Championship Saturday: No. 20 Eagles Host Jacksonville State for ASUN Title

FORT MYERS, Fla. – It’s a Championship Saturday as the No. 20 FGCU women’s basketball team hosts Jacksonville State in the ASUN Championship Tournament title game at Alico Arena. The opening tip is set for 7 PM and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+.
The game will be a match-up of the top seeds in each division as the Eagles won the East and the Gamecocks were the best in the West. FGCU dispatched Stetson on Wednesday night, while JSU used a buzzer-beater to get past Liberty.
The Green and Blue have won six straight and 21 of its last 22 games. FGCU is 29-2 all-time in the conference tournament which represents the most victories in ASUN history which the Eagles have done in just 10 years.
On top of that, this will be the 11th consecutive ASUN championship game appearance for the Eagles which is the longest streak in conference history. The next closest are: Georgia Southern (1986-90, five straight), FIU (1992-95, four straight), Georgia State (2000-03, four straight) and ETSU (2007-10, four straight).
This will be just the second all-time meeting between JSU and FGCU as well as the first postseason meeting. Jacksonville State rejoined the league prior to this season after being a member from 1995-2003. FGCU won the meeting in Jacksonville, 66-44, earlier this season during cross-divisional play. This will be the second ASUN championship title event between FGCU and Jacksonville State this year as the two schools played for the volleyball title in November.
The Eagles moved up to No. 20 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll and are No. 23 in the AP Top 25 poll this week. Three weeks ago, FGCU ranked No. 20 in the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll which was tied as FGCU’s highest ever ranking in either the Coaches Poll or the AP Top 25 poll alongside the 2014-15 team (ranked No. 20 in the AP Poll).

FGCU is led by Bell’s 23.1 points per game which was among the top four nationally before being she was sidelined by injury. Morehouse and Spray are averaging 14.9 and 11.2 points per game, respectively to round out the top scorers.
After being named the ASUN Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, FGCU’s Kierstan Bell was announced as one of the top five finalist for the 2022 Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award presented by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.
The annual award, now in its fifth year, recognizes the top shooting guard in NCAA Division I college women’s basketball.
Along with Bell, the other four finalist are Sonya Morris (DePaul), Christyn Williams (UConn, Taylor Mikesell (Ohio State), and Taylor Robertson (Oklahoma).
A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list of 20 student-athletes in November, which was narrowed to 10 candidates in February and now just five finalists. This month, the finalists will be presented to Ms. Meyers Drysdale and the Hall of Fame’s selection committee. The winner of the 2022 Ann Meyers Drysdale Shooting Guard of the Year Award will be determined by a combination of fan votes and input from the Basketball Hall of Fame’s selection committee. Naismith Starting Five Fan Voting presented by Dell Technologies will go live on Friday, March 11 on
FGCU women’s basketball head coach Karl Smesko, who holds a 608-127 record in 23 seasons as a head coach, reached 600 career victories (726) faster than legendary coaches such as Pat Summitt (734 games), Tara VanDerveer (767 games) and C. Vivian Stringer (785 games). Smesko’s accomplishment rank as the 9th fastest coaches to reach 600 – among all divisions – and he’s now on pace to be the third-fastest coach in NCAA history to reach 700 wins.
The 12-time ASUN Coach of the Year picked up his 600th win milestone on Feb. 3, 2022 with a 71-44 win at Central Arkansas. He ranks 19th among all active NCAA Division I coaches in terms of wins and holds the fifth-best all-time win percentage for a Division I head coach (.826) and sits just behind Summitt (.841) who is fourth and Mulkey (.859) who is third. Auriemma holds the all-time record by percentage (.886).
Kendall Spray, who is 95-for-211 (.450) from 3-point range this year and 458-for-1,154 (.395) in her NCAA career, is chasing history along with Maryland’s Katie Benzan as the duo climbs the list of the all-time best 3-point shooters in women’s college basketball history. Entering this season, only eight players had recorded 400+ 3-pointers in a career. Spray currently ranks fourth all-time, while Benzan ranks fifth. The duo comprises the top two spots for active NCAA players in 3-pointers made. The NCAA record for most in a career was set by Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell with 497.

