Eagles Set to Open Homestand With A-Sun's Newest Member Northern Kentucky
Friday, January 18, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Photo Credit: Dennis Snyder
Northern Kentucky (6-9 (3-3 A-Sun))
Florida Gulf Coast (14-5 (7-0 A-Sun))
1/19/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 2334
Northern Kentucky203050
Florida Gulf Coast493079
Stats at a GlanceNKUFGCU
FG Percentage.294 (15-51) .424 (25-59)
3P FG Percentage.238 (5-21) .395 (15-38)
FT Percentage.789 (15-19) .636 (14-22)
Offensive Rebounds1219
Defensive Rebounds2127
Total Rebounds3346
Bench Points3626
Statistical LeadersNKUFGCU
PointsGAYHEART - 18
ReboundsGAYHEART - 5
AssistsGAYHEART - 3
StealsROUSH - 1
BlocksHOLTON - 1

FGCU (13-5, 6-0 A-SUN) vs. NORTHERN KENTUCKY (6-8, 3-2 A-SUN)
Saturday, January 18, 2012
7:30 p.m.
Fort Myers, Fla.
Alico Arena (4,500)
Live Audio:
Tom James & J Webb Horton
Live Stats:
Live Video:
Twitter: @FGCU_WBB
Twitter Hashtags:
Current Streak:
At Home:
Last 5:
Last 10:
vs. NKU:
1st Meeting

FGCU Head Coach:
Karl Smesko (Kent State ‘93)
Career Record:
335-81 (14th Season)
Record at FGCU:
274-54 (11th Season)

Head Coach: Dawn Plitzuweit (Michigan Tech ‘95)
Career Record:
123-47 (6th Season)
Record at NKU:
6-8 (1st 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

Riding an overall seven-game winning streak and a 24-game A-Sun conference winning streak, that dates back to the 2011-12 season when they finished 18-0, the Eagles host the A-Sun newest member Northern Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 19 in the second game of a doubleheader with the men’s team. Tip off is set for 7:30 p.m.

After hosting the Nores, the Eagles welcome Lipscomb (Jan. 21) into ‘The Nest’, before facing conference rival Stetson at Alico Arena on Jan. 26.

#5 Sarah Hansen (F)

• 2nd in the A-Sun in points per game (17.5)
• Scored in double figures in 17 of the team’s 18 games
• Scored a career-high 30 points in FGCU’s upset of LSU (Dec. 28)
#13 Anthi Chatzigiakoumi (F)

• Made her first collegiate start at ETSU (Jan. 12)
• Registered 15 points and four boards in 25 minutes at ETSU (Jan. 12)
• Hit 3 of FGCU’s 22 triples at ETSU (Jan. 12)
#21 Jaime Gluesing (G)

• Shooting .438 from the field and .393 from behind the arc
• 5th in the conference in 3-pt field goal percentage (.393)
• 5th on the team in rebounds per game (2.2)
#24 Brittany Kennedy (G)

• Registered a double-double (11 pts, 10 rebs) at Mercer (Jan. 2)
• Led the team in assists in 15 of the 17 games she’s played in
• Dished career-high 12 assists at ETSU (Jan. 12)
#30 Joyce Iamstrong (G)

• 6th in the conference in 3-pt field goal percentage (.382)
• 7th in the conference in field goal percentage (.446)
• Averaging 10.3 points and 3.7 rebounds this season

LAST TIME OUT (JAN. 14): FGCU’s Big 3 Leads Eagles to 77-54 Win At USC Upstate
The trio of redshirt junior Sarah Hansen and seniors Brittany Kennedy and Joyce Iamstrong combined to score 57 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team shot 53.1 percent from the field en route to a 77-54 Atlantic Sun Conference victory over USC Upstate on Monday night at the Hodge Center. FGCU’s Big 3 outscored Upstate 57-54 and accounted for 74 percent of the team’s scoring on the night.  •  With the win, FGCU, winners of 24 straight A-Sun games, improved to 13-5 overall and 6-0 in the A-Sun, while Upstate fell to 5-11 overall (1-4 A-Sun). FGCU’s 24 consecutive conference victories ranks as the third longest streak in the country behind defending national champion Baylor (26) and Princeton (25). The victory also improves the Green and Blue’s record against the Spartans at the Hodge Center (3-2) and in the all-time series with Upstate (8-2)  •  The Eagles, who have made at least one three-pointer in 215 consecutive contests and 327 of 328 games in program history, made six triples on the night and now have 156 triples as a team. Five different players made at least one trey for the Green and Blue, who two days earlier set the NCAA Division I record for three-pointers in a single game (22), led by Hansen’s career-best 2-of-5 night.  •  Hansen turned in 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the floor and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. Kennedy registered 17 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists in 32 minutes, while Iamstrong recorded 15 points, seven boards and five assists.  •  The A-Sun’s 2012 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Kennedy played lock down defense on Upstate’s leading scorer Tee’Ara Copney, in addition to her solid game on offense. Copney, who averages 13.3 points per game, was held to just four points on 2-of-7 shooting and forced into five turnovers in 34 minutes.

