It was a hot and cold winter break for the Eagles
The changes in Southwest Florida’s weather over the winter break were pretty similar to how hot and cold the women’s basketball team played since Florida Gulf Coast University students concluded the fall semester. With a 2-3 record since Dec. 17, the Eagles couldn’t seem to get a solid win until conference action started against Stetson University, who they beat 72-56.
The Eagles lost at Louisiana State University by 23 points just a few days after finals week wrapped up in Dunk City, 69-46. Three days later, FGCU hosted Saint Francis University for the 2013 Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites Classic. Sarah Hansen and Whitney Knight both provided double-double performances. St. Francis went home with a loss, the Eagles winning 75-68.
The next day, the University of Virginia stole the “W” and added another “L” to the record for FGCU, 85-56. On Dec. 29, the team experienced some freezing cold weather in Philadelphia when the team played against Saint Joseph University, but unfortunately, couldn’t bring any heat onto the court. With a low of 27 degrees that day, the girls lost 76-64.
However, the girls rang in 2014 the right way with the 16-point win over Stetson just four days into the new year, in the first conference game of the season. The Hatters, for the first time since 2010, started off the conference schedule with a loss.
“This is a great way for us to start the conference season,” head coach Karl Smesko told FGCU Athletics. “We know Stetson is one of the top contenders in the league. They definitely outplayed us in the first half, but I was glad to see we were able to make a run early in the half and keep up the pace and intensity throughout the second half.”
The Eagles started off the first half trailing by as many as 10 points and went to the locker room down 35-28. Pushing off with a 14-0 run, the Eagles controlled the rest of the half, getting the win to go 1-0 in A-Sun Conference play.
The first home game of the spring semester will be at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 against Eastern Tennessee State University. Fans are encouraged to wear green to the game.
Congratulations are in order for Stephanie Haas, who earned the Northwestern Mutual Academic Student- Athlete of the Month Award for December.