Women’s Basketball Set to Open 2021-22 Season Tuesday

Women’s Basketball Set to Open 2021-22 Season Tuesday

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU women’s basketball team opens the 2021-22 season, Tuesday evening at Alico Arena when they host Florida Memorial. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.

The Eagles enter the season as defending ASUN champions after going 26-3 overall and 16-0 in the ASUN en route to their eighth NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021. Entering this season, the Eagles were selected by both the coaches and the media to repeat, collecting 32 of a possible 34 first-place votes between the two polls.

FOLLOW ALONG

As every Eagle home game this year will be, Tuesday’s contest will will be broadcast on ESPN+. Tom James (PxP) and J. Webb Horton (Analyst) will be on the call.

 

SEASON OPENERS

FGCU has compiled a 14-5 record all-time in season openers, including a 10-4 record in the Division I era. This is the second-straight year the Eagles have opened at home after defeating Florida Memorial, 86-40, a season ago.

 























Date Opponent Location Result
11/25/20 Florida Memorial Fort Myers, Fla. W, 86-40
11/5/19 Florida International Miami, Fla. W, 100-54
11/9/18 South Dakota State Brookings, S.D. L, 62-80
11/12/17 Illinois Fort Myers, Fla. W, 85-61
11/11/16 Quinnipiac Hamden, Conn. L, 56-66
11/13/15 North Carolina A&T Greensboro, N.C. W, 60-36
11/14/14 George Washington Fort Myers, Fla. W, 88-75
11/8/13 Florida International Miami, Fla. W, 75-55
11/10/12 Warner Fort Myers, Fla. W, 100-31
11/11/11 Seton Hall South Orange, N.J. L, 51-57
11/12/10 Seton Hall Fort Myers, Fla. W, 64-57
11/13/09 UTEP Fort Myers, Fla. W, 66-54
11/14/08 Florida Fort Myers, Fla. W, 88-86
11/9/07 No. 19/19 Florida State Fort Myers, Fla. L, 53-93
11/16/06 West Florida Fort Myers, Fla. W, 69-57
11/19/05 Puerto Rico Bayamon Fort Myers, Fla. W, 107-53
11/15/04 Saint Leo Fort Myers, Fla. W, 90-69
11/15/03 Lake Superior State Saint Leo, Fla. L, 49-70
11/22/02 No. 18 Ohio Dominican Estero, Fla. W, 75-58

 
HOME OPENERS
In terms of home openers, FGCU is 17-2 all-time, including an 12-2 record in the Division I era. That includes a five-game winning streak, and there are three wins over Power 5 teams within those 16 victories – Illinois (2017), Michigan State (2011) and Florida (2008).
 























Date Opponent Location Result
11/25/20 Florida Memorial Fort Myers, Fla. W, 86-40
11/7/19 Webber International Fort Myers, Fla. W, 99-48
11/12/18 Florida Memorial Fort Myers, Fla. W, 99-68
11/12/17 Illinois Fort Myers, Fla. W, 85-61
11/15/16 Florida International Fort Myers, Fla. W, 89-42
11/17/15 Florida Atlantic Fort Myers, Fla. L, 55-62
11/14/14 George Washington Fort Myers, Fla. W, 88-75
11/12/13 Bethune-Cookman Fort Myers, Fla. W, 71-38
11/10/12 Warner Fort Myers, Fla. W, 100-31
11/19/11 Michigan State Fort Myers, Fla. W, 59-58
11/12/10 Seton Hall Fort Myers, Fla. W, 64-57
11/13/09 UTEP Fort Myers, Fla. W, 66-54
11/14/08 Florida Fort Myers, Fla. W, 88-86
11/9/07 No. 19/19 Florida State Fort Myers, Fla. L, 53-93
11/16/06 West Florida Fort Myers, Fla. W, 69-57
11/19/05 Puerto Rico Bayamon Fort Myers, Fla. W, 107-53
11/15/04 Saint Leo Fort Myers, Fla. W, 90-69
11/19/03 Puerto Rico Mayaquez Fort Myers, Fla. W, 91-32
11/22/02 No. 18 Ohio Dominican Estero, Fla. W, 75-58

SERIES HISTORY
The Green and Blue are 13-0 all-time against Florida Memorial, including a 8-0 record at home dating back to the first meeting between the two teams on Nov. 26, 2002.
 
RAINING THREES IN ALICO
FGCU is 3,013-for-8,670 (.348) from the 3-point line inside Alico Arena all-time. Overall, the Eagles led the nation in three-pointers made per game for the second season in a row and fourth time in program history, averaging 11.8 per contest in 2020-21. The Eagles have also made a three-pointer in 504 straight games.
 
BEST IN NCAA HISTORY
FGCU enters the 2021-22 season with an all-time winning percentage of .841, the highest among all Division I institutions. In fact, the Eagles are the only Division I team above .800 as Tennessee sits in second at .799.
 














