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Women’s Basketball Beats Eastern Kentucky for 12th Straight Win

Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics

After women’s basketball head coach Karl Smesko picked up his 600th win at FGCU against Bellarmine, the FGCU women’s basketball team was back at home and defeated the Eastern Kentucky Colonels 82-69 on Feb. 3 for their 12th straight win.

The Eagles had their first home game after a three-game road trip in which they went undefeated after matchups with Lipscomb, Austin Peay and Bellarmine. Heading into this game, FGCU was 18-4 overall and 8-0 in ASUN play.

The Colonels had previously won five games in a row but they were upset at home by Stetson on Jan. 31 before their road game against the Eagles. Coming into this game, Eastern Kentucky held a 16-6 overall record and a 5-3 record in conference play.

After the first quarter gave the Eagles a 29-19 lead, the rest of the game was played with a steady lead for FGCU that occasionally drew closer at times. The Colonels did get within 10 points of the lead at times, but it was never enough to shift the game’s momentum. The Eagles led by as many as 16 points.

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The Eagles shot 48.3% from the field and 31.3% from the 3-point line, while the Colonels shot 46% in the game and 26.7% on 3-pointers.

Another stat the Eagles had a big advantage in was total assists with 20 assists by FGCU and only 11 by Eastern Kentucky. The Colonels were able to out-rebound the Eagles by just one, 35-34, but FGCU outperformed Eastern Kentucky in most other statistics. 

Redshirt junior Emani Jefferson and fifth-year student Uju Ezeudu, who have been leading the Eagles all season long, once again scored the most points for the team with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Fifth-year students Ajulu Thatha and Sofia Persson were also in double figures in scoring with 16 and 14 points each. Persson contributed through 3-pointers as she connected on four of her eight shots from beyond the arc.

Jefferson also led the Eagles with eight rebounds and five assists. In her first year with the Eagles, she recently led the Eagles in scoring for the fourth straight game. Jefferson was named ASUN Player and Newcomer of the Week for the third consecutive week.

FGCU has now won 12 straight games, bringing their record to 19-4. The Eagles also continue to maintain a perfect 9-0 conference record and 10-0 record at home this season.

The Eagles will stay at home this week for two more games. This starts with the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears later today, Feb. 8. This will be a battle between the top two teams in the ASUN Conference, as the Eagles come into this matchup with an undefeated conference record that the Sugar Bears match with just one conference loss at 8-1 and an overall record of 16-6.

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