Top 10 – NCAA Career 3-Point Field Goals Made
Name School Years Gms 3’s
Kelsey Mitchell Ohio St. 2015-18 139 *497
Taylor Pierce Idaho 2016-19 135 472
Jess Kovatch Saint Francis (Pa.) 2016-19 130 472
Kendall Spray FGCU 2016-present 151 458
Katie Benzan Maryland 2016-Present 143 447
Darby Maggard Belmont 2016-19 134 430
Mikayla Ferenz Idaho 2016-19 135 415
Rachael Childress UAB 2017-20 128 415
Katelynn Flaherty Michigan 2015-18 140 410
Presley Hudson Central Mich. 2016-19 133 407

FGCU joined the ASUN prior the 2007-08 season and immediately saw success among the ranks, winning 84 of their first 85 conference home games and currently having lost just six ASUN regular season games since 2011-12. Including last year, the team has won 11-of-14 regular-season championships since they joined the ASUN, while also never finishing lower than second in the final standings. If that isn’t enough, the Eagles have won eight of 10 tournament titles since earning postseason eligibility during the 2011-12 season.
FGCU vs the ASUN
Regular Season Play

Season W L
2007-08 13 3
2008-09 17 3
2009-10 17 3
2010-11 17 3
2011-12 18 0
2012-13 18 0
2013-14 17 1
2014-15 14 0
2015-16 14 0
2016-17 12 2
2017-18 13 1
2018-19 16 0
2019-20 15 1
2020-21 14 0
2021-22 15 1
Record 232 18

FGCU has produced winning streaks of 44 (12/3/11 to 1/30/14), 44 (2/6/14 to 2/2/17) and 37 (2/3/18 to 2/22/20) against the ASUN in regular season play. If you include postseason play, the Eagles have recorded 45, 43 and 41 game streaks. All six streaks rank among the top 20 in NCAA history in their two respective categories.
Since joining the ASUN, FGCU has held opponents to 39 or fewer points 22 times in conference play. The program record for fewest points allowed in a conference game is 24, which came in a 32-point win over North Florida Feb. 25, 2015.
39 Points or Below Allowed vs ASUN opponents
Regular Season Only

Date Result Opponent
3/1/08 W 70-39 vs North Florida
1/3/11 W 79-39 vs Belmont
1/7/12 W 68-34 vs North Florida
2/11/12 W 54-34 vs Belmont
12/31/12 W 62-35 @ Kennesaw State
1/21/13 W 67-37 vs Lipscomb
2/16/13 W 89-39 @ Lipscomb
3/02/13 W 74-36 vs Kennesaw State
1/25/14 W 54-34 vs North Florida
1/17/15 W 60-37 @ Jacksonville
2/07/15 W 61-39 @ Stetson
2/25/15 W 56-24 @ North Florida
1/18/16 W 70-37 vs NJIT
1/24/16 W 71-39 @ Lipscomb
1/30/16 W 65-38 @ North Florida
2/4/16 W 58-39 vs Jacksonville
2/13/16 W 53-32 @ NJIT
2/11/17 W 69-35 vs Kennesaw State
1/29/19 W 67-35 @ NJIT
1/25/20 W 82-39 vs NJIT
2/22/20 W 68-39 @ NJIT
2/14/21 W 88-38 vs Kennesaw State


Most ASUN Regular Season Titles
All-Time (Since 1985-86)

School Titles Outright
FGCU 12 12
FIU 9 7
UCF 4 3
Georgia State 3 2
Georgia Southern 3
Belmont 3
Mercer 2
Stetson 1
Florida A&M 1
Campbell 1
Lipscomb 1

