Eagles Set to Battle Jacksonville in A-Sun Home Opener
Friday, January 04, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Tim Cowie
Photo Credit: Tim Cowie
Jacksonville (6-8, 2-1 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (10-5, 3-0 A-Sun)
1/5/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 1707
Florida Gulf Coast433174
Stats at a GlanceJUFGCU
FG Percentage.472 (25-53) .500 (27-54)
3P FG Percentage.333 (4-12) .269 (7-26)
FT Percentage.500 (3-6) .650 (13-20)
Offensive Rebounds76
Defensive Rebounds2423
Total Rebounds3129
Bench Points2118
Statistical LeadersJUFGCU
PointsALFORD - 16
ReboundsCARGILL - 7
AssistsMCLEE - 3
StealsALFORD - 2
BlocksBROWN - 1

FGCU (9-5, 2-0 A-SUN) vs. Jacksonville (6-7, 2-0 A-SUN)
Saturday, January 5, 2012
4:15 p.m.
Fort Myers, Fla.
Alico Arena (4,500)
Live Video:
Live Stats:
Live Audio:
Tom James and J. Webb Horton
Twitter Hashtags:
Current Streak:
At Home:
Last 5:
vs. Jacksonville:
11th Meeting, FGCU leads 9-1
Last Meeting:
Jacksonville, Fla. - Feb. 4, 2012 - FGCU 70, Jacksonville 60

FGCU Head Coach:
Karl Smesko (Kent State ‘93)
Career Record:
331-81 (14th Season)
Record at FGCU:
270-54 (11th Season)

JU Head Coach: Jill Dunn (Georgia Southern ‘94)
Career Record:
144-167 (11th Season)
Record at JU:
121-134 (9th Season)

After being a finalist for the 2011 award, FGCU’s KARL SMESKO was named the recipient of the 2012 Kay Yow Coach of the Year award on April 9, 2012. Smesko is the first FGCU head coach to earn a Division I National Coach of the Year honor.

Smesko, who earned his third A-Sun Coach of the Year honor and was also named 2012 CollegeSportsMadness.com Mid-Major and A-Sun Coach of the Year, led FGCU to one of the most historic season in its Division I history, advancing to the NCAA Tournament and earning a No. 12 seed in the Raleigh Region. The Eagles finished with a 29-3 overall record that included a league-first 18-0 mark in the A-Sun.

The Kay Yow Award was established in 2010 to honor the Division I women’s head coach who embodies not only a winning spirit but who also displays great character both on and off the court.

Yow was a coaching legend who led NC State to 737 wins during her 34 seasons at the school. She was wildly successful in every forum in which she coached, leading gold medal winners at the 1981 World University Games, the 1986 Goodwill Games, 1986 World Championship Games and the 1988 Olympic Games.

Past Recipients
2011 -
Matt Bollant, Green Bay
2010 -
Connie Yori, Nebraska

Coming off a pair of wins to open A-Sun conference play last week, FGCU is set to host their first game of 2013 on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 5). The Eagles will welcome the Jacksonville Dolphins to ‘The Nest’ for a 4:15 p.m. matchup.

After hosting JU, the Eagles face Ospreys of UNF at Alico Arena on Jan. 7 (5:15 p.m.).

#5 Sarah Hansen (F)

• 2nd in the A-Sun in points per game (17.1)
• Scored in double figures in 13 of the team’s 14 games
• Scored a career-high 30 points in FGCU’s upset of LSU (Dec. 28)
#23 Betsy Adams (G)

• Leads the team in scoring in conference play (14.5)
• Shooting 58% from 3-point range in A-Sun play
• Scored 20 points in a win at Mercer (Jan. 2)
#21 Jaime Gluesing (G)

• Shooting .463 from the field and .389 from behind the arc
• Started four games this season
• Fifth on the team in rebounds per game (2.1)
#24 Brittany Kennedy (G)

• Registered a double-double (11 pts, 10 rebs) at Mercer (Jan. 2)
• Led the team in assists in 11 of the 13 games she’s played in
• Averaging 8.2 rebounds the last six contests
#30 Joyce Iamstrong (G)

• 10th in the conference in 3-pt field goal percentage (.368)
• 11th in the conference in field goal percentage (.427)
• Averaging 12.4 points, 4.0 rebounds the last six games

LAST TIME OUT (Jan. 2): Raining 3’s: Eagles Drain Season-High 14 Triples in 70-41 Win at Mercer
Redshirt senior Betsy Adams tied her career-high with six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team hit 14 triples en route to a 70-41 Atlantic Sun Conference victory at Mercer Wednesday night at Hawkins Arena.  •  With the win, FGCU, winners of 20 straight A-Sun games, improved to 9-5 overall and 2-0 in the A-Sun, while Mercer fell to 6-7 overall (0-2 A-Sun). The victory also improved the Green and Blue’s record against MU at Hawkins Arena (6-0) and in the all-time series with the Bears (11-0).  •  Mercer’s 41 points marked the fifth time this season that the Green and Blue held the opposition below 50 points and the second consecutive game that the Eagles surrendered less than 45 points.  •  The Eagles, who average 8.2 three-point field goals per game this season, knocked down 14 shots from behind the arc, led Adams’ six treys  •  Adams turned in 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from behind the arc. Senior Joyce Iamstrong chipped in with 10 points and seven assists. Redshirt junior Sarah Hansen and senior Brittany Kennedy each registered a double-double. Hansen recorded 11 points and 10 rebounds, while Kennedy tallied 10 points and 11 boards.

