True to form, the FGCU (1-0) Women’s basketball team dominated in their opening day victory over Florida Memorial (0-1). They did so, despite a lack of proven experience and with an abundance of new faces. The Eagles started out hot and never let up on their way to a resounding win. Below, we will highlight some of the main points from the game and give a brief preview of what’s to come for FGCU.
The biggest surprise of the game has to be the dominant performance from freshman Maddie Antenucci. The youngster poured in a team-high 18 points. Additionally, she grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 3 assists while playing 30 minutes. While this is only one game, Maddie’s fast start is very encouraging for FGCU.
For a team with so much new blood, it was great to see the 3 seniors on this team all show out. Highly touted newcomer Andrea Cecil impressed with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, while shooting 40% on 2/5 shooting from beyond the arc. Returning seniors Sheahen Dowling and Alyssa Blair showed a ton of leadership. Dowling scored 12 points in only 17 minutes. Blair scored 12 points and added 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Veteran presence on a young team will be invaluable as the season matures.
A big reason FGCU was able to dominate without shooting overwhelmingly well was because they were able to win the rebounding battle 49-37. Six different players nabbed 5 or more rebounds. This effort was led by freshman Seneca Hackley (8) and senior Alyssa Blair (9).
Probably the biggest reason for FGCU’s resounding win can be found in the assist-turnover ratio. The Eagles dished out 20 assists and committed only 13 turnovers. On defense, they forced FMU into 24 turnovers to only 4 assists. FGCU also racked up 15 steals compared to 6 from FMU.
This is exactly the type of win the Eagles needed to open the season. Of course it won’t always come as easy as it did against FMU. Still there are plenty of reasons for Coach Smesko and fans to be excited about this group of women.
FGCU has a quick turnaround and a steep incline in the level of talent they are about to face. The Eagles will face ranked Missouri State and Arkansas as well as Davidson in the Beach Bubble tournament from 11/27 to 11/29. This bombardment of games will be a true test for the team and could shed light on just how good they can be down the road.