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No. 38 @FGCU_WBB Set to Host Second Place Mercer on Thursday
|Florida Gulf Coast||51||38||89|
|Stats at a Glance||MER||FGCU|
|FG Percentage||.368 (21-57)||.538 (28-52)|
|3P FG Percentage||.143 (1-7)||.692 (9-13)|
|FT Percentage||.760 (19-25)||.750 (24-32)|
ADAMS - 14
KENNEDY - 5
BRADSHAW - 2
IAMSTRONG - 4
KENNEDY - 1
FGCU (23-5, 16-0 A-SUN) vs. MERCER (19-8, 13-3 A-SUN)
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Time: 5:15 p.m.
City: Fort Myers, Fla.
Site: Alico Arena (4,500)
Live Stats: FGCUAthletics.com
Live Audio: FGCUAthletics.com
Talent: J. Webb Horton
Live Video: ASun.TV
Twitter Hashtags: #ASUNWBB/#FGCU/#PlayLikeAnEagle/#GogglesUp
Current Streak: W17
At Home: 11-1
Last 5: 5-0
Last 10: 10-0
Last 15: 15-0
Last 20: 19-1
vs. Mercer: 12th Meeting; FGCU leads 11-0; FGCU is 5-0 at home vs. MU
Last Meeting: FGCU 70, Mercer 41 | Jan. 2, 2013 at Hawkins Arena
FGCU Head Coach: Karl Smesko (Kent State ‘93)
Career Record: 345-81 (14th Season)
Record at FGCU: 284-54 (11th Season)
A-Sun Record: 98-12
Head Coach: Susie Gardner (Georgia ‘85)
Career Record: 206-205 (14th Season)
Record at Mercer: 27-58 (3rd Season)
A-Sun Record: 19-35
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.
2011 - Matt Bollant, Green Bay
2010 - Connie Yori, Nebraska
AT A GLANCE
Riding an overall 17-game winning streak and a league record 34-game A-Sun conference winning streak, that dates back to the 2011-12 season when they finished 18-0, the Eagles are set to host second-place Mercer on Thursday, Feb. 28. Tip off at the Alico Arena is set for 5:15 p.m. and the game can bee seen live on ASun.TV.
After battling the Bears on Thursday night, the Eagles will welcome Kennesaw State to ‘The Nest’ on Senior Day (Mar. 2; 7:30 p.m.). The FGCU/KSU contest will be the final regular season game for both squads before the 2013 A-Sun Tournament (Mar. 6-9).
STARTING 5 QUICK HITS
#5 Sarah Hansen (F)
• 2nd in the A-Sun in points per game (17.4)
• Scored in double figures in 26 of the team’s 28 games
• Scored a career-high 30 points in FGCU’s upset of LSU (Dec. 28)
#00 DyTiesha Dunson (G)
• Shooting .833 from the charity stripe
• Averaging 18.8 minutes per contest
• Averaging 3.3 points
#21 Jaime Gluesing (G)
• Shooting .470 from the field and .438 from behind the arc
• 1st in the conference in 3-pt percentage (.478) - A-Sun Games Only
• Averaging 8.5 points in conference play
#24 Brittany Kennedy (G)
• Registered 15 points and 5 boards at Stetson (Feb. 23)
• Led the team in assists in 21 of the 27 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 (.313)
• 7th in the conference in assists (3.0)
• Averaging 10.3 points and 4.0 rebounds this season
LAST TIME OUT (FEB. 23): A-Sun Champs! FGCU Defeats Stetson to Earn #1 Seed in A-Sun Tourney
Redshirt junior Sarah Hansen scored a game-high 27 points as the FGCU women’s basketball team defeated conference rival Stetson, 72-55, on Saturday afternoon. The win gave the Eagles the outright A-Sun Regular Season title, their third straight and fourth in the last five years, as well as the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament (Mar. 6-9). • With their 17th straight victory, the Green and Blue improved to 23-5 overall and 16-0 in the A-Sun, while the Hatters fell to 19-8 overall (12-4 A-Sun). The win also snapped SU’s 16-game home winning streak, which was the fifth longest home winning streak in the nation. • The Eagles, who have made at least one three-pointer in 225 consecutive contests and 337 of 338 games in program history, made six triples on the day, led by three from Hansen. • Ranked No. 6 in the ESPN Mid-Major rankings, the Green and Blue scored 40 points in the paint and recorded a season-high eight blocks. Stetson’s 55 points mark the 23rd time (16th consecutive) the Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (52.7 ppg), have held an opponent to 60 points or fewer this season. • Hansen shot 9-of-14 from the field, 3-of-4 from long distance and a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe to record 27 points in 32 minutes of playing time. Hansen also added seven boards to go with career-highs in blocks (4) and steals (7). Redshirt senior Brittany Kennedy finished with 15 points and five rebounds. Senior Joyce Iamstrong finished with nine points, four rebounds and three assists. Redshirt senior Betsy Adams, who recently scored her 1,000th career-point, added nine points and season-highs in boards (7) and assists (3), while freshman DyTiesha Dunson chipped in with six points and two assists in 20 minutes.
