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San Juan Shootout On Tap For No. 25 Women’s Basketball

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The No. 25 FGCU women’s basketball team (5-0) will conclude a five-game stretch away from home with a pair of mid-major matchups against Tennessee Tech (2-2) on Friday and Saint Louis (1-3) on Saturday in the San Juan Shootout. Both games will start at 4:45 p.m. ET.
 
The 10-game event will be streamed on FloHoops, which costs a monthly fee of $29.99. If fans would like to purchase one month to watch the games, the good news is that it gives you every game the streaming service will show, which also includes the Dec. 20-21 West Palm Beach Invitational in which FGCU will play Michigan State and High Point. Thus, fans can watch four Green and Blue games for the $29.99 cost.
 
SAN JUAN SHOOTOUT SCHEDULE

Friday, Nov. 26 

10 a.m. – Missouri State v. Virginia Tech 

12:15 p.m. – UT Martin v. George Washington 

2:30 p.m. – New Mexico State v. LSU 

4:45 p.m. – FGCU v. Tennessee Tech 

7 p.m. – Florida v. Saint Louis 

Saturday, Nov. 27 

10 a.m. – Virginia Tech v. UT Martin 

12:15 p.m. – LSU v. Missouri State 

1:30 p.m. – Tennessee Tech v. New Mexico State 

4:45 p.m. – Saint Louis v. FGCU 

7 p.m. – George Washington v. Florida

 

SPRAY LOOKING TO MAKE HISTORY

Kendall Spray, who is 25-for-39 (.641) from 3-point range this year and 388-for-982 (.395) in her NCAA career, is chasing history along with Maryland’s Katie Benzan. Entering this season, only eight players had recorded 400+ 3-pointers in a career. Thus, Spray is looking to become just the ninth player in NCAA history to reach that benchmark. Benzan, who is just four shy of the milestone, reportedly did not make the trip to the Bahamas with her team this week due to an illness, which gives Spray the chance to gain some ground. The duo comprises the top two spots for active NCAA players in 3-pointers made. Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson third with 353. The NCAA record for most in a career was set by Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell with 497.

 

Top 10 – NCAA Career 3-Point Field Goals Made
Name School Years Gms 3’s
Kelsey Mitchell Ohio St. 2015-18 139 *497
Taylor Pierce Idaho 2016-19 135 472
Jess Kovatch Saint Francis (Pa.) 2016-19 130 472
Darby Maggard Belmont 2016-19 134 430
Mikayla Ferenz Idaho 2016-19 135 415
Rachael Childress UAB 2017-20 128 415
Katelynn Flaherty Michigan 2015-18 140 410
Presley Hudson Central Mich. 2016-19 133 407
Katie Benzan Maryland 2016-present 123 396
Kendall Spray FGCU 2016-present 126 388

 
NOBODY BETTER
Kierstan Bell is now the nation’s leading scorer at 26.6 points per game.

HISTORIC ENTRY IN AP TOP 25 POLL

FGCU entered the Associated Press national rankings on Tuesday at No. 25. It represents the earliest in a season the Eagles have been ranked in the poll, shattering the previous best of Feb. 16 by the 2014-15 team. On top of that, it is the eighth week in program history the Green and Blue have been ranked by the Associated Press voters and the third season overall, joining the 2014-15 and 2020-21 teams. Last year’s team finished the season at No. 24 in the AP.