Including this year, the Eagles have produced 12 or more wins in conference play EVERY season since joining the conference in 2007-08. In fact, over that span, all other members who have been in the ASUN since then have tallied a total of seven combined such seasons, and FGCU has 15 of the conference’s 35 (42.4 percent) total seasons of 12 or more wins since 2007-08. Furthermore, the Green and Blue has eight of the conference’s nine 12-win seasons since the ASUN downsized from an 18-game schedule to a 14-16 game schedule from 2014-present.
12-Win Seasons In ASUN Play
Since 2007-08

Stetson 5
Jacksonville 2
Northern Kentucky 2
Mercer 2
USC Upstate 2
Liberty 1
Campbell/Belmont 1

Following a 26-2 regular season and earning the ASUN Regular-Season Championship title, FGCU was honored with several major season awards. Junior guard Kierstan Bell was named the ASUN Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, while head coach Karl Smesko was selected as the ASUN Coach of the Year for the 12th time in his career. Additionally, Bell and senior Tishara Morehouse were both named to the All-ASUN First Team.

For Bell and Morehouse, the announcement marked the second time they were each named to the All-ASUN First Team as well.
Overall, Bell is the eighth ASUN Player of the Year honoree and the third player in program history to earn the accolade twice joining Sarah Hansen (2013, 2014) and Whitney Knight (2015, 2016). The duo also became the sixth and seventh players to earn first team honors multiple times in their careers: Rosemarie Julien (2017, 2018), Kaneisha Atwater (2015, 2016), Whitney Knight (2014, 2015, 2016), Sarah Hansen (2012, 2013, 2014), and Chelsea Lyles (2009, 2010).
After a banner year both on the court and in the classroom, senior Kerstie Phills was named to the ASUN All-Academic Team.
Phills currently holds a 3.75 grade-point-average as a graduate student in health science. She finished her undergraduate work with a 3.79 GPA and has been a FGCU Dean’s List member as well as an ASUN Honor Roll and FGCU AD Honor Roll selection. This past January, she was selected as one of the Suncoast Credit Union FGCU Athletics Scholar-Athletes of the Month.
This season Phills has been the fourth leading scorer (8.8 points per game) for the Eagles and the second leading rebounder (5.1 rebounds per game). She increased her productivity to 11.8 points and a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game during a nine-game stretch without All-American candidate Kierstan Bell in the lineup due to injury. In a win at Stetson, she was one shy of her career high with 23 points. She had her first double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds against Bellarmine. She also scored 19 points against Jacksonville and had 17 points at Jacksonville State. Following her performances at Stetson and Jacksonville State, she was named the ASUN Player of the Week (1/24).
For her career, Phills has played in 118 games overall between her true freshman year at Wagner and three seasons at FGCU. She reached the 1,000-point plateau this season and enters the postseason with 1,023 career points overall. She also has 566 career rebounds and 114 steals through four seasons.
Vanderbilt shooting guard Brylee Bartram has officially joined the women’s basketball program as a mid-year transfer. Bartram will sit out the rest of the 2022 season after playing at Florida and Vanderbilt prior to joining the Eagles.
“Brylee is a great addition to our program. She is a high-level shooter, and she has been a solid contributor at the Power 5 level,” said Smesko. “Her skill set and experience will be very valuable to our program.”
Known as a prolific shooter who owns the national high school record for made three pointers, among boys or girls, with 533, Bartram started her career at Florida in 2019-20 before transferring to Vanderbilt for the 2020-21 season and this past fall semester.
The 5-foot-8 junior has played in 47 career games overall with 11 starts and a 5.1 point per game scoring average. All but four of her made field goals in college have been triples with her going 77-of-241 from beyond the arc in less than two full seasons as Vanderbilt cancelled its season partially through the spring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the 12th time in her FGCU career, Kierstan Bell was named the ASUN Player of the Week on Monday, Feb. 28 after returning from injury to lead the Eagles to wins at Liberty and against Jacksonville to secure the East Division No. 1 seed.
In her return from knee surgery, Bell averaged 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in the two wins.
She scored 23 points with seven rebounds and four blocks in the win at Liberty which was FGCU’s NCAA-best 30th straight road win. She followed that with another 23-point effort against Jacksonville where she also added five assists and had three blocks.
For the season, she is averaging 23.4 points per game which would lead the ASUN and rank 5th nationally had she competed in the minimum 75% of the team’s games. Even with those nine games missed, her total points on the year (444) are more than any other player in the ASUN this season.
She had originally set the record, and been named Mechelle Voepel’s ESPN National Player of the Week, after leading FGCU to a pair of ASUN wins against Kennesaw State and Liberty. She averaged 27.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.5 assists in the two games.
Kierstan Bell, with her 30-point, 12 rebound performance against High Point, set the new record when she compiled her 21st double-doubles over just 37 games in an FGCU uniform, which pushed her past Sarah Hansen for sole possession of the program’s Division I era record. She now has 24 double-doubles at FGCU through 47 games. Including her time at Ohio State, she has 26 career NCAA double-doubles.

