FGCU takes Atlantic Sun crown
Eagles will make first tourney appearance in first year eligible
MACON, Ga. -- The top-seeded FGCU Eagles downed No. 2 Stetson Hatters 67-39 to finish their undefeated run through the Atlantic Sun season in the 2012 Atlantic Sun Women's Basketball Championship. The 28-point margin of victory in the championship final is the third-largest in finals history.
FGCU (29-2) followed an 18-0 regular-season conference slate with three tournament wins by a combined margin of victory of 67, which is the most since FIU won by a combined 103 points in 1998. The 29 wins are tied for the conference record with FIU in the 1997-98 season.
|Sarah Hansen, FGCU (MVP)|
|Courtney Chihil, FGCU|
|Eglah Griffin, FGCU|
|Whitney Knight, FGCU|
|Victoria McGowan, Stetson|
|Abril Peeples, Jacksonville|
The Eagles are only the second team in conference history to post an undefeated regular season and claim the tournament title with FIU completing the feat in 1993 after a 12-0 regular season. FGCU now awaits its seeding for the NCAA tournament where it will be making its first-ever appearance in its first year of eligibility.
A-Sun Scholar-Athlete of the Year and First Team All-Conference member, Sarah Hansen led the Eagles in scoring with 16 points on four 3-pointers. She added three rebounds, three assists and three steals to garner the Tournament Most Valuable Player title. All-Academic member Courtney Chihil chipped in 15 points to push her career total over 1,000 points and earn All-Tournament Team honors. Senior Eglah Griffin added 11 points and four rebounds in the final to join Hansen and Chihil on the team.
All-Freshman Team member, Whitney Knight, posted nine points, six rebounds and a game-high three blocks to give FGCU four student-athletes on the All-Tournament Team. With 335 3-pointers this season, the Eagles are only five away from tying the NCAA single-season record of 340, which is held by the 2009-10 Morehead State squad.
Stetson's Victoria McGowan, the 2012 A-Sun Player of the Year, led all scorers with 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. The junior guard grabbed the Hatters' spot on the All-Tournament Team after also posting a triple-double in the semifinal contest vs. Jacksonville. McGowan joined Chihil in passing the 1,000-point plateau for her career in the game.
The Eagles, who lead the nation in 3-point field goals made at 10.8, hit 11 triples against the Hatters. Six of the 3-pointers came in the first half to help the Eagles to a 35-23 advantage. Chihil and McGowan tied for the halftime lead in points with 10. FGCU's largest advantage in the contest came with 1:37 in the second half when the Eagles upped the score to 67-39 where it remained for rest of the game.