A-Sun Summer Sessions: Women's Basketball; #ASunWBB

Friday, June 28, 2013

MACON, Ga. – It was an explosive year for Atlantic Sun Women’s Basketball as the league posted a conference record four teams in postseason play with Stetson, FGCU, Mercer and Northern Kentucky all reaching postseason.

FGCU captured the A-Sun Regular Season Title after a dominating conference season where they went undefeated for the second-straight year to finish with a 18-0 conference record. The Eagles tabbed three major conference awards for their performance in the regular season. Head Coach Karl Smesko earned Coach of the Year accolades, while Sarah Hansen claimed Player of the Year and teammate Brittany Kennedy captured Defensive Player of the Year Honors.

During the regular season, three A-Sun teams collected winning streaks that ranked nationally for the longest in the country. 

The Hatters’ 11-game winning streak ranked third in the country when it was snubbed by FGCU on January 26th. Mercer’s 14-game win improvement from six wins in 2011-12 to 20 wins this season; tied for the best improvement in the country.

The Bears registered a 12-game winning streak that ranked No. 11 in the country when it ended. It also marked the longest streak in the Bears program history. In the A-Sun Championship finale, top-seeded FGCU faced second-seeded Stetson where the Hatters refused to give up as they took down the Eagles, 70-64, to claim their fourth A-Sun Championship. Stetson trailed by as many as 15 points to comeback in the final minutes after the Hatters went on an 8-0 run in the second half and prevented the Eagles from scoring a field goal for a span that lasted from 13:13 to 4:52 in the half.

The Stetson's victory broke FGCU’s 21 game win streak that ranked No. 4 in the nation.

Stetson earned a 14-seed in the NCAA Tournament where they faced third-seeded UCLA in Columbus, Ohio. This marked the highest seed the Hatters have received in their three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. The Hatters fell to UCLA 66-49 and concluded the season with a 24-9 record.

Appearing in postseason play for the sixth-straight season, FGCU set a conference record as the Eagles squared off against Winthrop in the WNIT. FGCU began their postseason streak back in 2008 when they were awarded entrance into the WNIT. The Eagles have won three games in the WNIT, the most postseason wins by a single school in A-Sun history.

FGCU fell to Winthrop 65-51 in the WNIT to conclude their 2012-13 women's basketball season 27-7 record. The Eagles loss at Alico Arena halted their ten-game home court winning streak that was tied for the 14th longest streak in the country.

Mercer and A-Sun newcomer Northern Kentucky both secured postseason berths in the Women’s Basketball Invitational.

Northern Kentucky's surge late in the second half was not enough as they fell, 72-70, to the College of Charleston in the first round, while Mercer's season came to an end as they fell to McNeese State, 82-70.

Additional #ASunWBB Notes:
• FGCU's Joyce Iamstrong collected the A-Sun Women's Basketball Championship's Most Valuable Player Honors after a 31-point performance in the final. Iamstrong averaged 26 points per game in the A-Sun Championship.
• Mercer collected their 20th win of the season in their quarterfinal match vs. Jacksonville. This marked the first 20-win season for the Bears since the 1991-1992 season.
• FGCU set a NCAA Division I record for three-pointers in a single game with 22 in the Eagles’ 97-60 victory vs. ETSU on January 12th.
• The Bears’ Precious Bridges registered six-straight 20-point games performances from January 12th to the 28th.
• Jacksonville’s Queen Alford landed A-Sun Freshman of the Year honors averaging 11.6 points per game and 6.3 rebounds.
• Kennesaw State’s Sametria Gideon tallied her 1,000th career rebound this season to become the ninth student-athlete in A-Sun history to secure 1,000 points and rebounds
• Stetson’s Victoria McGowan and FGCU’s Sarah Hansen earned Full Court Mid-Major All-American honorable mention honors.
• Hansen collected 2013 Capital One Academic All-America women’s basketball second team honors as well as named to the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association (DI-AAA ADA) Women's Scholar-Athlete team for the second time in her career
• The Hatters have been selected to participate in the 2013 Preseason WNIT where they will face NCAA Sweet 16 participant Oklahoma in the first round.

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