 

Eagles in the AP Poll (All-Time)
11/23/21 No. 25
3/15/21 No. 24
3/18/21 No. 24
3/16/15 No. 20
3/9/15 No. 20
3/2/15 No. 20
2/23/15 No. 21
2/16/15 No. 22
AP Poll – Nov. 23, 2021
1 South Carolina (30) 6-0 750 1
2 Maryland 6-0 710 3
3 UConn 3-1 696 2
4 Indiana 4-0 630 4
5 NC State 4-1 623 5
6 Baylor 3-1 564 6
7 Stanford 3-1 560 7
8 Iowa 4-0 557 8
9 Arizona 4-0 489 11
10 Louisville 3-1 481 10
11 Tennessee 4-0 424 16
12 Michigan 5-0 396 13
13 Iowa State 4-0 392 14
14 Texas 3-1 339 12
15 Oregon 3-2 285 9
16 Oregon State 3-0 254 15
17 Florida State 4-0 234 17
18 South Florida 4-2 228 23
19 UCLA 3-0 222 20
20 Kentucky 3-1 191 19
21 Ohio State 3-0 150 21
22 West Virginia 3-0 128 22
23 Texas A&M 4-0 126 24
24 Virginia Tech 5-0 105 25
25 Florida Gulf Coast 5-0 63 NR

 
SUCCESS AS A RANKED TEAM
FGCU is 28-4 all-time as a ranked team in either the Associated Press or Coaches Poll. As a ranked AP top 25 team, the Eagles are 11-2 all-time.
 

DATE OPPONENT RESULT RANK AP COACHES OVERALL
2/19/15 A Kennesaw State W, 71-60 22/24 1-0 1-0 1-0
2/21/15 A USC Upstate W, 75-59 22/24 2-0 2-0 2-0
2/25/15 A North Florida W, 56-24 21/22 3-0 3-0 3-0
2/28/15 H Jacksonville W, 78-47 21/22 4-0 4-0 4-0
3/6/15 H North Florida W, 74-35 20/21 5-0 5-0 5-0
3/11/15 H Jacksonville W, 62-42 20/21 6-0 6-0 6-0
3/15/15 H Northern Kentucky W, 60-43 20/21 7-0 7-0 7-0
3/21/15 N Oklahoma State W, 75-67 20/21 8-0 8-0 8-0
3/23/15 A No. 7/7 Florida State L, 47-65 20/21 8-1 8-1 8-1
2/1/18 A North Florida L, 73-75 X/25 8-1 8-2 8-2
2/3/18 A Jacksonville W, 65-63 X/25 8-1 9-2 9-2
1/4/20 H Lipscomb W, 82-56 X/25 8-1 10-2 10-2
1/6/20 H Liberty W, 64-57 X/25 8-1 11-2 11-2
1/11/20 A Stetson W, 89-47 X/25 8-1 12-2 12-2
1/13/20 A North Florida W, 72-50 X/25 8-1 13-2 13-2
2/1/20 A Liberty W, 74-65 X/24 8-1 14-2 14-2
2/3/20 A Jacksonville W, 81-68 X/24 8-1 15-2 15-2
2/8/20 H North Florida W, 76-65 X/24 8-1 16-2 16-2
2/10/20 H Stetson W, 67-65 X/24 8-1 17-2 17-2
2/15/20 A Lipscomb W, 78-45 X/22 8-1 18-2 18-2
2/17/20 A Kennesaw State W, 89-64 X/22 8-1 19-2 19-2
2/22/20 A NJIT W, 68-39 X/22 8-1 20-2 20-2
2/29/20 H North Alabama L, 55-61 X/23 8-1 20-3 20-3
3/2/20 H Jacksonville W, 77-64 X/23 8-1 21-3 21-3
3/7/20 H Lipscomb W, 105-71 X/24 8-1 22-3 22-3
3/11/20 H North Florida W, 73-57 X/24 8-1 23-3 23-3
3/5/21 H Liberty W, 80-60 X/24 8-1 24-3 24-3
3/6/21 H Liberty W, 65-50 X/24 8-1 25-3 25-3
3/11/21 N Jacksonville W, 87-62 24/21 9-1 26-3 26-3
3/12/21 N Lipscomb W, 59-44 24/21 10-1 27-3 27-3
3/14/21 N Liberty W, 84-62 24/21 11-1 28-3 28-3
3/21/21 N No. 16/14 Michigan L, 66-87 24/21 11-2 28-4 28-4
11/26/21 N Tennessee Tech 25/X
11/27/21 N Saint Louis 25/X

 
WHAT ABOUT THE COACHES?
In addition to the AP Poll, the first Coaches Poll of the regular season came out on Tuesday, which has FGCU receiving the 27th-most votes in the nation with 42 – just behind Virginia Tech (62) and Georgia Tech (75). Coincidentally, it was Georgia Tech that dropped out of the AP Poll to make room for the Eagles.
 
