Eagles Look to Stay Perfect in A-Sun Play on Thursday at USC Upstate
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
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Florida Gulf Coast (25-2, 17-0 A-Sun)
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UPST (8-20, 7-10 A-Sun)
2/23/2012 | Spartanburg, S.C. (Hodge Center) | Attendance: 313
1st2ndFinal
Florida Gulf Coast443276
UPST243963
Stats at a GlanceFGCUUPST
FG Percentage.554 (31-56) .438 (21-48)
3P FG Percentage.400 (6-15) .400 (4-10)
FT Percentage.667 (8-12) .630 (17-27)
Offensive Rebounds1113
Defensive Rebounds2016
Total Rebounds3129
Turnovers2224
Steals1110
Bench Points2219
Statistical LeadersFGCUUPST
PointsHANSEN - 22
COPNEY - 18
ReboundsWHITFIELD - 4
KNIGHT - 4
KENNEDY - 4
ZAVECKAITE - 8
AssistsCHIHIL - 6
SMITH - 9
StealsJACKSON - 4
ZAVECKAITE - 3
COPNEY - 3
BlocksHANSEN - 1
GRIFFIN - 1
KNIGHT - 1
IAMSTRONG - 1
DAVIS - 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Eagles, who have won 16 consecutive games and have the seventh best win-loss percentage in the nation, will look to stay undefeated in conference play when they take on the Spartans of USC Upstate on Feb. 23 at the Hodge Center. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m. and is the first game of a double-header with the men’s team.

FGCU (24-2, 16-0 A-SUN) at USC UPSTATE (8-19, 7-9 A-SUN)
DATE: Thursday, February 23, 2012
TIME: 5:00 P.M. ET
SITE: Spartanburg, S.C. - Hodge Center
LIVE STATS: UPSTATESPARTANS.com
LIVE VIDEO: ASUn.tv
SERIES: 9th Meeting; FGCU leads 6-2
LAST MEETING: FGCU 77, Upstate 53 on Dec. 19 at Alico Arena
CURRENT STREAK: W 16
LAST 20: 19-1
LAST 25: 24-1

KNOW YOUR OPPONENT: USC UPSTATE SPARTANS
- Junior Lauren McRoberts was named A-Sun Player of the Week Feb. 21 after recording back-to-back double-doubles in Nashville, Tenn. She registered 14 points and 10 rebounds at Belmont Feb. 16 and posted 15 points and a career-high 15 boards at Lipscomb Feb. 18. She has four double-doubles on the season.

- The Spartans have been strong from the free throw line all season, shooting 77.5 percent. Upstate ranks seventh in the nation in free throw percentage and leads the conference. Junior Tee’Ara Copney leads the squad at the line, shooting 88.3 percent (83-for-94). She tops the A-Sun in the category and is 12th in the NCAA statistical rankings.

- On the season, Upstate is led by Copney with 15.6 points per game and 4.6 rebounds per contest. Freshman Briana Robinson and Smith average 7.3 and 7.0 points per contest, respectively. Zaveckaite leads the squad with 7.2 boards per contest, while McRoberts is second on the team in rebounds, averaging 6.0 per game.

FGCU NOTES
LAST TIME OUT: A-Sun Champs! FGCU Defeats Stetson to Earn #1 Seed (Feb. 18)

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.

UP NEXT
Following their matchup with the Spartans, the Eagles will hit the road for their final regular season game of the 2011-12 season. FGCU will face ETSU on Feb. 25.

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.

FGCU IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 62-8 in games played in February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 33-5 overall record in the month of February; 32-5 vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

AWAY FROM HOME
FGCU has an 87-28 all-time record as the visiting team. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 43-21 road record.

FGCU VS. USC UPSTATE AT THE HODGE CENTER
The Green and Blue own a 1-2 record at the Hodge Center against USC Upstate. The Eagles average 84.7 points per game at the Hodge, while the Spartans average 71.3 points.

Upstate has won the last two games at home against FGCU. The Spartans’ last loss to the Eagles in Spartanburg came via a 102-53 decision Feb. 5, 2009. The last time the two teams faced off in S.C. (Feb. 28, 2011), the Spartans drained a three-pointer with four seconds left in the game to defeat FGCU, 75-74.

EIGHT CONSECUTIVE 21-WIN SEASONS
The Eagles secured their eighth-straight 21+ win season with a 70-60 victory at JU (Feb. 4). The Green and Blue now have nine 21+ win seasons in program history. The lone year that the Eagles failed to win 21 games was during the 2003-04 campaign, when FGCU went 18-8.