• FGCU leads the all-time series, 9-1.

• In the last five contests, Sneed is averaging a team-best 17 points a contest and a 8.8 rebounding average. She has hit 10-of-18 three-pointers and is 23-for-26 (.885) from the free-throw line.

• Freshman Queen Alford has scored double-digits in six of the last seven contests she has played. She also has had at least eight rebounds in five of those games.

• JU has allowed at least 40 points in the paint in four of the last seven games (six times overall). They allowed 46 points in consecutive contests against Clemson (12/2) and USF (12/8). Troy also scored 46 in its overtime win on Dec. 18, while Auburn scored 54 points inside the paint less four days later.

• In the A-Sun, JU is third in scoring offense at 65.2 points a contest. They are second in 3-pt field goal percentage (.332), while ranking fourth in free throw percentage (.728) and fifth in field goal percentage (.365). JU has scored more than 70 points five times, including a season-high 83 points against Troy (12/18).

FGCU’s 63-56 win at Virginia Tech (Dec. 16) and 76-70 win vs. LSU (Dec. 28) marked the Eagles’ sixth and seventh wins over BCS conference opposition in last three seasons.

2012-13: Virginia Tech, LSU
2011-12: Michigan State, Virginia Tech
2010-11: Virginia Tech, Seton Hall, Indiana

• FGCU has an all-time record of 77-8 in games played in January.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 41-6 record in the month of January, all vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

In their sixth year in Division I and as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, the Eagles are 4-2 in A-Sun openers, with five of those contests coming on the road. FGCU, with a 62-35 win at KSU (Dec. 31),  won their fourth consecutive conference opener, with the average margin of victory being 26.4 points.

Prior to their 60-53 loss to UCF (Dec. 22), FGCU had won 16 consecutive games at ‘The Nest’ at Alico Arena dating back to last season. The Eagles’ 16-game home winning streak ranked 9th in the nation behind Stanford (82), Baylor (45), Kentucky (27), Ohio St. (26), Central Arkansas (19), Chattanooga (18), Mississippi Valley (18) and Fresno State (17).

FGCU is 154-11 all-time at home. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 79-5 home record. Some notable home wins for FGCU came over LSU (Dec. 2012), Va. Tech (Dec. 2011), Michigan St. (Nov. 2011), Indiana (Dec. 10) and Florida (Nov. 2008).

The five losses, since moving to Division I, have come at the hands of Florida St. (Nov. 2007), Eastern Kentucky (Nov. 2007), ETSU (Jan. 2009), Florida (Mar. 2011) and UCF (Dec. 2012).

Year          Record
2012-13     4-1
2011-12     13-0
2010-11     18-1
2009-10     14-0
2008-09     15-1
2007-08     12-2
2006-07     23-0
2005-06     17-1
2004-05     11-4
2003-04     12-1
2002-03     15-0
TOTAL       154-11

The Green and Blue own a 5-0 record at Alico Arena against Jacksonville. The Eagles average 70.0 points per game in Fort Myers, while the Dolphins average 58.2 points.

The last time the two squads met in Alico Arena (Jan. 9, 2012), Eglah Griffin scored a game-high 17 points, as the Eagles knocked down 11 triples, en route to a 74-51 win over A-Sun foe Jacksonville.

With an RPI as low as 50 and a strength of schedule (SOS) as low as 41, FGCU was predicted as the No. 14 seed, playing No. 3 seed Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament in College Sports Madness’ Bracketology (Dec. 24).

SARAH HANSEN became the 6th player in program history to score 1,000 career points when she scored a layup with 12:59 remaining in the first half in FGCU’s 79-49 win over Maine at Alico Arena on Dec. 1.

Hansen, who currently has 1,123 points, ranks 4th in the FGCU record books behind her former teammate Shannon Murphy (1,185).

In the ‘Weekly Wrap’ by ESPN’s Graham Hayes (Dec. 30), the SARAH HANSEN Eagles got some love for their 76-70 upset of LSU (Dec. 28).

Here’s what Hayes said:

Sarah Hansen, Florida Gulf Coast:
This is why it isn’t easy for good mid-major programs to convince major programs to pay them visits. Florida Gulf Coast beat LSU 76-70 on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla., an upset at least as measured by name recognition. The leading scorer a season ago on a Florida Gulf Coast team that reached the NCAA tournament in its first season of eligibility, Hansen totaled 30 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals against LSU. The Eagles use the 3-point shot and are suffering for it this season (28 percent accuracy, compared to 37 percent a season ago), but Hansen is an all-around scorer who showed it in a win people will notice.