# School  1st Yr.  Yrs.  Record  Pct.
1. FGCU  2002  19  519-97 .843
2. Tennessee  1903  67  1,401-351 .799
3. UConn  1975  47  1,210-306  .798
4. Stanford  1975  47  1,149-342  .771
5. La. Tech  1975  47  1,153-362  .761
6. Notre Dame  1978  43  1,022-361  .739
7. Green Bay  1974  47  1,039-370  .737
8. Texas  1975  46  1,128-419  .729
9. Maryland  1975  49  1,055-434  .709
10. SFA  1969  52  1,127-466  .707

 
FINISHING RANKED!
After going 26-3 last season, the Eagles found themselves ranked in the top-25 in both the AP and Coaches poll for the second time in program history, finishing 24th in the AP poll and 25th in the coaches poll. Entering this season, the Eagles are just on the outside looking in as they sit at #28 in the AP poll and #29 in the coaches poll.
 
RING THE BELL
Junior Kierstan Bell (Alliance, Ohio/Canton McKinley/Ohio State) is coming off one of the greatest seasons in FGCU and ASUN history and will look to repeat her efforts this year.
 
A year ago, Bell was named the ASUN Player of the Year, the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year, and an Honorable Mention All-American by both the AP and the WBCA after averaging 24.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game
 
To no one’s surprise, Bell enters this season as the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year. She was also named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year watch list as well as the Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award watch list, which recognizes the top shooting guard in all of college basketball.
 
Most Career Double-Doubles
FGCU’s Division I Era (2007-present)
 








Sarah Hansen 20
Whitney Knight 19
Kierstan Bell 16
Ty Adderly 14
Adrianne McNally 6

 
MOREHOUSE RECOGNIZED
Senior Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wis./Rufus King/Western Nebraska CC) joined Bell on the ASUN Preseason Team as she was also a unanimous selection. She was also named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year watch list alongside Bell as well.
 
RARE TERRITORY
Tyra Cox (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Prep/William & Mary) finished last season with more steals than turnovers, her third straight season accomplishing the feat for FGCU. She became just the second player in program history with three such seasons, but will have to do one more time to catch her former teammate, Alyssa Blair, who did it all four years for the Green and Blue.

EXTREME CARE

The Eagles take care of the ball like few else in NCAA women’s basketball. Every single player on the team had a positive assist to turnover ratio as the team ranked third nationally at 1.48 in 2020-21. Emma List ranked 41st in the country individually at 2.21.

THE WINNING DOESN’T STOP

 

SMESKO’S PREPARATION

Coach Smesko’s game preparation is one of the most crucial factors in the Eagles’ all-time success. Overall, in 19 seasons at FGCU, he holds a record of 194-33 (.855) in games where he has four or more days to prepare.

STATE DOMINANCE

FGCU has won 36 more games over the past six-plus seasons than any other Division I team in the state of Florida.
















1. FGCU 205
2. Florida State 169
3. South Florida 158
4. Miami 140
5. Stetson 124
6. Bethune-Cookman 120
7. UCF 121
8. Jacksonville 117
9. Florida 96
10. North Florida 86
11. Florida Atlantic 73
12. Florida A&M 55
13. Florida International 46

    
LEGENDARY LEADER
On pace to reach 600 career wins faster than legendary coaches such as Pat Summitt (734 games) and Tara VanDerveer (767 games), FGCU head coach Karl Smesko has compiled a 580-125 record (.823) in his career, which ranks him as the third-winningest active Division I head coach behind Geno Auriemma (1,119-144, .886) and Kim Mulkey (632-104, .859). Furthermore, he passed VanDerveer (1,125-255, .815) in 2017-18 to become the fifth-winningest Division I head coach of all-time – behind Auriemma, Leon Barmore (576-87, .869), Mulkey and Summit (1,098-208, .841). If that isn’t enough, he is the 10th-winningest active head coach across all divisions, as well as the 12th-winningest such coach all-time. 
 
AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
Entering this year, FGCU produced 205 wins over the past seven seasons, which is the most among all mid-majors and fifth-most among any Division I program – behind UConn (240), Baylor (228), South Carolina (210) and Maryland (206). In fact, it puts them ahead of schools such as Louisville (204), Mississippi State (196), Notre Dame (195), Stanford (199), Oregon State (177) and Oregon (172). On top of that, the program is one of only five in the nation at the Division I level with four 30-win seasons during that stretch – joining UConn, Baylor, Notre Dame and South Carolina.
 
RARE AIR
The Eagles have registered a level of sustained success matched by only two other Division I schools as Coach Smesko has guided FGCU to 11 straight 25-win seasons. Baylor and UConn are the only other teams to have 11 straight. FGCU has also recorded 17-straight 20-win seasons dating back to 2004-05.
 
FUN WITH NUMBERS AND STUFF

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 






Double-Digit Assist Games
Player Career
Emma List 1

RAINING THREES LEGACY
At FGCU, Smesko has turned FGCU into one of the premier 3-point shooting teams in the nation as his teams have made a combined 5,748-for-16,644 (.345) from long range over his 18+ years. In fact, the Eagles have made at least one 3-point field goal in 504­ straight games, which includes every game in the program’s Division I era. In 2020-21, the Eagles led the nation in 3-point field goals made (343), 3-point field goals attempted (1,030) and 3-point field goals per game (11.8) for the second season in a row. In 2017-18, the Green and Blue made an NCAA Division I single season record 431 3-pointers, which remains a record entering this season.
 