LINDY’S PRESEASON RANKINGS
FGCU was ranked 24th in the Lindy’s preseason top 25 poll.
 
1. UConn
2. South Carolina
3. Stanford
4. Maryland
5. Baylor
6. Louisville
7. NC State
8. Indiana
9. Iowa
10. Michigan
11. Oregon
12. Iowa State
13. Kentucky
14. Oregon State
15. Florida State
16. West Virginia
17. Ohio State
18. South Florida
19. Tennessee
20. Georgia Tech
21.Virginia Tech
22. Michigan State

23. Texas A&M
24. FGCU
25. UCLA
 
MID-MAJOR RANKINGS
With the team’s hot start, FGCU jumped Missouri State for the No. 1 spot in the first regular season CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major poll and extended its stranglehold on the top spot in this week’s poll. The Eagles were slotted second in the preseason poll in early November.
 

Rk Team (1st Place Votes) Record Votes Previous Conference
1 FGCU (27) 5-0 766 1 ASUN
2 BYU (2) 4-0 737 3 West Coast
3 Missouri State (2) 3-1 716 2 Missouri Valley
4 Gonzaga 3-1 662 7 West Coast
5 Stephen F. Austin 4-1 636 5 Western Athletic
6 Belmont 3-2 632 4 Ohio Valley
7 South Dakota 2-2 539 11 Summit
8 California Baptist 2-1 533 8 Western Athletic
9 South Dakota State 2-3 505 6 Summit
10 Stony Brook 5-0 427 15 America East

 
ROAD STREAKING
While this weekend’s games will count as neutral site matchups, FGCU has tied a program-record with a nation-best 22-game winning streak on the road. The streak, which began Dec. 4, 2019, matches the streak set from Dec. 14, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2016, and it’s currently over twice as long as any other team nationally.
 

1. FGCU 22
2. Ball State 9
Indiana 9
4. Stony Brook 8
Columbia 8
6. UConn 7

 
In terms of streaks, the Eagles also currently have the third-longest conference winning streak (22) in the country behind UConn (43) and Princeton (26). Their five-game streak to open this season is tied for seventh-best in the country.
 
FGCU VS THE MAAC
With the wins over Manhattan and Fairfield in the ASUN/MAAC Challenge, the Green and Blue are now 7-1 all-time against the MAAC with the most familiar opponent being Quinnipiac, which lost two of three against FGCU between 2014-16. The Eagles are also 1-0 against Rider (2009) and 2-0 against Siena (2016-17).
 
11/28/09 – W, 78-46 vs Rider (Alico Arena)
12/29/14 – W, 71-65 vs Quinnipiac (Philadelphia, Pa.)
12/28/15 – W, 71-70 vs Quinnipiac (Alico Arena)
11/11/16 – L, 66-56 vs Quinnipiac (Hamden, Conn.)
12/9/16 – W, 66-42 vs Siena (Alico Arena)
11/20/17 – W, 63-50 vs Siena (Loudonville, N.Y.)
11/19/21 – W, 88-57 vs Manhattan (Orlando, Fla.)
11/20/21 – W, 83-61 vs Fairfield (Orlando, Fla.)
 
GEAUX EAGLES
FGCU produced an 88-74 win over LSU on the road Nov. 14. It was the sixth all-time win against an SEC team for the Eagles and their 19th over a Power 5 school overall. On top of that, it was the program’s largest-ever win over a Power 5 team on the road, its seventh overall double-digit win over a Power 5 and the first such double-digit win on the road.
 
