Women’s basketball dominates Florida Memorial in season opener
FORT MYERS, Florida. – The FGCU women’s basketball team left no doubt in Tuesday’s season opener against the Florida Memorial as they defeated the Lions, 105-41, at Alico Arena.
“There is still a lot of things we can clean up,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “We know we have some really good games to come and we’re going to have to be better in some areas, but overall I’m pretty happy with the effort I’ve seen from our players and I hope they will have the right frame of mind to make some corrections. “
Reigning ASUN Junior Player of the Year Kierstan Bell (Alliance, Ohio / Township McKinley / State of Ohio) picked up where it left off last year, scoring a high of 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds in just 20 minutes. Bell is only 20 points away from the 1,000 of his career.
Three more Eagles scored in double digits as the FGCU reached the milestone of the century for the 23rd times in program history and has scored the most points in a game since a 105-71 win over Lipscomb in the quarterfinals of the ASUN 2020 tournament. Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Rufus King / Western Nebraska) scored 15 and distributed six assists as the students graduating Kendall vaporizer (Mt. Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central / Clemson / UT Martin) and Karli seay (Flossmoor, Illinois / Homewood-Flossmoor / LSU / Western Nebraska CC) each scored 12 points on their Eagle debut.
The Eagles dominated every facet of the game as they had a 44-16 point advantage in the paint, 37-7 points on the turnovers edge and a 42-11 advantage in the quick break points. They also passed the Lions, 53-33.
The FGCU have scored 14 three-point goals, two above their season average from a season ago, when they led the nation in field goals at three points per game. Tonight also marks the Eagles’ 505th straight game with a three-point shot.
The Greens and Blues took an early lead and never looked back, taking a 31-12 lead in the second quarter. The Eagles extended their lead to 61-23 at the break as they scored 60 points in the first half for just the seventh time in program history.
First half at 60 points
|Dated||Team||1st Half points|
|January 22, 2005||Florida memorial||62|
|February 2, 2007||Puerto Rico-Cayey||65|
|February 27, 2014||Lips||64|
|November 5, 2019||CRF||61|
|March 7, 2020||Lips*||65|
|27 February 20||North Florida||62|
|November 9, 2021||Florida memorial||61|
* ASUN tournament
The second half was more or less the same for the FGCU, who dominated the Lions 44-18 after the break.
The Eagles had 12 different players in the scoring column, including seniors Kaela webb (Pontiac, Mich./Detroit Country Day / Detroit Mercy / Providence) and Milan schimmel (Mission, Oregon / Nixyaawii Communty School / Cincinnati / Eastern Florida State / Hutchinson CC) in their first matches at Alico Arena.
With the win, the Eagles are now 15-5 in the season opener and 18-2 in the home opener. They also improve to 14-0 against the Florida Memorial.
The Eagles will return to the Alico Arena on Friday when they face the Temple Owls. The tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the match will be broadcast on ESPN +.
For full coverage of the women’s basketball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter and Instagram to @FGCU_WBB, on Facebook at / fgcuwbb and online at www.FGCUathletics.com. You can also sign up to receive FGCU Women’s Basketball news or other programs directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.
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SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM
Do you like to watch or follow the FGCU women’s basketball program? Would you like to play a role in growing the program and helping it reach never-before-seen heights? If so, you can contact the Director of Advancement, Matt Ring, to learn about opportunities to impact the experiences of our student-athletes. He can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone at the office at 239-745-4434.
FGCU Head Coach Karl Smesko maintains a career record of 581-125 (.823), which is the third highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only Geno Auriemma of UConn and Kim Mulkey of Baylor. He also led the Eagles to a 217-17 (.927) mark in the ASUN regular season and a 27-2 (.931) record in the ASUN tournament. Over the past 10 seasons, he has guided the FGCU to a conference record of 153-5 (0.968) with six seasons unbeaten. The 11-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program in 11 straight 25-game seasons and 17 straight 20-game campaigns, including more than 30 wins in four of the past seven years. On top of all that, the Eagles are 520-98 since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Greens et Bleus’s 0.841 winning percentage is the best in basketball history. Women’s Division I of the NCAA.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 regular season conference and tournament titles in just 13+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles brought together 42 teams or individuals competing in the NCAA Championships. Eight FGCU programs placed in the top 25 in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (# 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (# 20, 2021) and men’s football (2018 , 2019) and women’s football (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-2017, the Greens and Blues secured a sixth place, the best in the department, in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors Cup and a top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven ASUN and Florida State teams that won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall semester of 2020 and outperformed the general undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Fall 2020 semesters each saw another milestone as all 15 programs achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also completed a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the NACDA’s First Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.