A-Sun Champs! FGCU Defeats Stetson to Earn No. 1 Seed
Saturday, February 18, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
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Play Video Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Stetson (21-7, 12-4 A-Sun)
at
Florida Gulf Coast (24-2, 16-0 A-Sun)
2/18/2012 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 3489
1st2ndFinal
Stetson243256
Florida Gulf Coast413879
Stats at a GlanceSTETFGCU
FG Percentage.361 (22-61) .387 (24-62)
3P FG Percentage.273 (6-22) .484 (15-31)
FT Percentage.750 (6-8) .842 (16-19)
Offensive Rebounds1115
Defensive Rebounds2231
Total Rebounds3346
Turnovers1614
Steals66
Bench Points1530
Statistical LeadersSTETFGCU
PointsMcGOWAN - 14
JACOBSON - 14
GRIFFIN - 14
ReboundsMcGOWAN - 7
SIMS - 7
HANSEN - 9
AssistsMcGOWAN - 5
CHIHIL - 8
StealsCODDINGTON - 1
McGOWAN - 1
SIMS - 1
BURRIS - 1
SHARP - 1
SANDERS - 1
HANSEN - 3
BlocksGARCIA - 1
BURRIS - 1
SANDERS - 1
WHITFIELD - 2

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Four players scored in double figures as the No. 29 FGCU women’s basketball team defeated Atlantic Sun rival Stetson, 79-56, on Saturday night in front of a regular season record 3,489 fans, at Alico Arena. The win gives the Eagles the outright A-Sun Regular Season title, which is the third in program history, and the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament (Feb. 29-Mar. 3).

With its 16th straight victory, FGCU improves to 24-2 overall (16-0 A-Sun), while the Hatters fall to 21-7 (12-4 A-Sun) on the season. The Eagles are now 8-2 all-time against Stetson.

Seniors Kelsey Jacobson (Barnesville, Minn./Moorhead HS) and Eglah Griifin (Fort Myers, Fla./Dunbar HS/Seminole CC) finished with 14 points each. Jacobson added three boards and two assists, while Griffin tallied three rebounds and one assist.

The Eagles, who lead the nation in three-point field goals per game (11.1), knocked down 15-of-31 shots from behind the arc and now have 288 triples as a team.

Ranked No. 3 in the CollegInsider.com Mid-Major poll and receiving votes in both national polls, the Green and Blue forced the Hatters into 16 miscues, which led to 23 FGCU points off turnovers. Stetson’s 56 points mark the 23rd time the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (51.9 ppg), have held an opponent to 65 points or fewer this season.

Sophomore Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) scored 12 points and added a game-high nine rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Redshirt-junior Brittany Kennedy (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS/Oregon State) scored 12 points and grabbed seven boards. Senior Courtney Chihil (Tipp City, Ohio/Alter HS) registered nine points, eight assists and seven rebounds, while senior Nicoya Jackson (Houston, Texas/Cypress Springs HS/Southwestern Christian) chipped in with nine points and six rebounds to add to the Green and Blue’s 46-33 edge on the glass.

Leading Stetson, 13-7, four minutes into the game, the Eagles used a 28-9 run, highlighted by six points from both Jacobson and Chihil, to take a 41-16 lead with 3:11 left in the first half. Stetson responded by outscoring the Eagles 8-0 over to final 3:11 of the opening stanza to cut the FGCU lead down to 41-24 at the half.

After a triple from Shanasa Sanders cut the Green and Blue’s lead down to 21 points (62-41) with 10:14 left in regulation, the Eagles used a 12-2 run to grab their largest lead of the game (31 points; 74-43). The Eagles continued their solid all-around play and went on to pick up the 79-56 conference win.

For the game, the Hatters shot 22-of-61 (36.1 percent) from the field and 6-of-22 from behind the arc, while the Eagles hit 24-of-62 (38.7 percent) from the floor on the night.

The Green and Blue will hit the road for their final two regular season games of the 2011-12 season. FGCU will face USC Upstate on Feb. 23, before taking on ETSU on Feb. 25.

The Eagles, who will be the No. 1 seed in the 2012 A-Sun Tournament, will play their quarterfinal game on Wednesday, Feb. 29. Tip-off times are still to be determined. FGCU Athletics is now offering ticket packages for the conference tournament at Mercer in Macon, Ga. Fans can get ticket booklets that include admission into every game of the men’s and women’s tournament (14 games) for $75. All tickets are general admission. Tickets can be purchased by calling the FGCU ticket office Monday-Friday, between 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 239-590-7145, in person at the Alico Arena ticket office or by ordering online at www.fgcuathletics.com/tickets. Tickets through the FGCU ticket office must be purchased by 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 27.