• NKU is riding a three-game winning streak into Saturday night’s Atlantic Sun Conference showdown. The Norse are looking for their first four-game winning streak since last season, when they ran off five consecutive victories between Feb. 9 and Feb. 23.

• The Norse are 9-9 all-time in games played in the state of Florida. Earlier this season, NKU visited the Sunshine State and lost close games at Jacksonville (65-60 on Dec. 31) and North Florida (59-55 on Jan. 2).

• NKU is unbeaten (6-0) this season when leading at halftime. The Norse are 0-8 when trailing at the break.

• NKU freshman Rianna Gayheart is No. 2 in the A-Sun in 3-point shooting at .435

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 81-8 in games played in January.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 45-6 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).

In the program’s 11-year history, the Eagles have compiled a 156-11 record at Alico Arena, including an impressive 48-1 record in Atlantic Sun home games. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled a 81-5 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).

130 of FGCU’s 156 wins at Alico Arena have come by at least double digits, while 59 of the Eagles’ 78 Division I home wins have come by at least 10 points.

Year          Record
2012-13     6-1
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       156-11

With an RPI as low as 65 and a strength of schedule (SOS) as low as 109, FGCU was predicted as the No. 14 seed, playing No. 3 seed Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament in College Sports Madness’ Bracketology (updated on Jan. 7).


Outlet (Date)                                           RPI      Strength of Schedule (SOS)     
NCAA (Jan. 14)                                         65      --
Real Time (Jan. 17)                                   65      116
WarrenNolan.com (Jan. 17)                        66      109

Head Coach KARL SMESKO and his Eagles have enjoyed significant success in the Atlantic Sun since moving to Division I. FGCU, who owns an 88-12 all-time record in conference play, has won three regular season titles (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12) and one conference tournament title (2012) since joining the league in 2007-08.

The Eagles, winners of 24 consecutive A-Sun contests (3rd longest conference winning streak in the nation behind Baylor and Princeton), are 41-3 in conference games since the 2010-11 season.

Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 156 threes this season compared to just 72 from its opponents. Led by BETSY ADAMS’ 2.0 trifectas per contest, 12 different players have made at least two shots from long range. The Eagles, who lead the conference in three-point field goals made per game (8.7), have two players (Adams & JOYCE IAMSTRONG; 2.0 & 1.6) ranked in the A-Sun’s top-10 in the same category.

In the program’s 11-year history (328) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 327 contests, including 215 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 215-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 2,079 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 967 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 121-8 all-time and 76-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

Less than 14 months after tying the all-time NCAA record and setting the 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 FGCU women’s basketball team knocked down 22 triples in a 97-60 win at ETSU on Jan. 12, 2013. Prior to breaking the record, the Eagles were tied for first place all-time with New Mexico State, who drained 21 triples against Louisiana-Lafayette on Feb. 23, 2002.

The NCAA Division I record 22 three-point makes are also a program and Atlantic Sun Conference best, as FGCU made 10 treys in the first half and 12 in the second. The Green and Blue hit 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) triples in the final frame in which they outscored the Lady Bucs 46-35.

Freshman STEPHANIE HAAS made the shot that tied the record at the 6:44 mark of the second half and classmate AMANDA MOORE drilled a three-pointer with 1:48 left in the game that gave FGCU the all-time mark.

The men’s Division I record is 28 - in 74 attempts - set by Troy on Dec. 10, 1994.

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. 17th, FGCU ranked fifth in the nation with an average of 8.7 threes per game. As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in four games this season.

RANK            TEAM               3-PT FG/GAME
1.                 Missouri           9.5
2.                 Creighton         9.3
3.                 UConn             9.1
4.                 UT Martin         8.8
5.                  FGCU              8.7

• The Green and Blue are 13-4 on the year when they drain six or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 11-4 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.

FGCU’s huge 97-60 win at ETSU was special for more than one reason. The obvious would be the team’s NCAA Division I record breaking 22 three-pointers, but there were also several other significant performances in the contest.

BETSY ADAMS scored her career-high and game-high 25 points in just 14 minutes on 9-of-14 shooting from the field and 7-of-12 from behind the arc. The seven makes from long distance from Adams rank her tied for fifth place in the FGCU record books. ANTHI CHTZIGIAKOUMI, in her first collegiate start, registered a career-high 15 points and four rebounds, while BRITTANY KENNEDY totaled seven points and two steals to go with a career-best 12 assists. Kennedy’s 12 dimes rank her t-2nd in program history with former teammate Courtney Chihil (12; vs. Indiana, Dec. 21, 2010).

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

Here’s what Hays 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.

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 55.1 points per contest. In conference games, FGCU has held their six opponents to just 48.2 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.

The Green and Blue have held the opposition below 50 points on six occasions this season.

The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team dropped one spot to the No. 11 position in the 11th edition of the 2012-13 CollegeInsider.com Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday, Jan. 15. The Eagles were ranked No. 10 in last week’s poll.

