FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball stellar first week of the 2021-22 season was even better, Monday, as the underage Kierstan Bells (Alliance, Ohio / Canton McKinley / Ohio State) and PhD students Kendall Spray (Mt. Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central / Clemson / UT Martin) received the ASUN weekly award. Bell was named ASUN Player of the Year while Spray received ASUN’s Newcomer of the Week award.
Bell, named the ASUN Player of the Year for the seventh time in his career, did it all as the Eagles won 3-0 at the start of the year, including a home win over Temple and a road win against SEC LSU player, scoring an average of 26.7 points. , 9.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks.
“Kierstan had an excellent performance,” said the head coach Karl Smesko. “She’s had a great start and just keeps going.”
After starting the season with 22 points and nine rebounds against the Florida Memorial, Bell dropped 26 points and won nine rebounds against the Owls. For her last best shot, the student took 32 points on 13/17, including 5 to 8 from 3 in the match against LSU. She also won 10 rebounds against the Tigers for her first double of the season, 17NS her career.
Spray enters this season with a reputation as a sniper from the outside. She started the season with 363 career triples, split between UT Martin and Clemson, who finished second among active players. In three games for Green and Blue, Spray added 14 more in just 24 attempts for a single .583 clip.
“Kendall has had a very good start to the season,” continued Smesko. “She is making a big contribution to both ends of the floor and even won eight rebounds against LSU.”
Like Bell, Spray saved his best performance for the run, scoring 17 points on a 6/7 shot, including 5/6 from the depth while also racking up eight top rebounds. Tigers last season.
Bell, Spray and the rest of the Eagles will be back on the field this weekend for the ASUN/MAAC challenge in Orlando. They will play Manhattan on Friday at 11 a.m. before battling Fairfield, at noon Saturday.
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Head Coach FGCU Karl Smesko maintains a 583-125 (0.823) overall record of his career, which is the third-highest win rate among active Division I coaches, behind only UConn’s Geno Auriemma and Kim Mulkey’s Baylor. He also led the Eagles with a 217-17 (.927) record in the ASUN regular game and a 27-2 (.931) record in the ASUN league game. Over the past 10 seasons, he has led FGCU to a record 153-5 (.968) in the conference game with six seasons unbeaten. 11-time ASUN Coach of the Year Award-winning coach led the show to 11 consecutive 25-time seasons and 20-time winning campaign, including more than 30 wins in four of seven past year. On top of that, the Eagles are 522-98 all-time since Smesko started the program during the 2002-03 season, and the Green and Blue’s .841 all-time win rate is the highest in women’s basketball history. NCAA Division I.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an astounding 85 league and regular league championships in just over 13 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of post-season DI qualifying , the Eagles have had a total of 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned the top 25 national rankings in their respective sports – including women’s basketball (21st, 2020-21), beach volleyball (20th, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) are three of the most recent. In 2016-17, Green and Blue finished in the series’ best sixth place in the DI-AAA Learfield Director’s Cup and the top 100 showings nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS organizations. In 2018-19, the Eagles had one ASUN and seven of Florida’s best teams winning the NCAA’s Recognition Award for Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also achieved a record GPA of 3.50 in the classroom during the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the overall undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. Each of the Fall 2019, Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters saw another major milestone achieved as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0 or higher cluster GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – recognized as one of two runners-up for the NACDA Community Service Awards presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
https://fgcuathletics.com/news/2021/11/15/womens-basketball-bell-spray-collect-asun-weekly-honors.aspx | Bells, Sprays Collect ASUN’s Weekly Trophies