In its November 12th home opener, the Lady Eagles defeated the Wildcats of Bethune-Cookman 71-38.
“I definitely think we had some really good stretches of play,” said head coach Karl Smesko to FGCU athletics. “But this early in the season it’s tough to be consistently good, especially when you’re rotating as many players in the game as we are right now. Kaneisha has had two really good games and today she really gave us a spark. She used her speed to create easy baskets and she was an emotional leader for us today.”
Nearly doubling that of Bethune- Cookman’s score, the FGCU women’s basketball team secured its second win of the season, now 2-0. Although it took several minutes to get in their groove, the Eagles dominated for most of the game.
After coming off of a career-high game on Friday at FIU, redshirt sophomore Whitney Knight brought her talents back to Alico Arena, with 14 points for the Eagles. Smesko encouraged Knight to be more active and involved in the second half, which she was able to do, scoring 10 of her 14 points in the second half.
Complimenting Knight’s game high performance, Sophomore Kaneisha Atwater scored 11 points in her first home game at FGCU.
Just one week before the first game of the 2013-2014 season, Atwater learned that she would be eligible to play at FGCU this year, contrary to the original ruling that had her stuck on the bench for the year like most transfers. After appealing to the initial NCAA ruling that denied her eligibility, Atwater won the appeal and was granted the exception to play. Her unique circumstance brought her to Fort Myers, where she will play for the Eagles and be close to her family at home.
Of her opportunity to play at FGCU, Atwater flashed a smile and said, “it feels great… It feels like home.
Fifth year senior Sarah Hansen contributed nine points and 10 rebounds, breaking the FGCU women’s basketball record for most rebounds. Hansen holds records for being the program’s leading scorer and is also just a few plays away from breaking the women’s record for number of steals. The Eagles’ ability to capitalize on pivotal steals, clutch rebounds, and minimal turnovers has paid off well for their gameplay.
Bethune-Cookman had 26 turnovers, which resulted in 32 of FGCU’s points. The FGCU women’s basketball team will host Charlotte on Wednesday, November 20 at 7:05 p.m.