Kierstan Bell earned her eighth career ASUN player of the week selection on Nov. 29, which surpassed Whitney Knight for most in program history. She then grabbed her ninth honor on Dec. 27, 10th on Jan. 11 which tied her for the most in ASUN history, and then her 11th on Jan. 18 to set a new ASUN record.

Player of the Week Awards – ASUN History
Kierstan Bell FGCU 12
Albena Branzova  FIU  10 
Alysha Clark  Belmont  10 
Andrea Congreaves  Mercer  10 
Leslie McElrath  Georgia State 
Brianti Saunders  Stetson 


Player of the Week Awards – FGCU History
Kierstan Bell 12
Whitney Knight 7
Keri Jewett-Giles 6
Sarah Hansen 5
Rosemarie Julien 4
Kaneisha Atwater 4

Kendall Spray, who joined FGCU from Clemson in the offseason, got off to a hot start for the Eagles, claiming back-to-back ASUN newcomer of the week awards to open the season. The graduate senior went 14-for-24 (.583) from long distance while averaging 14.7 points and 4.3 rebounds along with one assist and one steal per game to start the year. Then, she averaged 18 points and 4.5 rebounds while shooting 11-for-15 from 3-point range the following week.
For the ninth time this season, FGCU was ranked this week in the AP Top 25 at No. 23 overall on March 7. 28. FGCU entered the Associated Press national rankings on Nov. 23 at No. 25, which represented the earliest in a season the Eagles have been ranked in the poll, shattering the previous best of Feb. 16 by the 2014-15 team. Then, on Nov. 29, the Green and Blue moved up to 22nd in the poll, which not only represented the ninth time the team has been ranked, but it is their third-highest ranking in the poll. The 2014-15 team climbed as high as 20th in the final three polls of the season following entries at 21st and 22nd in late February.

Eagles in the AP Poll (All-Time) – CLICK HERE FOR FULL POLL
3/7/22 No. 23
2/28/22 No. 22
2/21/22 No. 24
2/14/22 No. 25
2/7/22 No. 22 (high ballot of No. 15)
1/31/22 No. 22 (high ballot of No. 15)
1/17/22 No. 24 (high ballot of No. 13)
11/29/21 No. 22
11/23/21 No. 25
3/15/21 No. 24
3/18/21 No. 24
3/16/15 No. 20
3/9/15 No. 20
3/2/15 No. 20
2/23/15 No. 21
2/16/15 No. 22