Over the last eight seasons, the Eagles have accumulated 206 wins and 39 losses.

LOCK IT UP
FGCU clinched the program’s first spot in the A-Sun Tournament with a 58-51 win over Kennesaw State on Jan. 28.

With their 79-56 win over Stetson (Feb. 18), the Eagles secured the outright A-Sun Regular Season title, which is the third in program history, and the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament.

DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
In their last seven games, FGCU held Mercer, Kennesaw State, UNF, JU, Lipscomb, Belmont and Stetson to just 55, 51, 61, 60, 54, 34 and 56 points, respectively. The Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (51.9 ppg), have held opponents below 65 points on 23 occasions this season, while also holding this year’s opponents below 55 points or fewer on 16 occasions.

HANDLING BUSINESS IN ROAD CONFERENCE GAMES
FGCU is 7-0 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), at Stetson (59-55;  Jan. 21) at UNF (72-61; Feb. 2) and at JU (70-60; Feb. 4).

The Eagles won the games by an average of 19.1 points and shot 43.5 percent (172-of-395) from the floor and 35.7 percent (66-of-185) from behind the arc, while the opposition is shooting 147-of-359 (40.9 percent) from the field and 33-of-100 (33.0 percent) from three-point range.

ALL WE DO IS WIN
Since joining the A-Sun in 2007-08, the Eagles have 124 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).

FGCU also has 52 wins over the last two seasons and need just one more victory to secure the best 2-year win total in conference history. The Eagles’ 52 wins from this season and also the 2009-11 campaign is tied with FIU’s 1993-95 squad for best all-time.

WE ARE...FGCU
Sitting at 16-0 in A-Sun action, FGCU is one of 10 teams in the nation that are undefeated in conference play. Also, with a 24-2 overall record, the Eagles are one of 21 22+ win teams in the nation.

BEATING DEFENDING CONFERENCE CHAMPS
The Eagles have picked up a trio 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) and 79-56, at Alico Arena (Feb. 18).

GET THAT OUTTA HERE
Whitney Knight is currently ranks 2nd in the A-Sun with 1.8 blocks per game (48 total blocks). Her 1.8 blocks rank her 55th in the nation (as of Feb. 19), while her 48 blocks rank her 2nd in FGCU history behind Robyn Swain (121).

LEAVING A MARK ON THE FGCU RECORD BOOKS
Courtney Chihil has scored 944 points, made 113 three-pointers, grabbed 585 rebounds, recorded 193 steals and dished out 308 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
2.   1228 - Kelsey JACOBSON (118 games) - 2008-Present

5. 953 - Candy Myers (87 games) - 2003-06
6. 944 - Courtney CHIHIL (114 games) - 2008-Present

3-point field goals made
1.   320 - Kelsey JACOBSON (118 games) - 2008-Present

7. 113 - Chelsea LYLES (62 games) - 2008-10
     113 - Courtney CHIHIL (114 games) - 2008-Present

Rebounds
1. 658 - Adrianne MCNALLY (240o-418d) - 2006-10
2. 640 - Robyn SWAIN (236o-404d) - 2002-04
3.   585 - Courtney CHIHIL (181o-404d) - 2008-Present

Steals
1.   193 - 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.   308 - Courtney CHIHIL - 2008-Present

THE BIG 3
Sarah Hansen, Nicoya Jackson, and Kelsey Jacobson have combined to account for 46.5 percent (34.8 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .430 (289-of-672) from the floor and .342 (117-of-342) from long distance.

BALANCED ATTACK
With three players averaging double figure points and three more at 8.2 points per game or higher, FGCU is first the A-Sun in scoring at a 74.9 per game clip. The Eagles have scored 80 or more points eight times this season and are the only A-Sun team with a scoring margin larger than 6.5 points (+23.0). Six different players have led the Blue and Green in scoring this season, led by nine from Sarah Hansen, six from Kelsey Jacobson, four from Eglah Griffin, and two from Nicoya Jackson, Courtney Chihil, Amber Rechis and Whitney Knight.

PROTECTING THE ROCK
Shooting an A-Sun-best 43.3 percent from the field, the Eagles lead the league with a +7.65 turnover margin. Courtney Chihil, who ranks 7th in the A-Sun in assists (3.0), has a 1.93 assist/turnover ratio. Nicoya Jackson has a 1.81 ratio while also ranking 8th in the A-Sun at 2.8 assists per game.

