@FGCU_WBB Looks for Season Sweep of NKU at Bank of America Center
Sunday, February 17, 2013 | by Mike Hill (@mike_hill84)
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Photo Credit: J. Meric
Photo Credit: J. Meric
Florida Gulf Coast (22-5, 15-0 A-Sun)
at
Northern Kentucky (11-12, 8-6 A-Sun)
2/18/2013 | Highland Heights, Ky. | Attendance: 1192
1st2ndFinal
Florida Gulf Coast274168
Northern Kentucky173653
Stats at a GlanceFGCUNKU
FG Percentage.397 (23-58) .370 (20-54)
3P FG Percentage.313 (10-32) .154 (2-13)
FT Percentage.800 (12-15) .846 (11-13)
Offensive Rebounds1316
Defensive Rebounds2024
Total Rebounds3340
Turnovers1017
Steals113
Bench Points1714
Statistical LeadersFGCUNKU
PointsHANSEN - 18
HOPPER - 18
ReboundsHANSEN - 13
THACKER - 10
AssistsKENNEDY - 6
THACKER - 3
StealsHANSEN - 3
KENNEDY - 3
GAYHEART - 3
BlocksHANSEN - 2
THACKER - 2

GAMEDAY CENTRAL
FGCU (21-5, 14-0 A-SUN) at NKU (11-11, 8-5 A-SUN)

Date: Monday, February 18, 2012
Time: 7 p.m.
City: Highland Heights, Ky.
Site: Bank of Kentucky Center (9,400)
Live Stats: NKUNorse.com
Live Video: ASun.TV
Twitter: @FGCU_WBB
Twitter Hashtags: #ASUNWBB/#FGCU/#PlayLikeAnEagle/#GogglesUp
Current Streak: W15
On the Road: 9-2
Last 5: 5-0     
Last 10: 10-0
Last 15: 15-0
vs. NKU: 2nd Meeting; FGCU leads 1-0
Last Meeting: FGCU 79, NKU 50 | Jan. 19, 2013 at Alico Arena

COACHING MATCHUP
Head Coach:
Karl Smesko (Kent State ‘93)
Career Record:
343-81 (14th Season)
Record at FGCU:
282-54 (11th Season)
A-Sun Record:
96-12

Head Coach: Dawn Plitzuweit (Michigan Tech ‘95)
Career Record:
128-50 (6th Season)
Record at NKU:
11-11 (1st Season)
A-Sun Record:
8-5

KAY YOW NATIONAL COACH OF THE YEAR
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

AT A GLANCE
Riding an overall 15-game winning streak and a league record 32-game A-Sun conference winning streak, that dates back to the 2011-12 season when they finished 18-0, the Eagles are set to face the Norse of NKU on Monday, Feb. 18. Tip off at the Bank of Kentucky Center is set for 7 p.m. and the game can bee seen live on ASun.TV.

UP NEXT
After battling the Norse on Monday night, the Eagles will head to Deland, Fla. for a matchup with the Stetson Hatters on Feb. 23.

 
STARTING 5 QUICK HITS
#5 Sarah Hansen (F)

• 2nd in the A-Sun in points per game (17.0)
• Scored in double figures in 24 of the team’s 26 games
• Scored a career-high 30 points in FGCU’s upset of LSU (Dec. 28)
#00 DyTiesha Dunson (G)

• 6-0 as a starter
• Averaging 18.7 minutes per contest
• Averaging 3.2 points
#21 Jaime Gluesing (G)

• Shooting .485 from the field and .455 from behind the arc
• 1st in the conference in 3-pt percentage (.508) - A-Sun Games Only
• Averaging 8.8 points in conference play
#24 Brittany Kennedy (G)

• Registered 14 points and 8 assists vs. Stetson (Jan. 26)
• Led the team in assists in 20 of the 25 games she’s played in
• Dished career-high 12 assists at ETSU (Jan. 12)
#30 Joyce Iamstrong (G)

• 15th in the conference in 3-pt field goal percentage (.303)
• 7th in the conference in assists (3.0)
• Averaging 10.1 points and 3.9 rebounds this season

LAST TIME OUT (FEB. 16): @FGCU_WBB Uses Strong Defensive Performance to Defeat Lipscomb, 89-38
Four players scored in double figures as the FGCU women’s basketball team forced 27 turnovers and led wire-to-wire in an 89-38 win over Lipscomb to extend their winning streaks.  •  With the win, FGCU improves to 21-5 overall and 14-0 in the A-Sun, while Lipscomb falls to 2-22 overall (1-12 A-Sun). The Eagles have now won 35 straight A-Sun games overall (including the conference tourney) and 32 consecutive regular season conference contests. FGCU’s 32 consecutive conference victories rank as the second longest streak in the country behind defending national champion Baylor (35). The win also gives the Eagles their 15th consecutive victory and 11th win in a row over Lipscomb.  •  Lipscomb’s 38 points mark the 13th time this season that the Eagles have held an opponent below 50 points. FGCU, the A-Sun’s leader in scoring defense in conference play (47.5 ppg), forced LU into 27 turnovers to mark the third straight game they have made an opponent commit 25+ miscues. The Green and Blue scored an impressive 45 points off the Bisons turnovers.  •  Sarah Hansen registered a game-high 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from behind the arc. She also added four boards and four steals in just 18 minutes of playing time. Senior Joyce Iamstrong finished with 17 points in 18 minutes. Freshman Stephanie Haas had the best outing of her collegiate career, finishing with a career-high 16 points, on 8-of-13 shooting, to go with four rebounds. Anthi Chatzigiakoumi chipped in with 10 points, while Katie Meador snagged 10 rebounds and scored seven points.