FGCU entered the USA Today/WBCA Coaches Poll at No. 22 on Nov. 30, receiving 94 votes. It was a jump from the previous week’s poll where the Eagles sat in the receiving votes section with the 27th-most votes in the country. The Eagles fell just out of the top 25 and into the top spot in the receiving votes section following the loss to Princeton. After six straight wins, the Eagle re-entered the poll on Jan. 11 at No. 23 and rose to No. 21 on Jan. 18 to tie the program’s highest ever ranking.
This year’s Coaches Poll ranking signified FGCU’s earliest entry into the poll, topping the Dec. 31 record that the 2019-20 team achieved, and it’s the 24th time over five different seasons they’ve been ranked in it. On top of that, the No. 21 ranking on Jan. 18 tied the program record set by the 2020-21 and 2014-15 teams. In the Jan. 24, 2022, Feb. 1, and Feb. 8 polls, the Eagles moved up to No. 20 – their highest-ever ranking in the coaches poll and tied with the 2014-15 team for the highest ever ranked. They enter this week at No. 20 in the March 8 poll after being No. 22 the week prior.
With the team’s Feb. 24 road win at Liberty, FGCU continues to extend its program-record by pushing its nation-best road winning streak to 30 straight. The streak, which began Dec. 4, 2019, surpassed the streak set from Dec. 14, 2014 to Feb. 27, 2016, and it’s three times longer than Toledo which is second at 10 games.

1. FGCU 30
2. Toledo 10
3. Stephen F. Austin 9
Jackson State 9
Maine 9

In terms of streaks, the Eagles previously held the second-longest conference winning streak (33) in the country before falling to Stetson at home. That loss also snapped FGCU’s overall win streak at 15 which had also been the best in the nation.
FGCU produced an 88-74 win over LSU on the road Nov. 14. It was the sixth all-time win against an SEC team for the Eagles, their 19th over a Power 5 school overall and just the second all-time win over a Power 5 school in a true road game (Virginia Tech, 2012). On top of that, it was the program’s largest-ever win over a Power 5 team on the road, its seventh overall double-digit win over a Power 5 and the first such double-digit win on the road.
The previous double-digit wins over Power 5 teams for FGCU is as follows:

12/21/11 – 69-41 over Virginia Tech (Alico Arena)
11/28/14 – 86-61 over Clemson (U.S. Virgin Islands)
3/21/16 – 67-48 over Wake Forest (Alico Arena)
11/12/17 – 85-61 over Illinois (Alico Arena)
3/17/18 – 80-70 over Missouri (Stanford, Calif.)
12/29/19 – 78-56 over Duke (Alico Arena)
10 FOR 10
Kierstan Bell’s 10 rebound game against LSU was the 10th such performance in program history against a Power 5 team.

3/18/10 Chelsea Lyles Miami (Fla.) 10
11/19/11 Sarah Hansen Michigan State 13
12/16/12 Brittany Kennedy Virginia Tech 11
3/22/14 Whitney Knight Oklahoma State 11
11/29/14 Jenna Cobb Ohio State 15
3/21/15 Whitney Knight Oklahoma State 10
12/8/17 Tytionia Adderly Kentucky 11
11/28/19 Tytionia Adderly Notre Dame 14
12/19/19 Tytionia Adderly LSU 10
11/14/21 Kierstan Bell LSU 10

The Eagles are 415-78 (.837) since beginning the program’s Division I transition in 2007-08. Since becoming a full-fledged, postseason-eligible Division I team in 2011-12, FGCU is 315-53 (.850), which means the Green and Blue captured an even 100 wins during its four-year transition.
In the team’s win over Manhattan in the ASUN/MAAC Challenge, FGCU eclipsed 15,000 field goals made in program history (2002-present). They are now 15,676-for-36,734 (.426) all-time.
In Charlie Creme’s latest “Bracketology,”  he has FGCU as a No. 8 seed in Raleigh, N.C., taking on No. 9 Arkansas. The winner of that would face No. 1 N.C. State or the winner of No. 16 Longwood/Norfolk State. For the full version, visit here.
Despite having it snapped against Princeton, the Green and Blue achieved a Division I era program-record 29-game winning streak from Nov. 29, 2020 to Dec. 1, 2021. It is also the second-longest overall regular season streak in program history behind the Division II era Eagles, which won 45 straight between Dec. 29, 2005 and March 3, 2007.
FGCU entered the 2021-22 season with an all-time winning percentage of .841, the highest among all Division I institutions. In fact, the Eagles are the only Division I team above .800 as Tennessee sits in second at .799.