1,000 POINT CLUB AND 2ND ALL-TIME IN POINTS
Kelsey Jacobson became the fourth player in program history to score 1,000 career points when she drained a three-pointer with 7:28 left in the first half in the Green and Blue’s 106-27 win over Webber International on Nov. 28, 2011.

Jacobson, who currently has 1,228 points, ranks 2nd in the FGCU record books behind Adrianne McNally (1,415).

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 11.1 threes per game, one trifecta in front of second place UT Martin (10.0). As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in 15 games this season.

RANK   TEAM             3-PT FG/GAME
1.        FGCU                   11.1
2.        UT Martin              10.0
3.        Fresno State          9.5
4.        Youngstown State    9.5

THREE IS THE KEY
• The Eagles are 20-0 this season when shooting 23 or more three-pointers.
• The Green and Blue are 19-1 on the year when they drain eight or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 23-2 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.

GUNNIN’ FOR THE NCAA RECORD
The Eagles, who own the A-Sun’s single season record for three-pointers (350; 2010-11), are 53 triples away from breaking the NCAA record for three-pointers in a season (340; 2009-10), which is currently held by Morehead St. FGCU’s 350 trifectas in 2010-11 weren’t a NCAA record because the Eagles were ineligible to set NCAA records due to the 4-year reclassifying period.

3’S PLEASE!
In the program’s nine-year history (304) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 303 contests, including 191 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 191-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 1,869 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 892 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 114-8 all-time and 69-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

RAPID FIRE
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 288 threes this season compared to just 86 from its opponents. Led by Kelsey Jacobson’s 2.7 trifectas per contest, six different players have made 29 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.

A-SUN ALL-TIME LEADER
Kelsey Jacobson now has 320 career triples and sits alone as the A-Sun’s all-time leader in career three-pointers.  The previous record holder was former Stetson Hatter Kristen Follis (275; 1990-94).

MAKING A LIVING FROM LONG RANGE
It’s no secret that Kelsey Jacobson is FGCU’s top three-point threat. Through 118 career games, Jacobson has knocked down 320 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 87 of her last 92 contests and 109 of 118 for her career. During her career, Jacobson has made 3+ threes 51 times, 5+ threes on 17 occasions and a career-best of eight twice.

Ranking 1st in the A-Sun and 17th in the nation at 2.7 treys per game, 71 of Jacobson’s 85 made field goals this season have come from beyond the arc. The Barnesville, Minn. native has made multi-threes in 17 of 25 games this season.

HEAD AND SHOULDERS ABOVE THE COMPETITION
Kelsey Jacobson has 320 career three-pointers made. She currently ranks t-1st in the nation (among active players) in career three-pointers with St. Bonaventure senior Jessica Jenkins (320).

AMONG THE BEST
With at least 4 games remaining in her collegiate career, Kelsey Jacobson is on pace to finish with 332 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 sixth consecutive week, in this week’s version of the CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll that was released on Tuesday evening (Feb. 21). Delaware and Green Bay are the two teams ranked higher than FGCU in this week’s poll. The Eagles trail the Phoenix by 31 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 24 votes to rank No. 29 in this week’s USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll that was released on Tuesday, Feb. 21. The Eagles also received six votes to rank No. 38 in this week’s AP Top 25 that was released on Monday, Feb. 20.

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

GETTIN’ LOVE FROM ESPN
In the fifth edition (Feb. 13) of the mid-major top 10 written by ESPN’s Graham Hayes, the Eagles picked up the No. 4 spot. The mid-major top 10 returns with the same ground rules. All conferences beyond the BCS six (ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC) qualify for consideration.

Here’s what Hayes said about FGCU:

4. Florida Gulf Coast - Since a five-point loss against NC State in Hawaii on Dec. 28, Florida Gulf Coast has won 15 in a row, 12 of those games by double digits. That probably says something about both the Eagles and the Atlantic Sun, but if the past week in women’s college basketball proved anything, it’s that winning isn’t ever a given. Florida Gulf Coast hit just two 3-pointers in Saturday’s win against Belmont, missing 17 shots from the arc, but such shooting woes for the nation’s most prolific 3-point shooting team don’t matter much when you limit the league’s third-place team to 34 points and 31 percent shooting.

RATING PERCENTAGE INDEX (RPI)
In the Collegiate Basketball News Women’s RPI College Basketball Ratings (for games through Feb. 18), the Eagles were ranked No. 65 and were the only A-Sun school ranked in the top 100.