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Women’s basketball finishes long road-trip with a 94-55 win

With FGCU playing the final game of an eight-game road trip, the Eagles handed Abilene Christian their third loss of the year in a 94-55 route of the Wildcats. The Eagles’ win ends a two-game loss and finishes the longest road-trip of the season at 6-2.

FGCU finished tying a program best 22 three-pointers, as they shot 48.9 from behind the arc in the win. Nasrin Ulel finished with a game-high of 19 points, and seven different Eagles registered at least seven points. With Taylor Gradinjan’s 18 points, she is now just one point away from 1,000 in her career and will have a chance to achieve that milestone at home on Tuesday.

“We shot the ball very well today,” FGCU head coach Karl Smesko said, “and we did a good job moving the ball to our open shooters. We look good when we share the ball.”

Early on, FGCU’s defense set the tempo early, forcing two turnovers on the first three possessions with Tytionia Adderly giving the Eagles an early 3-0 lead. They only led by two at the end of the first quarter after a rough offensive start to the game, but they went on a 15-6 run to open the second quarter, jumping out to an 11-point lead just four minutes in.

With two three-pointers already in the game, Gradinjan hit her next three from distance to double up Abilene Christian 46-23. Each team scored two more to end the half, and the Eagles went into the break up by 23, outscoring the Wildcats by 21 in the quarter.

After the break, the offensive continued where it left off, as the Eagles hit their first five shots to begin the half. Shortly after, Rosemarie Julien hit two three-pointers, and Chandler Ryan closed out the third quarter with a lay-up with FGCU up 72-37.

In the final quarter, Gradinjan tied her career-high with her sixth three-pointer, and Ryan and Sheahen Dowling both made a pair of threes to close out a 49-point win.

With a double header starting on Tuesday with both the men’s and women’s teams playing, the women will play first at 4:30 p.m. against NAIA member Southeastern. However, the Fire are 11-0 on the season. The men’s team will play against FAU right after the women’s game ends.

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