The previous double-digit wins over Power 5 teams for FGCU is as follows:

12/21/11 – 69-41 over Virginia Tech (Alico Arena)

11/28/14 – 86-61 over Clemson (U.S. Virgin Islands)

3/21/16 – 67-48 over Wake Forest (Alico Arena)

11/12/17 – 85-61 over Illinois (Alico Arena)

3/17/18 – 80-70 over Missouri (Stanford, Calif.)

12/29/19 – 78-56 over Duke (Alico Arena)

 

10 FOR 10

Kierstan Bell’s 10 rebound game against LSU was the 10th such performance in program history against a Power 5 team.

 

3/18/10 Chelsea Lyles Miami (Fla.) 10
11/19/11 Sarah Hansen Michigan State 13
12/16/12 Brittany Kennedy Virginia Tech 11
3/22/14 Whitney Knight Oklahoma State 11
11/29/14 Jenna Cobb Ohio State 15
3/21/15 Whitney Knight Oklahoma State 10
12/8/17 Tytionia Adderly Kentucky 11
11/28/19 Tytionia Adderly Notre Dame 14
12/19/19 Tytionia Adderly LSU 10
11/14/21 Kierstan Bell LSU 10

 
APPROACHING 400/300
The Eagles are 392-77 (.836) since beginning the program’s Division I transition in 2007-08. Since becoming a full-fledged, postseason-eligible Division I team in 2011-12, FGCU is 292-52 (.849), which means the Green and Blue captured an even 100 wins during its four-year transition.
 
AIN’T IT (15) GRAND?
In the team’s win over Manhattan in the ASUN/MAAC Challenge, FGCU eclipsed 15,000 field goals made in program history (2002-present). They are now 15,049-for-35,274 (.427) all-time.
 
NEVER TOO EARLY FOR BRACKETOLOGY
In Joe Lunardi’s latest “Bracketology,” the noted bracket expert has FGCU as a No. 7 seed in Waco, playing No. 10 North Carolina in the opening round. The winner would face either No. 2 Baylor or No. 15 UMKC in the second round. For the full version, visit here.
 
UNDEFEATED EAGLES
FGCU’s undefeated start to the season has seen the Eagles knock off LSU and Temple. They claimed the ASUN/MAAC Challenge title last weekend with wins over Manhattan and Fairfield, as well. It is the team’s third-best start to a campaign in the program’s Division I era – just behind the 2017-18 team that went 6-0. The 2010-11 squad opened 14-0.
 
STREAKING THRU THE REGULAR SEASON
The Green and Blue has pushed its regular season winning streak to 27 straight dating back to Nov. 29 of last year, which is the best in the program’s Division I era and the second-longest overall behind the Division II era Eagles, which won 45 straight between Dec. 29, 2005 and March 3, 2007.
 
BEST IN NCAA HISTORY
FGCU entered 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  2002-03  19  519-98  .841
2. Tennessee  1902-03  67  1,401-351  .799
3. UConn  1974-75  47  1,210-306  .798
4. Stanford  1974-75  47  1,149-342  .771
5. La. Tech  1974-75  47  1,153-362  .761
6. Notre Dame  1977-78  44  1,022-361  .739
7. Green Bay  1973-74  48  1,039-370  .737
8. Texas  1974-75  47  1,128-419  .729
9. Maryland  1971-72  50  1,055-434  .709
10. SFA  1968-69  53  1,127-466  .707

 
STATE DOMINANCE
FGCU has won nearly 40 more games over the past seven-plus seasons than any other Division I team in the state of Florida.
 

1 FGCU 210
2 Florida State 173
3 South Florida 161
4 Miami 144
5 Stetson 125
6 Bethune-Cookman 121
7 UCF 124
8 Jacksonville 119
9 Florida 99
10 North Florida 90
11 Florida Atlantic 75
12 Florida A&M 55
13 Florida International 47

 
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.
 