Win Percentage Entering 2021-22 Season
# School  1st Yr.  Yrs.  Record  Pct.
1. FGCU  2002-03  19  519-98 .841
2. Tennessee  1902-03  67  1,401-351 .799
3. UConn  1974-75  47  1,210-306  .798
4. Stanford  1974-75  47  1,149-342  .771
5. La. Tech  1974-75  47  1,153-362  .761
6. Notre Dame  1977-78  44  1,022-361  .739
7. Green Bay  1973-74  48  1,039-370  .737
8. Texas  1974-75  47  1,128-419  .729
9. Maryland  1971-72  50  1,055-434  .709
10. SFA  1968-69  53  1,127-466  .707

Entering this year, FGCU produced 205 wins over the past seven seasons, which is the most among all mid-majors and fifth-most among any Division I program – behind UConn (240), Baylor (228), South Carolina (210) and Maryland (206). In fact, it puts them ahead of schools such as Louisville (204), Mississippi State (196), Notre Dame (195), Stanford (199), Oregon State (177) and Oregon (172). On top of that, the program is one of only five in the nation at the Division I level with four 30-win seasons during that stretch – joining UConn, Baylor, Notre Dame and South Carolina.
The Eagles have registered a level of sustained success matched by only two other Division I schools as Coach Smesko has guided FGCU to 12 straight 25-win seasons. Baylor and UConn are the only other teams to have 11 straight with each closing in on 25 this season. FGCU has also recorded 18-straight 20-win seasons dating back to 2004-05.
The Eagles not only shine from behind the arc on offense but are also one of the top teams in the nation in three-point defense. Through 30 games, Eagles’ opponents are shooting just 28.7 percent from distance and includes an 0-11 performance by Temple on Nov. 12, which is the most missed 3-pointers with a make by an FGCU opponent in the program’s Division I era. FGCU also held Stetson on Jan. 19 without a three-point basket as the Hatters went 0-for-9 from the floor. It was also the third time the Eagles haven’t allowed a 3-pointer in the last six years.
Tyra Cox finished last season with more steals than turnovers, her third straight season accomplishing the feat for FGCU. She became just the second player in program history with three such seasons but will have to do it one more time to catch her former teammate, Alyssa Blair, who did it all four years for the Green and Blue.

Alyssa Blair 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21
Tyra Cox 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21
Courtney Chihil 2008-09, 2011-12
Brittany Kennedy 2011-12, 2012-13
DyTiesha Dunson 2012-13, 2013-14
Whitney Knight 2014-15, 2015-16
Jessica Cattani 2015-16, 2017-18
Ty Adderly  2017-18, 2019-20
Emma List 2020-21
Andrea Cecil 2020-21
Seneca Hackley 2020-21