The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team fell three spots to the No. 12 position in the eighth edition of the 2012-13 CollegeInsider.com Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Wednesday (Dec. 26). The Eagles were ranked No. 9 in last week’s poll.

Gonzaga, receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll, along with Chattanooga, Delaware, Green Bay and Toledo hold the top five spots in the poll.

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 and West Coast Conference.

The Green and Blue are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in the Top 25 and are the only A-Sun school to receive votes.

Outlet (Date)                                           RPI      Strength of Schedule (SOS)     

NCAA                                                        --      --
Real Time (Jan. 1)                                    50      41
WarrenNolan.com (Jan. 1)                          55      42

FGCU is nationally known for their 3-point prowess, but one thing that gets overlooked when people talk about the Eagles is their defense. The Eagles lead the A-Sun conference in scoring defense, limiting opponents to 55.6 points per contest. In conference games, FGCU has held their two opponenets to just 38.0 points per game

On Dec. 31 at Kennesaw State the Green and Blue held the Owls to 35 points. Kennesaw’s 35 points are the fewest the Eagles have allowed to a Division I opponent since UNF (Jan. 7, 2012) and Belmont (Feb. 11, 2012) managed just 34 points against FGCU. KSU’s effort marked the fourth time this season that the Green and Blue have held the opposition below 50 points.

Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 115 threes this season compared to just 62 from its opponents. Led by BETSY ADAMS’ and Lerrin Cook’s 1.9 trifectas per contest, 12 different players have made at least one shot from long range. The Eagles, who lead the conference in three-point field goals made per game (8.2), have two players (Adams & JOYCE IAMSTRONG; 1.6 & 1.5) ranked in the A-Sun’s top-10 in the same category.

In the program’s 11-year history (324) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 323 contests, including 211 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 211-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 2,038 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 957 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 120-8 all-time and 75-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

The FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down an all-time NCAA record and 2011-12 NCAA single-game high 21 three-pointers on 51 long range attempts in their 106-27 over NAIA foe Webber International on Nov. 28, 2011 at Alico Arena. The Eagles’ 21 three-point ranks them tied for first place tie all-time with New Mexico State. The Aggies drained 21 triples against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 23, 2002. The 21 threes are also an A-Sun record, as FGCU made six treys in the first half and 15 in the second.

FGCU’s three-point prowess has been the program’s calling card from day one and the 2012-13 version of the Eagles is no different. Through games played on Jan. 3rd, FGCU ranked 11th in the nation with an average of 8.2 threes per game. As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in three games this season.

RANK            TEAM               3-PT FG/GAME
1.                 Missouri           9.5
2.                 UConn             9.3
3.                 Boston U.         9.0
4.                 Creighton         8.9
5.                 UT Martin         8.9
11.                    FGCU                   8.2

• The Green and Blue are 9-4 on the year when they drain six or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 7-4 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.

The Eagles, who own the A-Sun’s single season record for three-pointers (350; 2010-11), set a pair of NCAA records last season (2011-12).

FGCU, with their seven trifectas vs. St. Bonaventure in the first round of the NCAA Tournament (Mar. 18, 2012), set the NCAA record for three-pointers in a season (342) and three-pointers made per game (10.7).

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.

Redshirt senior point guard BRITTANY KENNEDY is among 15 women’s basketball student-athletes from around the nation on the initial “Players Making the Buzz” watch list for the 2013 Nancy Lieberman Award, it was announced the week of Dec. 17. The honor annually recognizes the top point guard in NCAA Division I women’s basketball and is sponsored by the Detroit Rotary Club.

The “Buzz List” is simply a collection of names that have been brought to the award committee’s attention from the public. The list is strictly developed to encourage dialogue amongst their website visitors and the basketball community. It does not represent any type of endorsement of any player listed or negative connotation of any player not listed.

Award criteria include floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills - all of which personified Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman during her career. Sportswriters from across the country determine the list of the final nominees and also the award winner and finalists, who will be announced in April. The winner will be honored at a luncheon on April 17 at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Past winners of the Lieberman Award include Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame, 2012), Courtney Vandersloot (Gonzaga, 2011), Renee Montgomery (Connecticut, 2009), Kristi Toliver (Maryland, 2008), Lindsey Harding (Duke, 2007), Ivory Latta (North Carolina, 2006), Temeka Johnson (LSU, 2005), Diana Taurasi (Connecticut, 2003-04) and Sue Bird (Connecticut, 2000-02).

2013 Players Making the Buzz - Nancy Lieberman Award
Rachel Banham, Minnesota; Alex Bentley, Penn St.; Calli Berna, Arkansas; Tiffany Bias, Oklahoma St.; Skylar Diggins, Notre Dame; Ariana Elegado, Cal Poly St.; Jamierra Faulkner, Southern Mississippi; Chelsea Gray, Duke; Ny Hammonds, UNC-Charlotte; Brittany Kennedy, FGCU; Taleya Mayberry, Tulsa; Lindsey Moore, Nebraska; Mo Moran, Boston Univ.; Ka-Deidre Simmons, Seton Hall; Odyssey Sims, Baylor