Eagles play final slate in schedule before A-Sun tournament
Florida Gulf Coast University’s own No. 21-ranked women’s basketball team looks to continue its A-Sun dominance, as well as finish the regular season on a high note this week. The FGCU women will travel to face North Florida at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Then the Eagles will bring it on home to Alico Arena as they conclude regular-season play by hosting Jacksonville University at 7 p.m. Saturday night.
The FGCU Eagles hope to extend their current 20-game win streak, as well as finish conference play undefeated. FGCU’s conference record is now 12-0, and they have previously defeated both upcoming foes North Florida and Jacksonville this season.
North Florida’s women come into Wednesday’s game with an 11-16 overall record, going 2-10 in conference. FGCU won its first matchup with North Florida at home 75-42. The Eagles will need to prioritize crashing the boards and boxing out junior center Paulina Zaveckaite, who is averaging 11.9 rebounds per game and grabbed a game high 14 in their first matchup.
Jacksonville is bringing with them an 11-14 overall record, going 6-6 so far in conference play. The Eagles took down the Dolphins 60-37 earlier this season.
FGCU held guard Sherranda Reddick to four points that game, and will need to do so again to be successful Saturday night. Reddick is averaging 14.2 points per game, and has scored over 20 points in a game five times this season, including a 30 point outing.
Last week, FGCU won its first ever contest as a nationally ranked team Feb. 19 as it defeated Kennesaw State 71-60. It required a huge team effort, four Eagles scored in double figures to hold off a strong second half comeback effort by the Owls. Whitney Knight led FGCU with 15 points, adding three blocks on the defensive side.
FGCU also defeated USC Upstate this past Saturday 75-59. The win secured the team’s fifth-consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season Championship. Eagles head coach Karl Smesko also accomplished winning his 400th career victory.
Whitney Knight had another outstanding game, finishing with a packed stat line of 26 points on a career best six for nine three-point shooting, tallying eight rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. Knight has really lifted the Eagles during this 20-game win streak, playing well individually while still facilitating for all her teammates. Eagles guard Kaneisha Atwater dropped in 17 points to help seal the deal.