Women's Basketball Continues Drive to "Pack the House"
ETSU women's basketball tallied 4,092 for the game against LSU, a season-high and the second-highest attendance ever for the program.
ETSU women's basketball tallied 4,092 for the game against LSU, a season-high and the second-highest attendance ever for the program.
The University of North Florida women's basketball team drew 3,461, a season high, as its Pack the House event in November.
The University of North Florida women's basketball team drew 3,461, a season high, as its Pack the House event in November.

Friday, February 10, 2012

MACON, Ga. – Atlantic Sun Conference women’s basketball is averaging more than 2,000 fans per contest as the conference continues its participation in the 2011-12 NCAA “Pack the House” Challenge.

Seven of the A-Sun’s teams – North Florida, Mercer, East Tennessee State, Belmont, USC Upstate, Jacksonville and Stetson – have completed their PTH challenges, with three games remaining. Two schools, UNF (3,461) and ETSU (4,092), set season-high attendance marks and ETSU also recorded the second-highest attendance figure in program history in its 71-68 overtime loss to LSU.

The remaining A-Sun PTH contests include Mercer at Kennesaw State (2/11), ETSU at Lipscomb (2/16) and Stetson at FGCU (2/18). The Stetson/FGCU contest in particular is likely to be a big score for PTH initiatives. The Eagles and the Hatters are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively in the A-Sun, while FGCU is ranked No. 3 and the Hatters No. 23 in the most recent CollegeInsider.com Women’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll. FGCU also occupies the No. 29 position in this week's USA Today/ESPN Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. The Eagles lead the nation in three-pointers made per game (11.0) and continue to lead the A-Sun in scoring offense (75.0) and scoring defense (51.7). Stetson is second in the A-Sun in scoring offense, 68.7.

Past A-Sun PTH winners include Lipscomb (2007-08), ETSU (2008-09), Jacksonville (2009-10) and FGCU (2010-11). "Pack the House" is a national effort in which conferences and institutions compete to grow women’s basketball attendance. NCAA Division I institutions select a women’s basketball home game and designate that date as a "Pack the House" game with the goal of setting an attendance record. One winner from each of the 32 conferences and one from a group of independent institutions is selected at the conclusion of the challenge. Selections are based on marketing plan creativity and attendance criteria. For the past two seasons, the Atlantic Sun Conference is the only Division I conference in the country to have 100% participation in the Pack the House Challenge.

The NCAA will make a $500 donation to a non-profit organization on behalf of the A-Sun winner of the Pack the House Challenge.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University. Northern Kentucky University becomes the A-Sun’s newest member on July 1, 2012.