HONOLULU – The women’s basketball team No. 25 FGCU looks to remain undefeated when it takes on San Diego on Sunday at 4:30 pm ET in the final game of the 2022 Bank of Hawaii Classic. The ESPN+ broadcast will originate from the Stan Sheriff Center on the Hawaii campus.
The Eagles and Toreros meet for the first time on Sunday. The Toreros edged Lipscomb 49-45 in the opening game of the 2022 Bank of Hawaii Classic on Friday. Guard Myah Pace helped lead San Diego (3-1) with nine points, five rebounds and five assists. Guard Kiera Oakry added nine points, while guard Jess Finney added eight points on 2-of-3 shooting from long range. Pace leads the Toreros in scoring at 11.0 points per game.
San Diego is the top team in the West Coast Conference, and ranks 32nd nationally in scoring defense, allowing opponents just 49.2 points per game. The Toreros own a WCC-best 14.5 rebound margin and average 17.2 offensive rebounds per game, both of which rank in the top 30.
FGCU’s offense was fueled by an effort from the junior guard Alyza Winston (Muskegon, Mich./Muskegon HS/Mississippi State), the reigning ASUN Newcomer this week, with 20.5 points per game. Graduate guard Tishara Morehouse (Milwaukee, Wis./Rufus King HS/Nebraska CC) is scoring at a clip of 15.7 points per game and is a fifth-year guard Shaw Carter (Southfield, Mich./Wylie E. Groves HS/Walsh) averaged 9.3 per game.
The Eagles blew a 30-point lead against host Hawai’i on Friday night en route to a 65-45 victory. Morehouse led the Green & Blue with 17 points and had three of the Eagles’ 12 treys. Fifth year guard Kaela Webb (Pontiac, Mich./Detroit Country Day HS/Detroit Mercy/Providence) added 12 points with a quadruple, and the fifth-year guard Sophia Stiles (Malta, Mont./Malta HS/Montana) grabbed a team-high nine rebounds to go with nine points.
FGCU continues to thrive on its Raining 3s reputation. The Eagles drained 12 3-pointers against the Rainbow Wahine and averaged a dozen per game, the best per game average in the country. FGCU leads ASUN with 79.3 points per game and a league-best field goal percentage at 44.6 percent.
FGCU women’s basketball head coach Karl Smesko has led his team to the national rankings for the fourth year in a row and six years overall (2014-15, 2017-18, 2019-20, 2020-21, 2021-22 and 2022-23). The Eagles are also currently atop the Collegeinsider.com Mid-Major Top 25 poll.
FGCU will spend Thanksgiving week in Hawai’I with a schedule that includes practice and some sightseeing before the start of the Rainbow Wahine Showdown vs. No. 2 Stanford on Friday, November 25, at 5 pm ET. The Eagles play three games in the next tournament, against the Cardinal, Hawai’i (Nov. 26) and Grambling State (Nov. 27).
INDIVIDUAL TICKETS, MINI PLANS AVAILABLE
Tickets for the 2022-23 FGCU Basketball season are on sale now and can be purchased by going online to www.FGCUTickets.com or calling 866-FGCU-TIX. Group tickets can also be purchased for 10 or more people – making for an unforgettable evening for families, businesses or other organisations.
FGCU head coach Karl Smesko maintains an overall record of 613-128 (.827) in his career, the third-highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only UConn’s Geno Auriemma and LSU’s Kim Mulkey. He has also led the Eagles to a 232-18 (.928) record in ASUN regular season play and a 30-2 (.938) record in ASUN tournament play. Over the previous 10 seasons, he has guided FGCU to a 153-5 (.968) record in conference play with six undefeated seasons. The 12-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program to 12 consecutive 25-win seasons and 18 consecutive 20-win campaigns, including 30-plus wins in five of the past eight years. On top of that, the Eagles are 552-101 (.845) all-time since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Green & Blue’s all-time winning percentage of .845 is the best in NCAA Division I. history of women’s basketball.
TEAMS NEEDED to achieve our latest goal – a $10 million campaign to address the needs of student-athletes in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning and the department’s needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as coaching and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the EAGLE Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generates Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (https://www.fgcu.edu/adminservices/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), the charity of choice of FGCU Athletics. For more information, including how to make a donation, please visit https://www.fgcu.edu/adminservices/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 93 regular-season conference and tournament titles in just over 15 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 11-plus seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 46 teams or individuals compete in championships NCAA. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Eight FGCU programs have earned top-25 national rankings in their respective sports – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019 ) and women’s soccer (2018) as the four most recent. In 2016-17, the Green & Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had seven ASUN best teams and the state of Florida earned the NCAA 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 topped the University’s general undergraduate population for 26 consecutive semesters. The past six semesters (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022) saw another milestone achieved when all 15 programs achieved a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.