@FGCU_WBB Continues Atlantic Sun Action with ETSU
Wednesday, January 08, 2014 | by Jamie Church (@jlchurch)
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Sophomore Kaneisha Atwater scored 15 points in the Eagle's recent win over Stetson
Sophomore Kaneisha Atwater scored 15 points in the Eagle's recent win over Stetson
ETSU (5-9 (1-2 ASun))
at
FLORIDA GULF COAST (8-6 (2-0 ASun))
1/9/2014 | Alico Arena - Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 1877
1st2ndFinal
ETSU292958
FLORIDA GULF COAST343973
Stats at a GlanceETSUFGCU
FG Percentage.421 (24-57) .481 (25-52)
3P FG Percentage.167 (3-18) .364 (8-22)
FT Percentage.636 (7-11) .750 (15-20)
Offensive Rebounds139
Defensive Rebounds2022
Total Rebounds3331
Turnovers2020
Steals710
Bench Points163
Statistical LeadersETSUFGCU
PointsBOWLING - 15
KNIGHT - 21
ReboundsBOWLING - 5
MCQUEEN - 5
RANDALL - 5
HAAS - 6
HANSEN - 6
AssistsMCQUEEN - 3
DUNSON - 6
StealsRANDALL - 3
COBB - 3
BlocksBOND - 1
KNIGHT - 3

East Tennessee State University (5-8 | 1-1 Atlantic Sun) at FGCU (7-6 | 1-0 Atlantic Sun)
Thursday, Jan. 9 | 7 p.m. | Alico Arena
Video: ESPN3
Live Stats: Statbroadcast via FGCUAthletics.com
Twitter: @FGCU_WBB
Game Notes: FGCU |  ETSU  |  Atlantic Sun

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball team will look to begin Atlantic Sun Conference play with a 2-0 mark as they welcome East Tennessee State University to Alico Arena on Thursday night.  Tipoff in the midweek matchup is slated for 7 p.m.  The game can be viewed live and free of charge on ESPN3 with David Moulton and J. Webb Horton on the call.

Fans in attendance are encouraged to wear green.

THE GREEN & BLUE

The defending regular season champion Eagles began conference play at 1-0 for the sixth-consecutive year and currently hold an overall record of 7-6 after defeating in-state rival Stetson on Saturday. 

As a unit, the Eagles have scored 66.2 points per game this season, while allowing opponents to an exact match at 66.2 points per contest.  Eagle foes have held the advantage on the glass through 13 games with a 41.8-33.4 margin, while the Eagles have maintained control of the ball with just 14.3 turnovers per game.  FGCU has forced 17.8 opponent turnovers per game this season but has allowed opponents to maintain a .409 shooting percentage.

Offensively, FGCU has recorded a shooting percentage of .392 this season with a .338 mark from 3-point range.  The team has made a combined 121 shots from long range, with an average of 9.3 per game to rank seventh among the NCAA’s 349 teams. 

THE STREAK

The Eagles will look to continue a 47-game win streak when they face ETSU on Thursday.  The team has won 47 consecutive Atlantic Sun games at Alico Arena since the 2007-08 season and currently holds an all-time home record of 55-1 in conference play.  The streak ranks third best among all NCAA institutions, behind only Baylor and Weber State. 

TOP CONTRIBUTORS

After recording her second double-double of the season against Stetson, senior Sarah Hansen (McKean, Pa./General McLane High School) sits atop of the team rankings with an average of 14.1 points per game.  The captain also leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per game and 37 steals on the season.

Redshirt-Sophomore Whitney Knight (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds High School) adds 13.1 points per game and leads the team with 37 blocks.  Knight ranks among the top 15 nationally with 2.85 blocks per game and leads the Eagles with 31 made shots from long range.   Sophomore Stephanie Haas (Avon Lake, Ohio/Magnificat High School) has consistently led the Eagles this season and is currently averaging 12.2 points per contest. 

Transfers Kaneisha Atwater (Fort Pierce, Fla./Fort Pierce Westover High School) and Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School) round out the Eagles’ starting five with 7.6 and 6.8 points per game, respectively.  Cobb leads the team with 33 assists on the year, with Atwater ranking second on the team with 17 steals.

Off the bench, sophomores Amanda Moore (Seymour, Ind./Seymour High School) and Jaime Gluesing (Solon, Ohio/Solon High School) have aided the Eagles’ offense from 3-point range.  The duo has combined for 21 3-pointers this season and average 4.3 and 3.8 points per game.

GAME DAY TWEETABLES

- The Eagles have made 3,263 3-pointers in 263 games for an average of over 9 per game through 12 years. #RainingThrees

- FGCU and ETSU have faced off 12 times since 2008 with the Eagles holding a 10-2 advantage in the win column.

- FGCU’s starting five (Atwater, Cobb, Hansen, Haas, Knight) have averaged 81 percent of the team’s 66.2 points per game.

- Head Coach Karl Smesko picked up his 350th career win against FIU on Nov. 8. That’s a career record of 355-92 & a win percentage of .800.

- It has been 1,829 days since the Eagles lost their last A-Sun game at Alico Arena.

