FLORIDA GULF COAST
11/8/2013 | U.S. Century Bank Arena | Attendance: 506
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||36||39||75|
|Stats at a Glance||FGCU||FIU|
|3P FG Percentage||.267
MIAMI, Fla. – After months of anticipation, the FGCU women’s basketball team will open the 2013-14 season at FIU on Friday, Nov. 8. Tipoff at the U.S. Century Bank Arena is slated for 6 p.m.
THE GREEN & BLUE
FGCU enters the season with a list of preseason accolades. The team earned the top nod in the Preseason Atlantic Sun Coaches’ Poll with seven first-place votes and picked up the no. 1 position in the Atlantic Sun Media Poll with 30 first-place votes.
The Eagles were also selected to finish first in the College Sports Madness Preseason Poll and ranked among the top-10 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll in late October.
Individually, senior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) returns to lead the Eagles in her final year. Hansen was last year’s Atlantic Sun Player of the Year and was selected to receive the same award in this year’s preseason poll. Also receiving preseason A-Sun accolades were sophomores Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C., R.J. Reynolds High School) and DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover High School). Knight was named to the conference Preseason All-Conference Team, while Dunson earned 149 ‘likes’ to earn the fan-voted Defensive Player of the Year award.
Head Coach Karl Smesko will guide the Green and Blue in his 12th season. Smesko, a four-time A-Sun Coach of the Year, will earn his 350th career victory with the Eagles first win this season.
The Eagles finished the 2012-13 season with an overall record of 27-7 and an A-Sun mark of a perfect 18-0. The team fell in the conference championship final and will be eager to earn a position in the finals again.
The team’s 27 wins last season included a 69-45 win over FIU on Nov. 14 at Alico Arena. Hansen led the team with 24 points and 11 rebounds in the contest. The win in 2012 moved the Eagles’ all-time advantage over FIU to 4-0. In four games, FGCU has outscored the Panthers by an average of 16 points.
The Panthers enter the 2013-14 campaign with three returning starters and 11 returning letterwinners, including last season’s NCAA scoring leader, Jerico Coley. Coley paced all players last season with 26.3 points per game and returns this year for her final season with FIU. Led by head coach Cindy Russo, the Panthers concluded the 2013-13 season with a record of 12-8 and a Sun Belt mark of 12-8. The team finished third in the conference in their final year before moving to Conference USA. The matchup with FGCU opens the new season for the Panthers.
Following the matchup in Miami, the Eagles will return to Fort Myers to host Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Tipoff at Alico Arena is slated for 7 p.m.
FOR MORE INFO
For all the details regarding Friday’s contest:
For up-to-the-minute information and behind-the-scenes access to the women’s basketball program, follow @FGCU_WBB on Twitter and Instagram, and “Like” us on Facebook at /FGCUWBB.
2013-14 women’s basketball season tickets are selling quickly. Fans can reserve their seat(s) by visiting the Alico Arena Ticket Office, calling 239-590-7145 or logging on to FGCUAthletics.com/Tickets.