THREE-POINT DEFENSE SUCCESS
The Eagles not only shine from behind the arc on offense but are also one of the top teams in the nation in three-point defense. Through five games, Eagles’ opponents are shooting just 14.1 percent from distance which is the fifth-best in the country and includes an 0-11 performance by Temple on Nov. 12, which is the most missed 3-pointers with a make by an FGCU opponent in the program’s Division I era. It was also the second time the Eagles haven’t allowed a 3-pointer in the last six years.
 
RARE TERRITORY
Tyra Cox 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 it one more time to catch her former teammate, Alyssa Blair, who did it all four years for the Green and Blue.
 

Alyssa Blair 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21
Tyra Cox 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21
Courtney Chihil 2008-09, 2011-12
Brittany Kennedy 2011-12, 2012-13
DyTiesha Dunson 2012-13, 2013-14
Whitney Knight 2014-15, 2015-16
Jessica Cattani 2015-16, 2017-18
Ty Adderly  2017-18, 2019-20
Emma List 2020-21
Andrea Cecil 2020-21
Seneca Hackley 2020-21

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 last year as the team ranked third nationally at 1.48 in 2020-21. Emma List ranked 41st in the country individually at 2.21.
 
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 196-33 (.856) in games where he has four or more days to prepare, including the most recent such game against Manhattan.
RESPECT FROM ESPN
Kierstan Bell was named the 19th-best player in the country by ESPN.com in the preseason. The website had the following to say about Bell:
 
In her first year in Fort Myers, Bell posted the best season in FGCU history while taking home every ASUN award possible. The only player from a mid-major to make our top 25, Bell is one of the most complete players in college basketball. She can score from 3, take a defender off the dribble in the half court or start her own one-person fast break by grabbing a defensive rebound (Bell was sixth in the nation in defensive rebounds per game) or blocking a shot (19th in the nation in total blocks).
 
In the same report, Debbie Antonelli’s scouting report of Bell said:
 
– Power/point forward and double-double machine
– Dangerous in open floor with ability to score or make play for a catch-and-shoot kick out
– Stat sheet stuffer with endless energy
 
For the full rankings, visit here.
 
NUMBERS DON’T LIE
Offensively, FGCU is:
483-49 all-time when scoring 60+ points
350-18 all-time when scoring 70+ points
184-5 all-time when scoring 80+ points
78-0 all-time when scoring 90+ points
23-0 all-time when scoring 100+ points
 
Defensively, FGCU is:
80-0 all-time when allowing 40 points or fewer
245-1 all-time when allowing 50 points or fewer
399-18 all-time when allowing 60 points or fewer
502-52 all-time when allowing 70 points or fewer
521-80 all-time when allowing 80 points or fewer
523-94 all-time when allowing 90 points or fewer
524-95 all-time when allowing 100 points or fewer
 
ONE DOUBLE-DOUBLE AFTER ANOTHER
Last year, Kierstan Bell became the first player in program history to open her FGCU career with back-to-back double-doubles. Since then, she has recorded six instances of consecutive double-doubles as an Eagle, including four with at least three straight. Her current three-game streak is one shy of matching her Division I era program record of four, which she achieved twice last year.
 
BELL MAKES HISTORY WITH DUAL AWARD SELECTION
Last year, Kierstan Bell headlined the ASUN’s postseason awards by becoming the first player in the conference’s 36-year history to be tabbed both the player and newcomer of the year. Tishara Morehouse joined Bell on the first team, while Seneca Hackley was named to the all-freshmen team. Karl Smesko was tabbed coach of the year for the 11th time.
 
BELL AND FGCU PICKED TO REPEAT, MOREHOUSE NAMED PRESEASON ALL-ASUN
Kierstan Bell was picked to repeat as the ASUN’s player of the year while FGCU was tabbed to, once again, win the ASUN crown. Tishara Morehouse joined Bell on the preseason all-conference team. North Florida’s Jazz Bond was the pick for preseason defensive player of the year.
 

ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team
Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown Academic Major
G Kierstan Bell FGCU Jr. Alliance, Ohio Integrated Studies
F *Lucy Ibeh Central Arkansas Jr. Lagos, Nigeria Dietics
G Tishara Morehouse FGCU Sr. Milwaukee, Wis. Psychology
G *Marissa Mackins North Florida Sr. Durham, N.C. Criminal Justice
G Amani Johnson Kennesaw State Sr. North Versailles, Pa. Accounting
F Alexis Poole Kennesaw State Sr. Ellenwood, Ga. Elementary Education
C Mya Berkman Liberty Jr. Marble Falls, Texas Accounting
G Jaida Bond North Florida Jr. Murfreesboro, Tenn. Biology
F Jazz Bond North Florida Sr. Murfreesboro, Tenn. Interdisciplinary Studies
G Yazz Wazeerud-Din Stetson Sr. Marietta, Ga. Sport Business
* – Denotes unanimous selection
ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll
Place Team (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. FGCU (12) 144
2. North Florida 128
3. Liberty 119
4. Lipscomb 99
5. Stetson 93
6. Jacksonville State 70
7. Kennesaw State 65
8. Central Arkansas 50
9. North Alabama 47
10. Eastern Kentucky 45
T11. Bellarmine 38
T11. Jacksonville 38
ASUN Preseason Media Poll
Place Team (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. FGCU (20) 262
2. Liberty 232
3. North Florida (2) 210
4. Jacksonville State 158
5. Lipscomb 156
6. Stetson 140
7. Central Arkansas 136
8. North Alabama 112
9. Eastern Kentucky 96
10. Kennesaw State 82
11. Bellarmine 78
12. Jacksonville 54

 
BELL, MOREHOUSE NAMED TO MID-MAJOR PLAYER OF THE YEAR PRESEASON WATCH LIST
Kierstan Bell and Tishara Morehouse were named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List in October. Bell is the reigning recipient of the award. This year’s watch list includes 22 schools and 13 conferences, while FGCU joined Missouri State and South Dakota as the only schools with multiple players on the list.
 
Here’s the full watch list:

Dariauna Lewis, Alabama A&M
Destinee Wells, Belmont
Lexi Fleming, Bowling Green
Gabi Haack, Bradley
Dyaisha Fair, Buffalo
Shaylee Gonzales, BYU
Caitlyn Harper, Cal Baptist
Jasmine Dickey, Delaware
Grace Berg, Drake
Kierstan Bell, FGCU
Tishara Morehouse, FGCU
Haley Cavinder, Fresno State
Jenson Edwards, High Point
Macee Williams, IUPUI
Ameshya Williams, Jackson State
Kiki Jefferson, James Madison
Akila Smith, Longwood University
Megan Walstad, Milwaukee
Brice Calip, Missouri State
Jasmine Franklin, Missouri State
Cece Hooks, Ohio
Stephanie Visscher, SFA
Chloe Lamb, South Dakota
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota
Myah Selland, South Dakota State
 
BELL NAMED TO SEVERAL PRESTIGIOUS WATCH LISTS
Kierstan Bell, a junior guard who had the best season in program history in 2020-21 en route to earning Honorable Mention All-American recognition from the AP, WBCA and USBWA, has carried that momentum into this year.
 
Ann Meyers Drysdale Watch List
Bell was named one of just 20 players nationally to earn a spot on the list, which recognizes the top shooting guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Players can play their way on or off the list. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list. For the full release, visit here.
 
John R. Wooden Preseason Top 50 Watch List
Bell also made this list, which is chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts. It honors the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award. For the full release, visit here.
 
Wade Watch List
This 30-player list, which is presented to the best player in college women’s basketball by the WBCA, featured Bell, who is the only mid-major player featured. For the full release, visit here.
 
Naismith Award Watch List
Bell also made this list, which features 50 of the nation’s premier players chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club board of selectors comprised of head coaches, administrators and media members across the U.S. For the full watch list, visit here.
 