Delaware (11-3) along with Gonzaga (13-5), Toledo (13-2), Green Bay (12-2) and Chattanooga (12-3) 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 Eagles, the new NCAA Division I record holder for three-pointers in a single game (22), are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in the Top 25, while Stetson received 21 votes.

After averaging just 1.3 points, 0.5 rebounds and 0.6 assists in 6.0 minutes of action as a junior transfer in 2011-12, JOYCE IAMSTRONG put in a lot of work on her game over the summer and is arguably the most improved player in the nation.

This season, Iamstrong is averaging 10.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 29.8 minutes. The Chicago, Ill., native is also shooting .727 from the charity stripe, .446 from the field and .382 from behind the arc, a drastic improvement from her first year in the Green and Blue.

FGCU is currently first in the A-Sun in scoring defense (55.2), scoring margin (+12.8), free throw percentage (.758), assists (15.4), steals (11.3), turnover margin (+6.00), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1) and three-point field goals made per game (8.7).

SARAH HANSEN, BRITTANY KENNEDY and JOYCE IAMSTRONG have combined to account for 57.3 percent (38.9 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .485 (243-of-501) from the floor and .313 (52-of-166) from long distance.

Averaging 67.9 points per game (2nd in the A-Sun), the Eagles lead the league with a +6.00 turnover margin. Brittany Kennedy, who ranks 2nd in the A-Sun in assists (5.8), is second in the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.0. SARAH HANSEN has a 0.96 ratio, while ranking eighth in the league at 2.8 assists per game and JOYCE IAMSTRONG owns a 1.33 ratio and ranks sixth in the league at 2.9 assists per game.

Senior BRITTANY KENNEDY and redshirt junior SARAH HANSEN give FGCU one of the top scoring tandems in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 28.6 points, 13.5 rebounds, 8.3 assists and 4.7 steals per game.

A-Sun Top Scoring Tandems
McGowan/Sanders (Stetson) - 30.0 ppg
Bridges/Grant (Mercer) - 28.9 ppg
Hansen/KENNEDY (FGCU) - 28.6 ppg

Sneed/Cargill (JU) - 23.1 ppg
Wells/Gideon (KSU) & Mitchell/McQueen (ETSU) - 22.1 ppg

• The duo has reached double figures in same game nine times with FGCU going 9-0.

The reigning A-Sun Preseason Defensive Player of the Year BRITTANY KENNEDY has lived up to the honor thus far this season. The Spokane, Wash. native averaged 2.4 steals per contest (60 steals; 25 games) as a redshirt junior in 2011-12 - good for first in program single-season history and third-best in the A-Sun - and is on pace to eclipse that total this year.

This season she has recorded 53 steals in 17 games (3.1 per game; 1st in A-Sun) and averages 5.9 rebounds a game. Kennedy ranked 28th in the nation in steals thru games played on Jan. 17.

Kennedy, known for her lock-down defense on opposing guards, held Jerica Coley, a 2012 Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention and the 2012 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year that averaged 23.4 points per game, to just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting in their matchup on Nov. 14. She also shutdown VT’s leading scorer Monet Tellier (12.9ppg) and held her to two points on 0-for-8 shooting from the floor (Dec. 16).

Kennedy shutdown Kennesaw State’s’ third leading scorer (10.7 ppg) who had recorded four straight double-digit scoring performances. Ashley Holliday, was frustrated all afternoon (Dec. 31) by Kennedy and turned in five points, zero assists and 11 turnovers. The Preseason Defensive Player of the Year played lock down defense on Upstate’s leading scorer Tee’Ara Copney (Jan. 14), who was averaging 13.3 points per game, and held her to just four points on 2-of-7 shooting and forced her into five turnovers in 34 minutes.

Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Florida, the Eagles (13-5) rank t-first for the most victories in the state.

School                Record
FGCU                 (13-5)

Florida State       (13-3)
Florida                (13-5)
Stetson              (13-4)
Miami                 (12-4)
USF                    (12-4)
FIU                    (10-6)
FAU                    (9-7)
Jacksonville        (7-10)
UNF                   (7-10)
Bethune-Cookman (7-8)
UCF                   (6-10)
FAMU                 (5-11)

Against LSU on Dec. 28, SARAH HANSEN finished with a career-high and game-high 30 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, 2-of-4 from long distance and a perfect 14-of-14 from the charity stripe.

Her performance marked the second 30-point performance in FGCU’s Division I history (11th all-time) and the first since Feb. 12, 2009 (Adrianne McNally vs. Kennesaw St.; 32 points). The FGCU single game scoring record of 38 points is held by Andrea Clarke (vs. Molloy College; Dec. 18, 2004).

Hansen’s perfect night from the free-throw line tied her for first place in the FGCU record books for percentage in a single-game and is the most free-throws made in a game without a miss. 

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 1,199 points, ranks 3rd in the FGCU record books behind her former teammate Kelsey Jacobson (1,263).

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 (UConn, 2003-04) and Sue Bird (UConn, 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