SCOUTING NKU
• FGCU won the lone meeting in the all-time series 1-0.
• NKU is currently fourth in the A-Sun standings.
• The Norse come into Monday’s contest riding the emotion of a 73-68 upset of Stetson on Saturday.

FGCU VS. THE BCS
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 IN FEBRUARY
• FGCU has an all-time record of 69-9 in games played in February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 41-5 overall record in the month of February; 40-5 vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.

CONFERENCE WINNING STREAKS
The Eagles have won 35 straight A-Sun games overall (including the conference tourney) and 32 consecutive regular season conference contests, which are both league records and are the 2nd longest conference winning streaks in the nation. Defending National Champion Baylor has won a nation’s-best 36 consecutive regular season league contests. The Lady Bears have also won 42 straight Big 12 games overall, a continuing league record.

FGCU’s last regular season A-Sun loss was at USC Upstate, 75-74, on Feb. 28, 2011.

WE’RE GOING STREAKING
After a tough 60-53 loss to UCF at Alico Arena, the Green and Blue have won 15 straight contests, which is tied for the fourth longest winning streak in Division I (through games on Feb. 16). Defending National Champion Baylor owns the nation’s longest winning streak (22).

Team          Streak
Baylor         22
Notre Dame 18
Delaware     16
Green Bay   16
FGCU            15

Marist         13
Quinnipiac    12

LOCK IT UP
With their 80-49 win at JU on Feb. 2, FGCU clinched the program’s second consecutive berth and became the first team to clinch a spot in the 2013 A-Sun Conference Tournament. The 2013 A-Sun Conference Tournament will be held in Macon, Ga. at Hawkins Arena (Mar. 6-9).

HANDLING BUSINESS IN A-SUN ROAD GAMES
FGCU is 7-0 in A-Sun road contests so far this season, after picking up conference wins at KSU (62-35; Dec. 31), at Mercer (70-41; Jan. 2), at ETSU (97-60; Jan. 12), at USC Upstate (77-54; Jan. 14), at JU (80-49; Feb. 2), at UNF (66-50; Feb. 4) and at Lipscomb (89-38; Feb. 16).

The Eagles won the games by an average of 30.6 points and shot 48.7 percent (192-of-394) from the floor and 40.5 percent (83-of-205) from behind the arc, while knocking down 11.9 triples per contest. The opposition, who have been forced into 21.9 turnovers per game, is shooting 116-of-335 (34.6 percent) from the field and 23-of-102 (22.5 percent) from three-point range.

CAPITAL 1 ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT 4 FIRST TEAM
SARAH HANSEN was named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District 4 Women’s Basketball first team (Jan. 31), as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Members of CoSIDA conduct nominations and voting for the All-America programs.

The District 4 team is made up of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Puerto Rico and South Carolina. To be nominated, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore, a starter or important reserve and must carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 or higher.

Hansen is now eligible to be selected as a member of the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first, second and third team All-America honorees will be selected in late February.

FGCU IN LATEST BRACKETOLOGY
With an RPI as low as 62 and a strength of schedule (SOS) as low as 164, the Eagles were predicted to be a No. 13 seed, playing No. 4 Louisville (Louisville Region), by ESPN.com’s Charlie Creme in his Feb. 11th Bracketology.

FGCU was also predicted as the No. 15 seed, playing No. 2 seed Tennessee in the NCAA Tourney in College Sports Madness’ Bracketology (updated on Feb. 4).

FGCU IN THE RPI

Outlet (Date)                                                 RPI      Strength of Schedule (SOS)
NCAA (Feb. 11)                                              62      --
RPIRatings.com (Feb. 10)                               62      --
Real Time (Feb. 16)                                       63      164
WarrenNolan.com (Feb. 16)                             69      168

A-SUN SUCCESS
Head Coach KARL SMESKO and his Eagles have enjoyed significant success in the Atlantic Sun since moving to Division I. FGCU, who owns a 96-12 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. FGCU is 49-3 in conference games since the 2010-11 season.

ONE TO REMEMBER
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).