• Last Time Out (Feb. 25) - The Mercer women’s basketball team used a season-best defensive effort to pull out a 53-31 win over Lipscomb at Hawkins Arena. Mercer forced Lipscomb into 25 turnovers and held the Bisons to a season-low 31 points on just 27 percent shooting from the field in the win. Sophomore Precious Bridges scored a game-high 18 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field in the win while senior Sharmesia Smith recorded her second-straight double-double with 11 points and a career-high tying 17 rebounds. Junior Sharnea Boykin also chipped in with nine assists while tying her season-high with four steals in the win.
• Junior Kendra Grant needs just one more point to eclipse the 500-point mark for her career. The Macon, Ga. native is averaging 12.7 points per game this season, which ranks second on the team and sixth in the A-Sun Conference.
• Mercer’s 19 wins thus far this season is the most in a single-season for the program since the 1991-92 edition of the Bears went 20-8.
• The Bears are just one win away from its first 20-win season since the 1991-92 campaign. If Mercer can win one more game this season it will be the eighth 20-win season in program history and the second of head coach Susie Gardner’s 14-year coaching career.
FGCU VS. MERCER AT ALICO ARENA
The Green and Blue are 5-0 all-time against Mercer at ‘The Nest’. The Eagles average 82.4 points per game in Fort Myers, while the Bears average 57.4 points.
The last time the two squads met at Alico Arena was on Jan. 21, 2012. Every player that saw the floor for the Green and Blue scored at least two points, as the Eagles used a balanced attack to defeat the Bears 92-55.
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 71-9 in games played in February.
• Since moving to Division I in 2007-08 the Eagles hold a 43-5 overall record in the month of February; 42-5 vs. Atlantic Sun conference opponents.
CONFERENCE WINNING STREAKS
The Eagles have won 37 straight A-Sun games overall (including the conference tourney) and 34 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 38 consecutive regular season league contests. The Lady Bears have also won 44 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 17 straight contests, which is tied for the fourth longest winning streak in Division I (through games on Feb. 26). Defending National Champion Baylor owns the nation’s longest winning streak (25).
Notre Dame 21
Green Bay 17
PICKIN’ UP VOTES IN THE AP POLL
The Eagles received one vote to rank No. 38 in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll that was released on Monday, Feb. 25.
This marks the first time this season that the Eagles have garnered a vote in the national poll. The last time the Green and Blue received a vote in the AP Poll was on Mar. 12, 2012 (13 votes to rank No. 29).
PROTECT THE NEST
In the program’s 11-year history, the Eagles have compiled a 161-11 record at Alico Arena, including an impressive 53-1 record in Atlantic Sun home games. Since moving to Division I, the Eagles have compiled an 83-5 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).
135 of FGCU’s 161 wins at Alico Arena have come by at least double digits, while 64 of the Eagles’ 83 Division I home wins have come by at least 10 points.
TOTAL 161-11 (.936)
NINE CONSECUTIVE 21-WIN SEASONS
The Eagles secured their ninth-straight 21+ win season with a 89-38 victory at Lipscomb (Feb. 16). The Green and Blue now have 10 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 nine seasons, the Eagles have accumulated 236 wins and 45 losses.
4-TIME A-SUN REGULAR SEASON CHAMPS
FGCU captured the program’s third consecutive A-Sun Regular Season crown (fourth in the last five years) with their 72-55 win at Stetson (Feb. 23). The Eagles’ other three regular-season championships came in 2011-12, 2010-11 and 2008-09. FGCU finished last season 18-0 in conference play and 17-3 in both the 2010-11 and 2008-09 campaigns.
The Eagles have won 13+ A-Sun games in six straight seasons. FGCU is 98-12 in conference play over the last six years and has won 68 of their last 74 Atlantic Sun regular season games over the past four seasons.
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).
Picking up a 72-55 win at A-Sun rival Stetson (Feb. 23), the Eagles secured the outright A-Sun Regular Season title, their third straight and fourth in the last five years, as well as the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament (Mar. 6-9).