The Eagles take care of the ball like few else in NCAA women’s basketball. Every single player on the team had a positive assist to turnover ratio last year as the team ranked third nationally at 1.48 in 2020-21. This season, the Eagles are just as good as they are second nationally at 1.54 with Emma List ranking 11t      h (2.66) and Tishara Morehouse ranking 52nd (1.97).
Coach Smesko’s game preparation is one of the most crucial factors in the Eagles’ all-time success. Overall, in 19+ seasons at FGCU, he holds a record of 205-33 (.865) in games where he has four or more days to prepare, including the most recent such game against North Florida in the ASUN Quarterfinals.
Kierstan Bell was named the 16th-best and 19th-best player in the country by in the preseason.
The website had this to say about Bell in April, where she was ranked 16th:
Despite being a member of the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2019-20 at Ohio State, Bell left Columbus for Fort Myers. And coach Karl Smesko‘s well-spaced, 3-point shooting-based offense and Bell appear to be a perfect fit. She ranked sixth in the country in scoring and third in 3-point attempts. Bell stepped onto a team that had lost 90 percent of its scoring from the year before and still led the Eagles to a fourth straight ASUN title, and the second in three seasons with an unbeaten conference record.
The website had the following to say about Bell in November, where she was ranked 19th:
In her first year in Fort Myers, Bell posted the best season in FGCU history while taking home every ASUN award possible. The only player from a mid-major to make our top 25, Bell is one of the most complete players in college basketball. She can score from 3, take a defender off the dribble in the half court or start her own one-person fast break by grabbing a defensive rebound (Bell was sixth in the nation in defensive rebounds per game) or blocking a shot (19th in the nation in total blocks).
In the same November report, Debbie Antonelli’s scouting report of Bell said:
– Power/point forward and double-double machine
– Dangerous in open floor with ability to score or make play for a catch-and-shoot kick out
– Stat sheet stuffer with endless energy
For the full November rankings, visit here. For the April rankings, visit here.
Offensively, FGCU is:
506-49 all-time when scoring 60+ points
368-18 all-time when scoring 70+ points
194-5 all-time when scoring 80+ points
82-0 all-time when scoring 90+ points
24-0 all-time when scoring 100+ points
Defensively, FGCU is:
81-0 all-time when allowing 40 points or fewer
251-1 all-time when allowing 50 points or fewer
412-20 all-time when allowing 60 points or fewer
524-54 all-time when allowing 70 points or fewer
543-82 all-time when allowing 80 points or fewer
546-96 all-time when allowing 90 points or fewer
547-99 all-time when allowing 100 points or fewer
With Kierstan Bell (1,443) and Kerstie Phills (1,023) joining the 1,000-point club this season, FGCU now has four such players with that accomplishment on this year’s roster as they joined Kendall Spray (1,868) and Andrea Cecil (1,091). Others could join the club, as well, as the next closest players are Kaela Webb (868) and Tishara Morehouse (942).
The Eagles have 11 players on this year’s roster that transferred in from another school, topping the previous program record of 10 set in 2018-19. Three players previously played at a JUCO, two players competed at a JUCO and a Division I school before coming to FGCU and eight of them transferred after strictly playing at another Division I.








Double-Digit Assist Games
Player Season Career
Emma List 0 1

At FGCU, Smesko has turned FGCU into one of the premier 3-point shooting teams in the nation. In fact, the Eagles have made at least one 3-point field goal in 534 straight games (504 entering this year), which includes every game in the program’s Division I era. In 2020-21, the Eagles led the nation in 3-point field goals made (343), 3-point field goals attempted (1,030) and 3-point field goals per game (11.8) for the second season in a row. In 2017-18, the Green and Blue made an NCAA Division I single season record 431 3-pointers, which remains a record entering this season.
Here’s FGCU’s year-by-year 3-point history:

Year Made Att. Pct.
2002-03 212 535 0.396
2003-04 118 406 0.291
2004-05 253 722 0.350
2005-06 242 747 0.324
2006-07 337 891 0.378
2007-08 255 734 0.347
2008-09 296 763 0.388
2009-10 317 876 0.362
2010-11 350 940 0.372
2011-12 342 925 0.370
2012-13 319 974 0.328
2013-14 347 1,000 0.347
2014-15 327 928 0.352
2015-16 372 1,194 0.312
2016-17 338 1,058 0.319
2017-18 431 1,190 0.362
2018-19 364 1,111 0.328
2019-20 397 1,155 0.344
2020-21 343 1,030 0.333
2021-22 357 1,089 0.328
Totals 6,083 17,706 0.342