GETTIN’ LOVE FROM ESPN
In the ‘Weekly Wrap’ by ESPN’s Graham Hays (Dec. 30 & Jan. 27), the Eagles got some love for their 76-70 upset of LSU (Dec. 28) and their win over A-Sun rival Stetson (Jan. 26).

Here’s what Hays said:

SHE ALSO STARRED (Dec. 30)

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.

MAJOR SHOWDOWNS AMONG MID-MAJORS (Jan. 27)
It was a weekend full of conference showdowns in the mid-major ranks. Delaware got its win against Drexel to gain control in the CAA, but these teams also made the most of important games.

Florida Gulf Coast: It was a game between conference unbeatens, but it wasn’t close. Florida Gulf Coast beat Stetson 74-55 to improve to 9-0 in the Atlantic Sun. It’s the 10th win in a row for the Eagles in a run that began with a win against LSU, and all nine conference wins came by at least 10 points.

MAKE IT UNCOMFORTABLE
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 52.6 points per contest. In conference games, FGCU has held the opposition to just 47.5 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 11 occasions and have forced opponents into 15+ turnovers 22 times this season, highlighted by JU’s 30 turnovers on Feb. 2 at Swisher Gym.

#8 IN THE ESPN MID-MAJOR TOP 10
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team moved up two positions to pick up the No. 8 spot in the latest ESPN Mid-Major Rankings (Feb. 6). The rankings are based on the women’s basketball blog of ESPN’s Graham Hays.

This marks the second time this season that the Eagles have appeared in Hays’ Mid-Major Top 10. FGCU was ranked No. 10 in the Jan. 23 rankings.

Said Hays of FGCU, “Monday’s 66-50 win at North Florida almost qualifies as a nail-biter by Florida Gulf Coast standards. The Eagles keep rolling in their conference, and their next four opponents all have at least five A-Sun losses already. Oregon State transfer Brittany Kennedy is quietly having a terrific all-around season, averaging 10.6 points, 5.5 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 3.1 steals while shooting 53 percent and maintaining a two-to-one assist-to-turnover ratio.”

ESPN Mid-Major Top 10
1.  Delaware
2.  Dayton
3.  Green Bay
4.  Creighton
5.  Chattanooga
6.  Princeton
7.  Middle Tennessee State
8.  FGCU

9.  Pacific
10. Gonzaga

FGCU RANKED #10 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team dropped one spot the No. 10 position in the 15th edition of the 2012-13 CollegeInsider.com Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Tuesday (Feb. 12). The Eagles were ranked No. 9 in last week’s poll.

Delaware, ranked No. 20 in the AP Top 25 and No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, along with Green Bay, Gonzaga, Chattanooga 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 Eagles are the lone Atlantic Sun Conference team represented in the poll.

APPROACHING 1,000 POINTS
Redshirt senior BETSY ADAMS is four points away from recording her 1,000th career point. Adams, who has 225 points as an Eagle, scored 771 points and averaged 9.4 points at Valparaiso (2008-12).

1,000-POINT CLUB & 2ND ALL-TIME IN POINTS
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 1,325 points, ranks 2nd in the FGCU record books behind her former teammate Adrianne McNally (1,415).

WHEN PREPARATION MEETS OPPORTUNITY
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 10.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 28.2 minutes. The Chicago, Ill., native is also shooting .786 from the charity stripe, .417 from the field and .339 from behind the arc, a drastic improvement from her first year in the Green and Blue.

MAKING ‘THE BUZZ’
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

RAPID FIRE
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 229 threes this season compared to just 96 from its opponents. Led by BETSY ADAMS’ 2.1 trifectas per contest, 13 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 (9.2), have three players (Adams, JOYCE IAMSTRONG & JAIME GLUESING) ranked in the A-Sun’s top-15 in the same category.

3’S PLEASE!
In the program’s 11-year history (336) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 335 contests, including 223 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 223-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 2,165 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 997 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 128-8 all-time and 83-6 since moving to Division I in 2007-08.

BREAKING RECORDS
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 NBA record is 23, which was set by the Houston Rockets (Feb. 5, 2013) and Orlando Magic (Jan. 13, 2009). The men’s Division I record is 28 - in 74 attempts - set by Troy on Dec. 10, 1994.

NATION’S BEST
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 Feb. 14th, FGCU ranked second in the nation with an average of 9.2 threes per game. As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in 11 games this season.

RANK             TEAM                3-PT FG/GAME
1.                  Creighton           9.5
2.                         FGCU                    9.2

3.                  UT Martin           9.0
4.                  UConn               8.9                    
5.                  Milwaukee          8.7

THREE IS THE KEY
• The Green and Blue are 20-4 on the year when they drain six or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 19-4 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.

200 3’s...AGAIN
With their 10 three-point makes at JU on Feb. 2, the Eagles eclipsed the 200 made triples mark this season. FGCU has recorded 200+ three-pointers in 10 of the last 11 seasons, including nine consecutive.

FINALLY FAMOUS
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.