LAST TIME OUT

After trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half, the Eagles outscored Stetson University 44-21 in the second half to defeat the Hatters 72-56 Saturday night at Alico Arena.  With the win, the Eagles improved to 7-6 on the season and began Atlantic Sun play with a record of 1-0.  After defeating FGCU in the 2013 Conference Championship game, the Hatters started A-Sun play with a mark of 0-1 for the first time since 2010 and fall to 8-5 on the year. 

Stetson took control of the game with a quick 4-0 lead to begin the contest and extended its advantage to 10 points just eight minutes into the first half.  The Hatters maintained the momentum through the half and went into the break with a 35-28 lead.  After seeing Stetson extend the lead to nine points to start the second half, the Eagles constructed a 14-0 run to claim the lead.  The Green and Blue held onto the lead and extended it to a game-high 17 points en route to its first A-Sun victory of the year.

Individually, the Eagles saw seven season highs on the night.  Knight led all scorers with 20 points, while Hansen added 18 points and a season-high 14 rebounds for her second double-double of the year.  Atwater produced a season-high 15 points and pulled down a career-best nine rebounds, while also recording a season-high four steals.  DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover High School) came off the bench for two season-highs with eight points and five assists.

ALL-TIME MEETINGS

FGCU and ETSU have met 12 times since the 2007-08 season with the Green and Blue having won on 10 occasions. The Eagles hold an eight-game winning streak that includes a win over the Bucs in the 2012 A-Sun Quarterfinals. FGCU has outscored ETSU by an average of 86.0 to 71.1 points per game. The team’s average margin of victory has been 17.7 points all-time and 25 points in the last three meetings.

LAST TIME AGAINST THE BUCS

The Eagles and Bucs last met during the 2012-13 season when the Green and Blue earned two double digit victories over ETSU. In the most recent meeting, FGCU defeated ETSU 70-48 at Alico Arena on Feb. 11.

Hansen powered the Eagles with 26 points and seven rebounds with eight made field goals and eight made shots from the free-throw line. Gluesing also added double-digits for the Eagles with 11 points on three 3-pointers.

SCOUTING THE VISITING TEAM

- The Bucs of East Tennessee State University travel south from Johnson City, Tenn. with a record of 5-8 on the season and a 1-1 mark in Atlantic Sun action.  Early in the season the Bucs fell to Saint Francis University 92-79 before earning a big 75-67 win over Indiana State.  Most recently, ETSU began conference play with a home win over Lipscomb before dropping a 73-63 loss to Northern Kentucky.

- As a team, ETSU has maintained an average of 71.7 points per game, while allowing opponents to score 74.4 points per contest.  The Bucs are shooting 43 percent from the floor and currently top the league with a mark of 35 percent from 3-point range.  The team has been edged on the boards this season with a narrow margin of 38.8 to 38.2 rebounds per game.  The team collects just 5.7 steals per game and has turned the ball over an average of 18 occasions each game.

- Individually, the Bucs are led by junior Serena Clark.  After transferring from Clemson, Clark is averaging 12.7 points and 11.2 rebounds per game in her second year with ETSU.  Three others are currently averaging double-figures for the Bucs, while Preseason All Atlantic Sun Conference team member Destiny Mitchell scored 15 points against Memphis to open the season but has yet to return to the court.  Clark leads the team’s blocking effort, while sophomore Brianna McQueen adds 53 assists on the year and junior Cara Bowling leads the team with 18 steals.

- After finishing last season with a record of 8-18 and a conference mark of 6-12, the Bucs were selected to finish fifth in the conference this season.  This year’s squad is under the direction of first-year head coach Brittney Ezell who previously coached against the Eagles while at Belmont.

PRESEASON PROSPECTUS

On the heels of two perfect Atlantic Sun seasons, the FGCU women’s basketball team was predicted to continue its success as the preseason favorite in both the Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll and the A-Sun Media poll.

With 97 points, the Eagles finished nine points ahead of defending A-Sun Tournament Champion Stetson in the coaches’ poll, while FGCU earned 327 points in the media poll.  The Green and Blue picked up seven of the league’s 10 first-place votes in the coaches poll and was voted as the top-ranked team 30 times by the media. 

It was the fifth-consecutive year that the Eagles’ earned the league’s top vote after winning the A-Sun regular season in four of the last five seasons.  In six seasons of A-Sun action, the Eagles hold a record of 100-12.  The impressive mark includes a 36-game win streak in regular-season play that dates back to 2011 and a 45-game win streak at Alico Arena.

The Eagles also picked up numerous individual preseason awards with Hansen leading the way.  Hansen was named the Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year, the Atlantic Sun Fan-Voted Preseason Player of the Year and the College Sports Madness Preseason Player of the Year.  Knight earned Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference nod, while Dunson was voted by the fans as the Defensive Preseason Player of the Year.  As the reigning A-Sun Coach of the Year, Smesko was named the Preseason Coach of the Year by College Sports Madness to begin this season.

UP NEXT

The Eagles will continue conference play at Alico Arena this weekend as they host USC Upstate.  The matchup is slated for 7 p.m. on Saturday and will be available live and free of charge on ESPN3. 1

FOR MORE INFO

For all the details on Sunday’s matchup check out:

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 and single-game 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.