HANDLING BUSINESS IN A-SUN HOME GAMES
FGCU is 7-0 in A-Sun home contests so far this season, after picking up conference wins vs. JU (74-57; Jan. 5), vs. UNF (53-42; Jan. 7), vs. NKU (79-50; Jan. 19), vs. Lipscomb (67-37; Jan. 21), vs. Stetson (74-55; Jan. 26), vs. USC Upstate (72-49; Feb. 9) and vs. ETSU (70-48; Feb. 11).
The Eagles won the games by an average of 21.6 points and shot 39.3 percent (163-of-415) from the floor and 29.3 percent (66-of-225) from behind the arc, while knocking down 9.4 triples per contest. The opposition, who have been forced into 20.9 turnovers per game, is shooting 130-of-351 (37 percent) from the field and 23-of-99 (23.2 percent) from three-point range.
CAPITAL 1 ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA 2ND TEAM
SARAH HANSEN named to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America women’s basketball second team (Feb. 21), as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). To be eligible for Academic All-America consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.
Hansen is the first student-athlete in FGCU history to earn Capital One Academic All-American status. She is also the only basketball player, men’s or women’s, in the A-Sun Conference to earn the distinction this year. Previously in 2012, Hansen was honored as the A-Sun’s Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, named to the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Women’s Scholar-Athlete Team and earned DI-AAA ADA Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year to highlight the Scholar-Athlete Team.
New Mexico’s Caroline Durbin, Ashley Eide of South Dakota State, Amanda Hyde of IPFW, Akron’s Rachel Tecca and Alli Williams of Saint Francis (Pa.) join the Hansen on the Capital One Academic All-America Division I second team.
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 50 and a strength of schedule (SOS) as low as 148, the Eagles were predicted to be a No. 14 seed, playing No. 3 Maryland (College Park Region), by ESPN.com’s Charlie Creme in his Feb. 25th Bracketology.
FGCU was also predicted as the No. 15 seed, playing No. 2 seed Penn State in the NCAA Tourney in College Sports Madness’ Bracketology (updated on Feb. 25).
FGCU IN THE RPI
Outlet (Date) RPI Strength of Schedule (SOS)
NCAA (Feb. 18) 51 --
RPIRatings.com (Feb. 17) 51 --
Real Time (Feb. 21) 51 149
WarrenNolan.com (Feb. 22) 50 148
Head Coach KARL SMESKO and his Eagles have enjoyed significant success in the Atlantic Sun since moving to Division I. FGCU, who owns a 98-12 all-time record in conference play, has won four regular season titles (2008-09, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13) and one conference tournament title (2012) since joining the league in 2007-08. FGCU is 51-3 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.
#6 IN THE ESPN MID-MAJOR TOP 10
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team moved up two positions to pick up the No. 6 spot in the latest ESPN Mid-Major Rankings (Feb. 20). The rankings are based on the women’s basketball blog of ESPN’s Graham Hays. FGCU was ranked No. 8 in the Feb. 5 rankings.
Said ESPN of FGCU, “This isn’t quite the version of Florida Gulf Coast we saw a season ago. This group doesn’t shoot the ball as well from the 3-point line or overall and doesn’t rebound as well, but tell it to the rest of the Atlantic Sun. The Eagles have yet to win a conference game by anything other than double digits. The next two games are against teams in (distant) second and third places, beginning with a weekend trip to Stetson and a home game next week against Mercer.”
ESPN Mid-Major Top 10 (Feb. 20)
3. Green Bay
FGCU RANKED #9 IN MID-MAJOR POLL
The Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team dropped one spot into the No. 9 position in the 17th edition of the 2012-13 CollegeInsider.com Women’s Basketball Mid-Major Top 25 poll, announced on Feb. 26. The Eagles were ranked No. 8 in last week’s poll.
Delaware, ranked No. 18 in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll, along with No. 21 Green Bay, Gonzaga, Princeton and Chattanooga 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 this week’s poll.
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 52.7 points per contest. In conference games, FGCU has held the opposition to just 48.3 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 forced opponents into 15+ turnovers 23 times this season, highlighted by JU’s 30 turnovers on Feb. 2 at Swisher Gym.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
In their last five games, FGCU has held the opposition to just 49, 48, 38, 53 and 55 points, respectively. The Eagles, who lead the conference in scoring defense (52.7 ppg), have held opponents below 65 points 25 times this season, while also holding this year’s opposition below 55 points or fewer on 16 occasions.
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 10.3 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 28.6 minutes. The Chicago, Ill., native is also shooting .795 from the charity stripe, .416 from the field and .341 from behind the arc, a drastic improvement from her first year in the Green and Blue.