BELL NAMED TO NCAA STARTING 5 FOR THIRD TIME
After her tremendous start to the season, Kierstan Bell was named to the NCAA’s Starting 5 on Nov. 17, which recognizes the top five players nationally from the previous week. It was the third time in her career that she earned the honor, including Dec. 30 and Feb. 24 of last year.
 
Bell led the Eagles to three wins that week, including a home win over Temple and a road win over LSU by averaging 26.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, four assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

Other selection to the starting 5 included Portland’s Lucy Cochrane, Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes, Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee and LSU’s Khayla Pointer, who had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against FGCU along with a triple-double in her other game.

 

BELL REACHES 1,000 CAREER POINTS

With a 3-pointer just under five minutes into the second half against Temple on Nov. 12, Kierstan Bell joined the NCAA’s 1,000 point club. In 61 career games, which includes her time at Ohio State in 2019-20, the Buckeye State native has now produced 1,091 points, or 17.9 per contest. In 31 games at FGCU alone, she has 765 points, or 24.7 per game.

 

TRIO WITH 1,000

With Kierstan Bell joining the 1,000-point club, FGCU now has three such players with that accomplishment on this year’s roster as she joins Kendall Spray (1,611) and Andrea Cecil (1,035). Others could join the club, as well, as the next closest players are Kaela Webb (824), Kerstie Phills (792) and Tishara Morehouse (563).

 

SPRAY WINS BACK-TO-BACK ASUN NEWCOMER AWARDS, BELL NABS POTW

Kendall Spray, who joined FGCU from Clemson in the offseason, is off to a hot start for the Eagles, claiming back-to-back ASUN newcomer of the week awards. The graduate senior went 14-for-24 (.583) from long distance while averaging 14.7 points and 4.3 rebounds along with one assist and one steal per game to start the year. Then, she averaged 18 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 11-for-15 from 3-point range last week.

 

In addition to her Starting 5 honor, Kierstan Bell earned the season’s first ASUN player of the week honor. It was the seventh of her career, which ties her with Whitney Knight for the most such selections in program history. On top of that, she also moved into a tie for the eighth-most in conference history.

 

BELL ON VERGE OF DOUBLE-DOUBLE HISTORY

Kierstan Bell has compiled 19 double-doubles over just 31 games in an FGCU uniform, which already puts her just two shy of becoming the program’s Division I era leader.

 

1. Sarah Hansen 20
2. Kierstan Bell 19
Whitney Knight 19
4. Ty Adderly 14
5. Adrianne McNally 6

 
AMONG THE BEST IN THE COUNTRY
Among active NCAA players, Kendall Spray, Kierstan Bell and Kaela Webb each rank among the nation’s best in one or more categories.
 
Spray, in fact, is on her way to finishing her career among the NCAA’s top all-time career 3-point shooters. She enters this weekend just 12 shy of reaching 400 in her career with her current total of 388 ranking second among active players behind Maryland’s Katie Benzan (396). Both are potentially chasing Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell’s all-time career record of 497. On top of that, Spray ranks 17th among active players with 1,611 career points, third in 3-point field goals per game (3.08), 21st in 3-point percentage (.395), 22nd in games played (126), 22nd in field goals made (543), 18th in field goal attempts (1,314), first in 3-point attempts (982) and second in 3-point attempts per game (7.79).
 
Bell, meanwhile, ranks 41st among active players in double-doubles with 21, which includes her time at Ohio State. Her 1,091 career points checks in 143rd among all active players while her 17.9 PPG over two-plus seasons ranks 12th-best.
 
Webb’s .388 career 3-point percentage is 25th among active players.
 
DISHING IT OUT
Tishara Morehouse, who is averaging 13.6 points per game, has also totaled 23 assists through five contests, which ranks her 53rd in the country in total assists and 104th in assists per game.
 
