No.23 women’s basketball passes Kennesaw State, 100-65, for seventh consecutive victory

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KENNESAW, Georgia. – Paced by 30 points of Kierstan bell (Alliance, Ohio / Township McKinley / State of Ohio) and a career-high 17 points Karli seay (Flossmoor, Illinois / Homewood-Flossmoor / LSU / Western Nebraska CC), the FGCU’s No. 23 women’s basketball team passed Kennesaw State, 100-65, at the KSU Convocation Center Wednesday night for their seventh straight victory. The Eagles have improved to 14-1 overall and remain unbeaten at 3-0 in the ASUN game, while the Owls have fallen to 4-9 this year and 0-2 in the league.

The victory extended the FGCU’s streak on the road to 24-game NCAA-best, as well as its 25-game winning streak against ASUN enemies. The 100 points was the second-highest of the season behind 105 against the Florida Memorial in Game 1 of the season and the second-highest of the series of all time with Kennesaw State. The Eagles scored 104 points against the Owls in the first of two meetings at Fort Myers last season.

“We had a very effective game offensively. Kierstan and Karli had good games,” said the head coach. Karl Smesko. “I was also very satisfied with the performance of Kiki and Seneca.”

The headliner of the FGCU was Bell who had his fifth 30e-point match of the season. The junior was 12 of 19 from the floor while adding five assists, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Seay’s career-best 17 points came on 7 of 11 shots, including three triples while shooting six boards. Kendall vaporizer added 10 points for the double-digit Eagles as she knocked down three triples in the contest. A total of 12 different players scored in the match. Kierra Adams (Lawrenceville, GA / Brookwood) scored seven points, his career best record, while Seneca Hackley (Coloardo Springs, Colorado / Saint Mary’s) also added seven points to score the second most for a game this season.

The Owls had four double-digit players led by 14 points from Amani Johnson and 13 points from Jah’Che Whitfield. Amaris Baker added 11 points, while Gabi Legister had 10. Gillian Piccolino had 13 rebounds, a game-high.

Overall, FGCU was successful at 38 out of 80 (40%) attempts, while KSU was at 26 of 51 (56%). The Eagles scored 17 three-to-five points for the Owls and held a 31-4 point advantage on turnovers. Kennesaw State returned the ball more than 20 times, compared to just five for the FGCU who had 10 interceptions in the game.

KSU took an early 12-7 lead at 6:32 of the first quarter after hitting five of their first six shots. It was as close as the Owls would get the rest of the night as the Eagles closed the opening stanza with a 21-6 streak underscored by nine Bell points and seven from. Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wisconsin / Rufus King / Western Nebraska CC).

After taking a 49-35 lead in intermission, the FGCU used a 21-5 run to close the third quarter and take a 79-51 lead. The race was started by Spray’s three triples and one from Seay.

The Eagles added five more three points in the fourth quarter as Hackley, Adams, Maddie antenucci (Cincinnati, Ohio / Indian Hill), and Kaela webb (Pontiac, Michigan / Providence / Detroit Mercy) all connected beyond the arc. Webb’s triple with 1:43 left gave the FGCU their biggest lead of the night, 100-63.

The Eagles return home for a doubles program on Saturday against Liberty alongside the men’s team. Women will tip at 4:00 p.m. and men at 7:00 p.m. Both games will be broadcast live on ESPN +. It will also be the Laces of Love game where fans are encouraged to bring shoes to donate to local youth.

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.

EAGLE CAMPAIGN
YOU NEED A TEAM to reach our most recent goal – a $ 10 million campaign to meet the needs of student-athletes for lifelong academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, strength and conditioning as well as the department’s needs for facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the goal of the EAGLE – Eagle Athletics Campaign to Generate Lifelong Excellence. Join our team and pledge your donation today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

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.

SMESKO COACH
FGCU Head Coach Karl Smesko maintains a career record of 594-126 (.825), which is the third highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only Geno Auriemma of UConn and Kim Mulkey of LSU. He also led the Eagles to a 220-17 (.929) ASUN regular season mark and a 27-2 (.931) ASUN tournament record. Over the past 11 seasons, he has guided the FGCU to a conference record of 156-5 (0.969) 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 that, the Eagles are 534-99 (.843) since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Greens et Bleus’ all-time winning percentage of .843 is the best in NCAA Division I. history of women’s basketball.

#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/adminservices/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

ABOUT FGCU
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 regular season conference and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Plus, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles brought together 43 teams or individuals competing in the NCAA Championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked among the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (# 25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (# 20, 2021) and soccer male (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 of the University for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone, with all 15 programs each achieving a 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.

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