Balanced Effort Leads @FGCU_WBB to a 72-49 Win Over USC Upstate
Saturday, February 09, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@Mike_Hill84)
Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson
Photo Credit: Linwood Ferguson
USC Upstate (9-14 5-7 A-Sun)
Florida Gulf Coast (19-5 12-0 A-Sun)
2/9/2013 | Fort Myers, Fla. (Alico Arena) | Attendance: 3461
USC Upstate272249
Florida Gulf Coast403272
Stats at a GlanceUPSTFGCU
FG Percentage.465 (20-43) .444 (24-54)
3P FG Percentage.167 (1-6) .263 (5-19)
FT Percentage.667 (8-12) .655 (19-29)
Offensive Rebounds1014
Defensive Rebounds2015
Total Rebounds3029
Bench Points2120
Statistical LeadersUPSTFGCU
PointsHICKS - 12
ReboundsSTARLING - 5
AssistsSMITH - 4
StealsCOPNEY - 3
BlocksMcROBERTS - 1

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Five players scored in double figures as the FGCU women’s basketball team forced 27 turnovers to defeat USC Upstate, 72-49, picking up their 13th consecutive win.

"Tonight was a total team win," said head coach Karl Smesko. "We were a little flat to open the game, but we were able to fix some things at the half. We still have some things we need to clean up moving forward, but as always the fans at Alico Arena proved to be instrumental. It was nice that a national audience (ESPN3) was able to experience the atmosphere at 'The Nest'."

With the win, FGCU, winners of 30 straight A-Sun games, improved to 19-5 overall and 12-0 in the A-Sun, while USC Upstate falls to 9-14 overall (5-7 A-Sun). FGCU’s 30 consecutive conference victories ranks as the second longest streak in the country behind defending national champion Baylor (33). The win also improves the Green and Blue’s impressive record at Alico Arena to 160-11 all-time and 52-1 in A-Sun conference matchups.

The Eagles, who have made at least one three-pointer in 221 consecutive contests and 333 of 334 games in program history, made five triples on the night and now have 218 triples as a team on the year.

Redshirt junior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane HS) registered 15 points and seven rebounds in 26 minutes. Senior Brittany Kennedy (Spokane, Wash./Lewis and Clark HS/Oregon State) finished with 13 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Freshman DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover HS) recorded a career-high 12 points to go with four boards and three steals. Senior Joyce Iamstrong (Chicago, Ill./Tornton Fractional South HS/Jefferson College) tallied 10 points and four rebounds, while sophomore Anthi Chatzigiakoumi (Athens, Greece/General Sr. HS of Kallithea) scored 11 points in 17 minutes off the bench.

The teams played even for the opening 12 minutes of the first half and Tweety Hawkins’ jumper cut the FGCU lead down to 20-18 (8:09). The Eagles gave themselves some breathing room, employing an 8-0 run, capped by a triple from Chatzigiakoumi, to take a 28-18 lead with 6:57 left in the opening period.

Leading Upstate 34-25, the Green and Blue used a 6-2 run over the final 1:25 to take a 40-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Hansen led the Eagles with 12 points and five rebounds in the first half, while Kennedy added nine points, three assists and a pair of steals. FGCU shot 44.8 percent (13-for-29) from the floor, while the Spartans made 12-of-27 (44.4 percent) from the field. FGCU, who knocked down two shots from behind the arc in the first half, forced Upstate into 12 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes.

The Eagles opened the second half with a 12-0 run, highlighted by seven points from Dunson, to take a 52-27 lead (15:44) and never looked back. FGCU held the Spartans scoreless for the first 4:16 of the second period and extended their lead to as many as 34 points (10:17; 65-31) before picking up the 72-49 conference victory.

The Spartans, who attempted just 16 shots in the second half, finished the night with a 46.5 percent shooting percentage (20-of-43).

The Eagles shot 44.4 percent (24-for-54) from the floor and hit five three-pointers on 19 attempts (26.3 percent). FGCU registered 29 rebounds, forced Upstate into 27 turnovers (scored 34 points off of those turnovers) and tallied 12 assists on 24 made baskets.

The Green and Blue are back in action on Monday, February 11, when they host the Lady Bucs of ETSU at ‘The Nest’. Tipoff is set for 7:05 p.m.

Fans can follow FGCU on Twitter (@FGCU_WBB), Instagram (@FGCUWbb) and on Facebook by liking FGCU Women’s Basketball (