COME ONE, COME ALL
The Eagles have 11 players on this year’s roster that transferred in from another school, topping the previous program record of 10 set in 2018-19. Three players previously played at a JUCO, two players competed at a JUCO and a Division I school before coming to FGCU and eight of them transferred after strictly playing at another Division I.
 
SMESKO’S RECORD PACE
FGCU women’s basketball head coach Karl Smesko, who entered this season with a 580-125 record in 21 seasons as a head coach, is on pace to reach 600 career victories faster than legendary coaches such as Pat Summitt (734 games), Tara VanDerveer (767 games) and C. Vivian Stringer (785 games). At his current rate, Smesko would rank among the 10 fastest coaches – of all divisions – to reach 600.
 
NCAA INDIVIDUAL STATISTICAL LEADERS (TOP 100)
 

Assist/Turnover Ratio Emma List (77th, 2.44)
Total Assists Tishara Morehouse (53rd, 23), Emma List (60th, 22)
Total Blocks Kierstan Bell (58th, 8)
Defensive Rebounds/Game Kierstan Bell (7th, 9.0)
Double-Doubles Kierstan Bell (11th, 3)
Field Goal Attempts Kierstan Bell (5th, 92)
Field Goals Made Kierstan Bell (2nd, 51)
Field Goal Percentage Kendall Spray (18th, .659), Kierstan Bell (80th, .554)
Total Points Kierstan Bell (2nd, 133), Kendall Spray (72nd, 80)
Points/Game Kierstan Bell (1st, 26.6)
Total Rebounds Kierstan Bell (33rd, 48)
Rebounds/Game Kierstan Bell (53rd, 9.6)
3-PT FGs Attempted Kierstan Bell (8th, 44), Kendall Spray (16th, 39)
3-PT FGs Made Kendall Spray (2nd, 25), Kierstan Bell (20th, 15)
3-PT FGs Made/Game Kendall Spray (2nd, 5.00), Kierstan Bell (36th, 3.00)
3-PT FG Percentage Kendall Spray (7th, .641)

 
NCAA TEAM STATISTICAL LEADERS (TOP 50)
 

Assist to Turnover Ratio 19th, 1.43
Total Assists 13th, 93
Assists/Game 28th, 18.6
Scoring Margin 19th, 29.6
Scoring Offense 14th, 86.8
Total Steals 23rd, 60
3-PT FG Defense Pct. 5th, 14.9
3-PT FG Attempted 1st, 196
3-PT FG Made 1st, 68
3-PT FG Made/Game 1st, 13.6
Turnover Margin 24th, 8.40
Turnovers/Game 32nd, 13.0
W/L Percentage T-1st, 100.0

 
FUN WITH NUMBERS
 

Double-Digit Assist Games
Player Season Career
Emma List 0 1

 
RAINING THREES LEGACY
At FGCU, Smesko has turned FGCU into one of the premier 3-point shooting teams in the nation. In fact, the Eagles have made at least one 3-point field goal in 509 straight games (504 entering this year), 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
2021-22 68 196 0.347
Totals 5,816 16,840 0.345

 
FGCU has also made at least 10 or more 3-point field goals in a single game over 300 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
2021-22 4
TOTAL 306

 
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 three 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 10 years, the Green and Blue have finished among the nation’s top five in made 3-point field goals every year, including four first-place finishes.
 
Here’s how FGCU has finished nationally in total 3-point field goals made since 2011-12, including where the team ranks this year.
 

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
2021-22 68 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, including where they rank so far this year.
 

Season Avg. Finish
2021-22 13.6 1st
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 [email protected] or by office phone at 239-745-4434.

COACH SMESKO

FGCU head coach Karl Smesko maintains a record of 585-125 (.824) 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 524-98 (.842) all-time since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Green and Blue’s .824 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.

 

—FGCUATHLETICS.COM—

https://fgcuathletics.com/news/2021/11/25/san-juan-shootout-on-tap-for-no-25-womens-basketball.aspx San Juan Shootout On Tap For No. 25 Women’s Basketball

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