Sports

Women’s basketball Tames tigers in Baton Rouge to go undefeated

BATON ROUGE, La. – The FGCU women’s basketball faced the toughest test of the youth season, Sunday afternoon, on the road at LSU and passed with soaring colors, taming the Tigers, 88-74, at the Maravich Center .

With the win, the Eagles made it 3-0 for the season while assigning LSU and head coach Kim Mulkey the three-time national championship, her first loss in Baton Rouge in 21 years at Baylor. Head Coach FGCU Karl Smesko still third among aggressive coaches in terms of win percentage, but gained a bit of ground for Mulkey with the win.

“It was a great atmosphere today,” Smesko said. “The intensity of both teams was outstanding and all participants contributed positively. Kierstan [Bell] and Kendall [Spray] was excellent. “

After shooting just 26% from behind the arc in their first two games, the Eagles shot 56% from distance on Sunday, going 14-25, which included five each from juniors. Kierstan Bells (Alliance, Ohio / Canton McKinley / Ohio State) and PhD students Kendall Spray (Mt. Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central / Clemson / UT Martin).

Bell finished the game with a top 32 in the game shooting 13/17 and 10 rebounds to collect his first double of the season and 17 points.NS her career. Spray won 5 for 6 from behind the arc and finished with 17 as the senior did Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wis./Rufus King / Western Nebraska CC) who deals all of her damage in paint despite being the smallest player on the field. Morehouse also produced the highest six assist lines in the game.

The Eagles took the lead thanks to two-three-pointer Bell to start the game and extend their lead to seven at 16-9. FGCU never took the lead in the first quarter, but the Tigers returned to the top with just 24-23 after a period of competition.

LSU quickly took the lead in the second quarter with four points in a row. The intro is interspersed a few times in the second stanza before the last Kaela Webb (Pontiac, Mich./Detroit Country Day / Detroit Mercy / Providence) hit a triple to put the Eagles 46-43 ahead as they entered the locker room.

Green and Blue drew in the third half, using a 15-2 pace to take a 64-46 lead five minutes into the game.

The Tigers tried to get back into the game in game four when they passed Eagle leading to single digits, but Spray’s three brought LSU to a halt. When the Eagles were up 10 with 3 minutes left, Spray provided the dagger, hitting the 3rd hit of the match to give FGCU an 85-72 lead. The Tigers followed with a couple of free throws but Bell put the cherry on top with another long shot to give the final score.

Khayla Pointer led the Tigers with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Alexis Morris also won 12 points.

LSU overcame the Eagles with a score of 43-33 and each team won 16 innings, which FGCU made 23 points.

The Eagles are back in action 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.

For full coverage of the women’s basketball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter and Instagram at @FGCU_WBB, on Facebook at /fgcuwbb and online at www.FGCUathletics.com. You can also sign up to receive news about FGCU women’s basketball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

EAGLE CAMPAIGN
IT HAS A TEAM to achieve our latest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athletes needs for continued academic success, life skills, mental health , nutrition, strength and conditioning as well as the needs of the divisions in expanding and improving facilities as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the EAGLE Campaign – Eagle Athletes Create Lifetime Excellence. Join our group and Pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of Tomorrow!

SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S BABY BABY PROGRAM
Do you enjoy watching or following the FGCU women’s basketball program? Would you like to play a part in the development of the show and help take it to unprecedented heights? If so, you can contact our Director of Progress, Matt Ring, about opportunities to make an impact on our student-athlete experience. He can be reached by email at mring@fgcu.edu or by phone at the office at 239-745-4434.

COACH SMESKO
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.

#FEEDFGCU
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), organizations from selected by FGCU Athletics. For more information, including how to contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

ABOUT FGCU
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/2021/11/14/womens-basketball-tames-tigers-in-baton-rouge-to-remain-undefeated.aspx | Women’s basketball Tames tigers in Baton Rouge to go undefeated

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