BALL SO HARD
FGCU is currently first in the A-Sun in scoring offense (70.0), scoring defense (52.7), scoring margin (+17.3), free throw percentage (.752), field goal percentage defense (.373), three-point field goal defense (.256), assists (15.7), steals (11.2), turnover margin (+7.21), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.2) and three-point field goals made per game (9.2). In conference only games, FGCU ranks first in the A-Sun in scoring offense (73.1), scoring defense (48.3), scoring margin (+24.8), free throw percentage (.752), field goal percentage defense (.359), three-point percentage (.343), three-point field goal defense (.228), assists (16.1), steals (11.3), turnover margin (+9.50), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.4) and three-point field goals made per game (10.3).
FGCU’S BIG 3
SARAH HANSEN, BRITTANY KENNEDY and JOYCE IAMSTRONG have combined to account for 54.0percent (37.8 points per game) of FGCU’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .468 (364-of-778) from the floor and .309 (87-of-282) from long distance.
WELL DONE YOUNGSTER
JAIME GLUESING’s .438 three-point percentage would rank 8th in the nation if she averaged a minimum 2.0 treys made per game. (she averages 1.5 triples per game).
The freshman, who has scored in double figures in six conference games, is averaging 8.5 points and is shooting .484 from the field and .478 from behind the arc in A-Sun play. She’s hit a trey in 21 games this season and has multi-threes in 13 contests.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
Averaging 70.0 points per game (1st in the A-Sun), the Eagles lead the league with a +7.21 turnover margin. BRITTANY KENNEDY, who ranks 2nd in the A-Sun in assists (5.3), is second in the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 2.0. SARAH HANSEN has a 1.04 ratio, while ranking 11th in the league at 2.5 assists per game and JOYCE IAMSTRONG owns a 1.45 ratio and ranks sixth in the league at 2.9 assists per game.
SHAKE AND BAKE
Senior JOYCE IAMSTRONG and redshirt junior SARAH HANSEN give FGCU one of the top scoring tandems in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 27.7 points, 12.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 3.6 steals per game.
A-Sun Top Scoring Tandems
Bridges/Grant (Mercer) - 30.2 ppg
McGowan/Sanders (Stetson) - 30.2 ppg
HANSEN/IAMSTRONG (FGCU) - 27.7 ppg
Copney/Starling (Upstate) - 22.9 ppg
Alford/Sneed (JU) - 22.7 ppg
• The duo has reached double figures in same game 13 times with FGCU going 12-1.
WE ARE FGCU
With a 16-0 record in A-Sun action, FGCU is one of 12 teams in the nation that are undefeated in conference play (Albany, Dayton, Duke, Baylor, Notre Dame, Delaware, Green Bay, Princeton, Marist, Hampton, Quinnipiac). Also, with a 23-5 overall record, the Eagles are one of 19 23+ win teams in the nation (thru games played on Feb. 26).
Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Florida, the Eagles (23-5) rank first for the most victories in the state (thru games played on Feb. 26).
Florida State (20-7)
PUT THE CLAMPS ON ‘EM
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 79 steals in 27 games (2.9 per game; 1st in A-Sun) and averages 5.0 rebounds a game. Kennedy ranked 27th in the nation in steals thru games played on Feb. 24.
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 recently 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.
HANSEN’S BIG NIGHT
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.
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 1,370 points, ranks 2nd in the FGCU record books behind her former teammate Adrianne McNally (1,415).
Redshirt senior BETSY ADAMS, with a layup with 13:26 left in the second half at NKU (Feb. 18), recorded her 1,000th career point. Adams, who has 244 points as an Eagle, scored 771 points and averaged 9.4 points at Valparaiso (2008-12).
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
Surrounding its opponents with a balanced scoring attack, FGCU has knocked down 258 threes this season compared to just 101 from their opponents. Led by BETSY ADAMS’ 2.0 trifectas per contest, 13 different players have made at least three 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.
In the program’s 11-year history (338) games, FGCU has made at least one three-pointer in 337 contests, including 225 straight. The last and lone time the Eagles didn’t knock down a three was February 21, 2006 at Lynn. During the current 225-game run, the Green and Blue have knocked down 2,181 money balls while their opponents have knocked down 1,004 threes. In games that it has drained double-digit threes, FGCU is 129-8 all-time and 84-6 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 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.
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. 24th, FGCU ranks second in the nation with an average of 9.2 threes per game. As a team, FGCU has drained double-digit threes in 12 games this season.
RANK TEAM 3-PT FG/GAME
1. Creighton 9.5
2. FGCU 9.2
3. UT Martin 9.0
5. UConn 8.8
THREE IS THE KEY
• The Green and Blue are 22-4 on the year when they drain six or more shots from beyond the arc.
• FGCU is 21-4 this season when they knock down more three-point shots than their opponent.
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.
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.