(5-13 | 1-6 A-Sun)
FLORIDA GULF COAST
(13-6 | 7-0 A-Sun)
1/25/2014 | Alico Arena - Fort Myers, Fla. | Attendance: 1503
|FLORIDA GULF COAST||28||26||54|
|Stats at a Glance||UNF||FGCU|
|3P FG Percentage||.200
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball team held the University of North Florida to just 34 points and in turn earned a 54-34 victory on Saturday night at Alico Arena. With the win, the Eagles improve to 13-6 with a 7-0 mark in Atlantic Sun play and remain atop the league standings. The Ospreys fall to 5-13 overall and 1-6 in conference play.
The Eagles held the Ospreys to the fewest points of any team since last year’s season opener against Warner. With the win, the Green and Blue extends its regular-season conference win streak to a nation-high 43 games and its home conference win streak to 51 games.
The visiting team took the lead early in the first half but saw as FGCU constructed a 17-point run to take control of the game before the break. Despite low scoring, the Eagles maintained the advantage through the second half with a strong defensive presence. FGCU increased its lead to a game-high 22 points in the final minute of action and ultimately earned a 20-point victory.
“I thought we had a really outstanding defensive effort,” said head coach Karl Smesko of the team’s seventh-straight win. “We really wanted to pressure and take some things away from them. I thought we did a great job and it was important because offensively we didn’t execute very well. UNF has always been a very good defensive team and tonight was no exception.”
Sophomore Stephanie Haas (Avon Lake, Ohio/Magnificat High School) paced the team offensively with a game-high 14 points, while junior Jenna Cobb (New Holland, Ohio/Miami Trace High School/Butler) added 12 points and led the Eagles’ defensive effort with a season-high six steals. Ten of Cobb’s points were the result of forced turnovers.
DyTiesha Dunson (Albany, Ga./Westover High School) contributed 10 points for FGCU and led the team with four assists in 27 minutes.
As a unit, the Eagles shot 31.5 percent to edge the Ospreys who converted 29.5 percent of shot attempts. The Green and Blue made 28.1 percent of 3-point attempts and pulled down 32 rebounds compared to UNF’s 42. The home team forced 26 UNF turnovers and scored 30 points on the miscues, while turning the ball over just 12 times.
The teams traded points to open the contest before the Ospreys connected on two-consecutive baskets to take a five-point lead five minutes into play. UNF maintained the slight advantage through the 13 minute mark before the Eagles could respond.
A 3-pointer by Haas sparked a run for FGCU that would prove to be crucial to the outcome of the game. Haas’ bucket ignited a flurry of scoring and was followed by four more consecutive 3-point baskets, each from a different player. Dunson chipped in a jump shot to extend the Eagle run to 17-straight points, giving the Eagles a 23-11 lead with four minutes to play.
With the streak, the Eagles held the Ospreys scoreless for 10 minutes to take hold of the game. The visiting team added five points before the end of the half but could not regain control and saw as FGCU entered halftime with a 28-16 lead
UNF scored first out of the break but the Eagles quickly constructed a seven-point run to increase their lead to 17 points with 16 minutes remaining. The Ospreys challenged FGCU and cut the lead to 11 points midway through the half with an 8-2 run.
The FGCU defense stopped UNF from cutting the deficit any closer by forcing several turnovers and increased the lead to 22 points with an 11-2 run in the final minutes of the game. UNF added a layup to conclude the contest and brought the final score to 54-34 in favor of the home team.
The Eagles will continue Atlantic Sun next week with two road games. FGCU will take on Lipscomb on Thursday, Jan. 30 before facing Northern Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 1.
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.