
With at least 9 games remaining in her collegiate career, Kelsey Jacobson is on pace to finish with 335 career three-pointers made, which would rank her top 15 in NCAA Division I history.

FGCU RANKED #3 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team earned the No. 3 spot, for the second consecutive week, in this week’s version of the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday evening (Jan. 24). Green Bay and Delaware are the two teams ranked higher than FGCU in this week’s poll. FGCU trails Delaware by 42 points for the No. 2 slot

The Mid-Major Poll is made up of teams from the following conferences: America East, Atlantic Sun, Big Sky, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Independents, Ivy, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, Mid-Eastern, Missouri Valley, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Patriot, Southern, Southland, Southwestern, Summit, Sun Belt, West Coast Conference.

PICKIN’ UP VOTES IN THE NATIONAL POLLS
The FGCU women’s basketball team received 16 votes to rank No. 31 in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll that was released on Tuesday, Jan. 24. The Eagles also received four votes to rank No. 38 in this week’s AP Top 25 that was released on Monday, Jan. 23.

This marks the fifth time in program history that the Eagles have earned votes in both polls in the same week.

RATING PERCENTAGE INDEX (RPI)
In the Collegiate Basketball News Women’s RPI College Basketball Ratings (for games through Jan. 22), the Eagles were ranked No. 66 and were the only A-Sun school ranked in the top 100.

ALL WE DO IS WIN
Since joining the A-Sun in 2007-08, the Eagles have 117 wins, which is second all-time in conference history for wins in a 5-year span. The A-Sun record of 125 wins in a 5-year span is held by FIU (1994-98).

WE MUST PROTECT THIS HOUSE
FGCU is 145-10 all-time at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 67-4 home record.

HOME COOKIN'
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 67-4 record on their home court since moving to Division I, good for a .9437 winning percentage and the highest all-time winning percentage at home. Tennessee ranks second all-time in winning percentage at home (Thompson-Boling Arena).

BEATING DEFENDING CONFERENCE CHAMPS
The Eagles have picked up a pair of wins over defending conference champs so far this season.

The Green and Blue knocked off defending Big 10 champ Michigan State, 59-58, at Alico Arena in the 2011-12 home opener on Nov. 19. FGCU then went on the road and defeated defending Conference USA champ UCF, 75-36, at UCF Arena (Dec. 8) and defending A-Sun champ Stetson, 59-55, at the Edmunds Center (Jan. 21).

GET THAT OUTTA HERE
Whitney Knight currently leads the A-Sun with 36 total blocks (1.9 per game). Her 1.9 blocks rank her 55th in the nation (as of Jan. 22), while her 36 blocks rank her t-4th in FGCU history with Adrianne McNally (36), but behind Chelsea Lyles (38), Kate Schrader (44) and Robyn Swain (121).

LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Courtney Chihil has scored 863 points, made 106 three-pointers, grabbed 554 rebounds, recorded 181 steals and dished out 288 assists in her four-year career in the FGCU Blue and Green.

She is currently at or near the top five in all five of those categories:

Points
1. 1415 - Adrianne MCNALLY (128 games) - 2006-10
5. 953 - Candy Myers (87 games) - 2003-06
6. 863 - Courtney CHIHIL (106 games) - 2008-Present

3-point field goals made
1.   308 - Kelsey JACOBSON (110 games) - 2008-Present

7. 113 - Chelsea LYLES (62 games) - 2008-10
8. 105 - Steffi SORENSEN (35 games) - 2006-07
9.   106 - Courtney CHIHIL (106 games) - 2008-Present

Rebounds
1. 658 - Adrianne MCNALLY (240o-418d) - 2006-10
2. 640 - Robyn SWAIN (236o-404d) - 2002-04
3.   554 - Courtney CHIHIL (176o-378d) - 2008-Present

Steals
1.   181 - Courtney CHIHIL - 2008-Present

2.  168 - Shannon MURPHY - 2007-11

Assists
1. 419 - Shannon MURPHY - 2007-11
2. 338 - Megan JONES - 2002-05
3. 335 - Adrianne MCNALLY - 2006-10
4. 301 - Chelsea DERMYER - 2005-08
5.   288 - Courtney CHIHIL - 2008-Present

FANTASTIC 4
Sarah Hansen, Nicoya Jackson, Eglah Griffin and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 60.9 percent (45.8 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The quartet is also shooting .447 (283-of-633) from the floor and .386 (137-of-355) from long distance.

BALANCED ATTACK
With three players averaging double figure points and three more at 8.0 points per game or higher, FGCU is first the A-Sun in scoring at a 75.1 per game clip. The Eagles have scored 80 or more points six times this season and are the only A-Sun team with a scoring margin larger than 6.0 points (+23.5). Six different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by six from Sarah Hansen, five from Kelsey Jacobson, two from Nicoya Jackson, Eglah Griffin and Amber Rechis and one from Whitney Knight and Courtney Chihil.

PROTECTING THE ROCK
Shooting an A-Sun-best 43.3 percent from the field, the Eagles lead the league with a +7.74 turnover margin. Courtney Chihil, who ranks 7th in the A-Sun in assists (3.0), leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 1.9. Nicoya Jackson is right behind Chihil with a 1.84 ratio while also ranking 8th in the A-Sun at 2.9 assists per game.