FGCU Look to Host Winthrop in First Round of the WNIT

Monday, March 18, 2013

MACON, Ga. - After going undefeated in conference play and winning its third consecutive Atlantic Sun Women's Basketball Regular Season Title, FGCU has been selected to host Winthrop in the WNIT. The battle of the Eagles will be on Thursday, March 21st at 7 PM EST in Alico Arena.

FGCU is making its fifth appearance in the WNIT in just its sixth season as a Division I program. The Eagles have won their last ten games on their home court which is tied for 14th in the country for longest home court winning streak.

The 2013 A-Sun Coach of the year Karl Smesko coached his team to a 27-6 record and an 18-0 conference record. Currently Florida Gulf Coast is ranked No. 11 in the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.

Prior to A-Sun Championship Final, won 41-straight conference games, which ranked second in the nation.

The Blue and Green are led by A-Sun Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Sarah Hansen. Hansen ranks No. 2 in the A-Sun in scoring with 16.5 points per game and averages 7.4 rebounds and 2.2 steals.

Teammate Brittany Kennedy adds the defensive presence for FGCU after garnering A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year Honors. Kennedy ranks No. 36 in the country in assists (5.3) and steals (2.75).

Getting hot for FGCU at the right time is Joyce Iamstrong. Iamstrong scored 95 points in the last four games of the season for the Eagles. She collected the A-Sun Women's Basketball Championship's Most Valuable Player Honors after a 31-point performance in the final and averaged 26 points per game in the A-Sun Championship.

This will be the first time that Winthrop and FGCU will meet in program history. Florida Gulf Coast has won its first round game in the WNIT three out of their four appearances. In the 2011 WNIT, the Eagles defeated Drexel 73-67 at home in the first round to move on to play SEC foe Florida where they fell 74-69 to the Gators.

Winthrop enters the WNIT with a 20-11 overall record. Going into the the Big South Championship the Eagles were a No. 2 seed with a 14-4 league record. Winthrop is led by two-time Big South Conference Player of the Year Dequesha McClanahan who led the conference in scoring (19.9) and assists (5.9) for the second straight season.

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