Here’s FGCU’s year-by-year 3-point history:
 
























Year Made Att. Pct.
2002-03 212 535 0.396
2003-04 118 406 0.291
2004-05 253 722 0.350
2005-06 242 747 0.324
2006-07 337 891 0.378
2007-08 255 734 0.347
2008-09 296 763 0.388
2009-10 317 876 0.362
2010-11 350 940 0.372
2011-12 342 925 0.370
2012-13 319 974 0.328
2013-14 347 1,000 0.347
2014-15 327 928 0.352
2015-16 372 1,194 0.312
2016-17 338 1,058 0.319
2017-18 431 1,190 0.362
2018-19 364 1,111 0.328
2019-20 397 1,155 0.344
2020-21 343 1,030 0.333
Totals 5,748 16,644 0.345

 
FGCU has also made at least 10 or more 3-point field goals in a single game 302 times, including a single-season record 25 times in 2017-18. They have at least 15 games with at least 10 or more in each of the past 13 seasons.
 
Here’s a list of FGCU’s all-time games with at least 10 made 3-pointers:
 























2002-03 6
2003-04 1
2004-05 11
2005-06 8
2006-07 18
2007-08 9
2008-09 15
2009-10 17
2010-11 18
2011-12 19
2012-13 15
2013-14 18
2014-15 20
2015-16 19
2016-17 18
2017-18 25
2018-19 20
2019-20 23
2020-21 22
TOTAL 302

 
On top of that, the 2017-18 team produced three of the program’s seven games all-time with at least 20 or more, and the Eagles have added four games with 19 over the past two seasons. The program’s single-game record of 22 was initially set on Jan. 12, 2013 in a 97-60 win over ETSU (22-for-43) on the road, and the 2017-18 team tied the mark at Abilene Christian (22-for-45) on Dec. 3 and at home against Lipscomb (22-for-44) on March 7. The latter represents the program’s postseason mark, and they own three of the top seven single-game totals in NCAA Division I history entering the 2021-22 season. In fact, there has been only 32 times since 1988 that an NCAA Division I team had made at least 20 3-point field goals in a game, and FGCU owns seven of those, or 21.9 percent.
 
In 2020-21, FGCU became the first team in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to record six straight seasons with at least 1,000 3-point field goal attempts. Sacramento State achieved the yearly benchmark over four straight seasons from 2013-17 while DePaul’s three-year streak ended last season. The 2013-14 FGCU squad joined Sacramento State as the first two teams to attempt 1,000 in a season.
 
Prior to breaking the single-season record for made 3-point field goals in 2017-18, FGCU claimed a then single-season NCAA record 342 in 2011-12, which was the first year they were eligible for NCAA statistical championships. Had they been eligible in 2010-11, they also would have led the nation with 350 – 26 more than the second-place team. The 2009-10 team would have finished second. In fact, over the past nine years, the Green and Blue have finished among the nation’s top five in made 3-point field goals every year, including three first-place finishes.
 
Here’s how FGCU has finished nationally in total 3-point field goals made since 2011-12:
 














Year Total Finish
2011-12 342 1st
2012-13 319 3rd
2013-14 347 2nd
2014-15 327 5th
2015-16 372 2nd
2016-17 338 3rd
2017-18 431 1st
2018-19 364 4th
2019-20 397 1st
2020-21 343 1st

 
In addition to the aforementioned record, the 2011-12 team also set a then NCAA single season record for most 3-point field goals made per game at 10.7, and they followed it up in 2012-13 by making 9.4 per game, which was the most in the nation. In 2017-18, FGCU joined DePaul as the first two teams to eclipse 400 made 3-point field goals in a season in NCAA Division I history. In fact, the Eagles stood out in the NCAA’s deepest 3-point shooting year as eight teams averaged 10 or more made per game in 2017-18, which was equal to the total from the previous two seasons combined and the same as 2009-15 combined. Six teams reached the milestone in 2018-19, four more followed in 2019-20, and five more a season ago. Among the 17 teams to average at least 10 or more made per game over a single season, FGCU is the only school to do it six times.
 
Here’s how FGCU has finished nationally in total 3-point field goals made per game since 2011-12:
 














Season Avg. Finish
2020-21 11.8 1st
2019-20 12.0 1st
2018-19 11.0 2nd
2017-18 12.0 2nd
2016-17 9.7 5th
2015-16 9.5 T-6th
2014-15 9.6 3rd
2013-14 10.2 2nd
2012-13 9.4 1st
2011-12 10.7 1st

 
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.

E.A.G.L.E. CAMPAIGN

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

 

SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM

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 mring@fgcu.edu or by office phone at 239-745-4434.

COACH SMESKO

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.

 

#FEEDFGCU

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.

 

ABOUT FGCU

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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