20 Oct Bell, Morehouse Named to Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Watch List
FORT MYERS, Fla. – Two of the top returning women’s basketball players in the country, FGCU’s Kierstan Bell (Alliance, Ohio/Canton McKinley HS/Ohio State) and Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wis./Rufus King HS/Western Nebraska CC), have been selected to the 2022 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List presented by Her Hoops Stats. Bell won the award last season after being a three-time Honorable Mention All-American for the nationally ranked Eagles.
The Becky Hammon award was first given out in 2019 with South Dakota’s Ciara Duffy earning the inaugural honor. No award was given in 2020 due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bell earned the honor last season over Cincinnati’s Ilmar’I Thomas, Maine’s Blanca Millan, South Dakota’s Hannah Sjerven and South Dakota State’s Myah Selland.
This year’s preseason watch list represents 22 schools and 13 conferences. FGCU joined Missouri State and South Dakota as the only schools with multiple players on the list.
“Kierstan and TK are excellent players and very fun to watch,” said head coach Karl Smesko. “I think they have both improved, and I am eager to see what they do this year.”
The dynamic duo were earlier honored as members of the ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team with Bell selected as the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year.
Bell, who became the highest rated recruit to ever play for FGCU and went on to have the best season in program history in 2020-21, has been named the 16th best player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball heading into the 2021-22 season by ESPN.com. The junior is already on the brink of 1,000 career points (958) through 56 career games. In her first season at FGCU last year, Bell had one of the best seasons of any player in the country by averaging 24.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.9 steals per game. She became the first player in ASUN history to be tabbed both the conference’s player and newcomer of the year, earned a spot on the Wade Trophy Mid-season Watch List and landed on the NCAA.com Starting Five twice. Along the way, she was a six-time ASUN player of the week and a conference-record 10-time ASUN newcomer of the week. On top of that, she compiled 16 double-doubles last year, which not only shattered the program’s single-season record but ranks third among all Eagles in a career.
She was named the ASUN tournament MVP last year, while leading the Eagles to the ASUN tournament championship and finishing the season as the nation’s fourth-leading scorer. In fact, Bell’s 24.3 points per contest is the sixth best average in the ASUN’s 36-year history. Her 81 3-point field goals made is tied for seventh-most in program history, which also ties her for 12th-most in a single season in ASUN history. In fact, she made 3.11 3-point field goals per game, which is tied for the highest average in conference history.
Last season, she earned several nationally prestigious awards and honors including WBCA Honorable Mention All-American, Associated Press Honorable Mention All-American, USBWA Honorable Mention All-American, ASUN Player of the Year (unanimous), and ASUN Newcomer of the Year (unanimous). Bell also established new FGCU single-season records for total points (632), scoring average, field goals made and defensive rebounds per game. She led the ASUN in scoring, rebounding, field goals made and 3-point field goals made while finishing second in blocks and third in steals. Her point total last year is the ninth-most in ASUN history and she became the first player since Shanika Freeman in 2002-03 to eclipse 600 points.
Morehouse was a unanimous All-ASUN First Team selection and a member of the ASUN All-Tournament Team. She had one of the best seasons in program history, averaging 17.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.5 steals while starting all 28 games played. Her scoring average was second-best in the program’s Division I era and the ASUN. Morehouse posted 495 total points which were the sixth-best in program history. She was one of just 21 players in program history with 100+ assists in a season and finished among the top 100 nationally in total assists (77th), field goal attempts (42nd), field goals made (28th), field goal percentage (100th), total points (34th), minutes played (86th), PPG (76th) and 3-pointers attempted (61st). She registered a career-high 35 points in near-upset of No. 14 Arkansas (11/18), becoming one of 10 players in program history to reach at least that many in a game.
2022 Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Award Watch List
- Dariauna Lewis, Alabama A&M, F, Jr.
- Destinee Wells, Belmont, G, So.
- Lexi Fleming, Bowling Green, G, So.
- Gabi Haack, Bradley, G, Sr.
- Dyaisha Fair, Buffalo, G, So.
- Shaylee Gonzales, BYU, G, So.
- Caitlyn Harper, Cal Baptist, F, R-So.
- Jasmine Dickey, Delaware, G/F, Sr.
- Grace Berg, Drake, F, R-Jr.
- Kierstan Bell, FGCU, G, Jr.
- TK Morehouse, FGCU, G, Sr.
- Haley Cavinder, Fresno St., G, Jr.
- Jenson Edwards, High Point, G, R-Jr.
- Macee Williams, IUPUI, F/C, Sr.
- Ameshya Williams, Jackson St., C, Sr.
- Kiki Jefferson, James Madison, G, Jr.
- Akila Smith, Longwood, F, Sr.
- Megan Walstad, Milwaukee, F, R-So.
- Brice Calip, Missouri St., G, Sr.
- Jasmine Franklin, Missouri St., F, Jr.
- Cece Hooks, Ohio, G, Sr.
- Stephanie Visscher, Stephen F. Austin, G, Sr.
- Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota, C, Sr.
- Chloe Lamb, South Dakota, G, R-Sr.
- Myah Selland, South Dakota St., F, R-Sr.
Season tickets, mini plans, and group tickets for the 2021-22 campaign are now on sale by contacting the FGCU ticket office by phone at 866-FGCU-TIX (866-342-8849) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans can also purchase tickets at the Alico Arena Ticket Office between 9 AM-5 PM during the week. The Eagles will officially open the season on Nov. 9 against Florida Memorial with the non-conference home slate also highlighted by Temple (11/12) and Princeton (12/1).
For complete 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 have news on FGCU women’s basketball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.
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Do you enjoy watching or following the FGCU women’s basketball program? Would you like to play a role in the growth of the program and help take it to heights never before experienced? If so, you can reach out to Director of Advancement, Matt Ring, about opportunities to make an impact on the experiences of our student-athletes. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or by office phone at 239-745-4434.
FGCU head coach Karl Smesko maintains a record of 580-125 (.823) overall in his career, which is the third-highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only UConn’s Geno Auriemma and Baylor’s Kim Mulkey. He has also led the Eagles to a 217-17 (.927) mark in ASUN regular season play and a 27-2 (.931) record in ASUN tournament play. Over the past 10 seasons, he has guided FGCU to a 153-5 (.968) record in conference play with six undefeated seasons. The 11-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program to 11-straight 25-win seasons and 17-consecutive 20-win campaigns, including 30-plus wins in four of the past seven years. On top of all that, the Eagles are 519-98 all-time since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Green and Blue’s .841 all-time winning percentage is the best in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the 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 utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 13+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 23 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, and 2020 Fall semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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