FORT MYERS, Florida. — Maddie antenucci The 3-point score on the game’s final offensive possession provided record-breaking excitement for fans inside the Alico Arena on Saturday as the FGCU women’s basketball team (9-1) defeated Ave Maria 99 -37 for the team’s second consecutive victory.
Antenucci’s (Cincinnati, Ohio / Indian Hill HS) 3 points allowed the Eagles to finish 23 for 66 over long distance, breaking the previous program record of 22 which was achieved three times. Their 66 attempts also easily broke the old attempt record (55) set on January 17, 2011 against Mercer. The national record for most 3s in a game is 28, set by Western Illinois on November 12, 2018.
With the record breaking performance that saw 12 different Eagles make it at least one long distance, the FGCU topped Idaho (21) for the most points scored in a game by any team in Division I of the NCAA this season. It was the eighth time the Eagles have scored at least 20 in a game in program history and the first time since an ASUN tournament victory over Lipscomb in March 2018. For good measure, the Greens and Blues did. 13 of 16 inside the 3-row of dots.
|1.||23||against Ave Maria||11/12/21|
|22||at Abilene Christian||03/12/17|
|5.||21||against Webber International||11/28/11|
FGCU scored 13 players in the game, all with at least five points. Kierstan bell (Alliance, Ohio / Canton McKinley HS / State of Ohio) recorded a high of 13 points in 15 minutes while adding seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. No one has played more than 19 minutes for the FGCU in a full team effort.
Seneca Hackley (Colorado Springs, Colorado / Saint Mary’s HS), who had a 4-point 3-point top, finished with a 12-point top while Aaliyah Stanley (Boynton Beach, Florida / Oxbridge Academy / Eastern Michigan) added a 10, a season high.
Kierra Adams (Lawrenceville, GA / Brookwood HS) set new career records in rebounds (9) and assists (4). In fact, she tied up Bell and Kaela webb (Pontiac, Mich./Detroit Country Day / Providence / Detroit Mercy) for the top of the game in assists. Milan schimmel (Mission, Oregon / Community of Nixyaawii / State of East Florida / Hutchinson CC / Cincinnati) also hit a season high with six points on a pair of 3s.
Kendall vaporizer (Mt. Juliet, Tenn./Wilson Central / UT Martin / Clemson), who made a 3-point trio to finish with nine points, moved closer to becoming the 10th player in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history with 400 career 3 points as the senior now has 396 out of 131 career games.
|Top 10 – Career 3-Point NCAA Field Goals|
|Kelsey mitchell||Ohio St.||2015-18||139||*four hundred ninety seven|
|Jess kovatch||Saint Francis (Pennsylvania)||2016-19||130||472|
|Presley hudson||Central Michigan.||2016-19||133||407|
“It was really great to involve so many players, and I’m happy that we played well offensively, but I’m so proud of our defense,” said the FGCU associate head coach. Chelsea lyles, who switched roles with the head coach Karl Smesko for the game as part of the program’s coach development program. “That’s something we’ve just been teaching them over the last few days. It was important that our defense looked elite. I think they accepted that. Seeing them come out and make a full defensive effort, that is. is what makes me most proud. “
Defensively, the FGCU kept Ave Maria at 13 for 47 on the field, including a performance of 3 for 10 over long distance. They haven’t scored more than 12 points in any quarter and have been limited to single digits in each of the first two quarters by the Eagles. On top of that, the Greens and Blues forced at least 30 turnovers for the second game in a row.
As a team, the FGCU completed several races to help produce the victory. After Ave Maria’s Giana Santacroce opened the game with a 3-point, the Eagles scored the next 13 points, capped by a 3-point and a lay-up of Emma List (Colorado Springs, Colorado / Campus Discovery Canyon / Albany).
The second, and most important, came after Ave Maria’s Casey Humphrey layup reduced her team to 18-9 with 4:36 left in the first quarter. The Greens and Blues responded by keeping the visiting Gyrenes scoreless for almost the next 11 minutes, scoring a 26-0 run that was capped by a 3-point. Tyra cox (Orlando, Florida / Lake Highland Prep / William & Mary) with 4:36 left in halftime.
After Ave Maria finished the race with 3:50 left in the half, FGCU scored the next eight points, with Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Rufus King HS / Western Nebraska CC) punctuating the 34-3 race with a layup to give his team a 52-12 lead with 1:24 to go.
A 16-3 run early in the third quarter added to the damage and gave Stanley a five-point run to take the lead to 52 with 3:38 left in the third. The Eagles have also scored nine straight goals at the start of the fourth.
The FGCU are now 4-0 against Ave Maria, scoring at least 99 points in all of them and averaging 100.5 points per game in the series.
The Eagles are expected to end their non-conference season with three tough games, starting with clashes against Michigan State and High Point on Dec. 20-21 in West Palm Beach. On December 29, they will travel to the Bronx to face Fordham, who beat the only team to beat the FGCU this year – Princeton – 76-67 on December 5.
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SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM
Do you like to watch or follow the FGCU women’s basketball program? How 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 record of 589-126 (0.824) overall during his career, 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) ASUN regular season record and a 27-2 (.931) ASUN tournament record. 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 seasons, including more than 30 wins in four of the past seven years. On top of all that, the Eagles are 528-99 (.842) since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Greens’ all-time .842 winning percentage. Blues is the best in NCAA Division I. history of women’s basketball.
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/adminservices/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 ranked 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 female. (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 cumulative 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 top NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.