FGCU has also made at least 10 or more 3-point field goals in a single game over 300 times, including a single-season record 25 times in 2017-18. They have at least 17 games with at least 10 or more in each of the past 13 seasons.
Here’s a list of FGCU’s all-time games with at least 10 made 3-pointers:

2002-03 6
2003-04 1
2004-05 11
2005-06 8
2006-07 18
2007-08 9
2008-09 15
2009-10 17
2010-11 18
2011-12 19
2012-13 15
2013-14 18
2014-15 20
2015-16 19
2016-17 18
2017-18 25
2018-19 20
2019-20 23
2020-21 22
2021-22 21

On top of that, the 2017-18 team produced three of the program’s eight games all-time with at least 20 or more, and the Eagles have added four games with 19 over the past three seasons. On Dec. 11 of this year, FGCU set a new single-game program standard with 23 made 3-pointers against Ave Maria, topping the program’s previous record of 22 that was initially set on Jan. 12, 2013 in a 97-60 win over ETSU (22-for-43) on the road. In fact, the Eagles owned three of the top seven single-game totals in NCAA Division I history entering the 2021-22 season, at which point there had been only 32 times since 1988 that an NCAA Division I team had made at least 20 3-point field goals in a game. FGCU owns seven of those, or 21.9 percent.
In 2020-21, FGCU became the first team in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history to record six straight seasons with at least 1,000 3-point field goal attempts. Sacramento State achieved the yearly benchmark over four straight seasons from 2013-17 while DePaul’s three-year streak ended last season. The 2013-14 FGCU squad joined Sacramento State as the first two teams to attempt 1,000 in a season.
Prior to breaking the single-season record for made 3-point field goals in 2017-18, FGCU claimed a then single-season NCAA record 342 in 2011-12, which was the first year they were eligible for NCAA statistical championships. Had they been eligible in 2010-11, they also would have led the nation with 350 – 26 more than the second-place team. The 2009-10 team would have finished second. In fact, over the past 10 years, the Green and Blue have finished among the nation’s top five in made 3-point field goals every year, including four first-place finishes.
Here’s how FGCU has finished nationally in total 3-point field goals made since 2011-12, including where the team ranks this year.

Year Total Finish
2011-12 342 1st
2012-13 319 3rd
2013-14 347 2nd
2014-15 327 5th
2015-16 372 2nd
2016-17 338 3rd
2017-18 431 1st
2018-19 364 4th
2019-20 397 1st
2020-21 343 1st
2021-22 357 1st

In addition to the aforementioned record, the 2011-12 team also set a then NCAA single season record for most 3-point field goals made per game at 10.7, and they followed it up in 2012-13 by making 9.4 per game, which was the most in the nation. In 2017-18, FGCU joined DePaul as the first two teams to eclipse 400 made 3-point field goals in a season in NCAA Division I history. In fact, the Eagles stood out in the NCAA’s deepest 3-point shooting year as eight teams averaged 10 or more made per game in 2017-18, which was equal to the total from the previous two seasons combined and the same as 2009-15 combined. Six teams reached the milestone in 2018-19, four more followed in 2019-20, and five more a season ago. Among the 17 teams to average at least 10 or more made per game over a single season, FGCU is the only school to do it six times.
Here’s how FGCU has finished nationally in total 3-point field goals made per game since 2011-12, including where they rank so far this year.

Season Avg. Finish
2021-22 11.9 1st
2020-21 11.8 1st
2019-20 12.0 1st
2018-19 11.0 2nd
2017-18 12.0 2nd
2016-17 9.7 5th
2015-16 9.5 T-6th
2014-15 9.6 3rd
2013-14 10.2 2nd
2012-13 9.4 1st
2011-12 10.7 1st

Standout guard Kierstan Bell has been selected to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 Watch List as announced by the Los Angeles Athletic Club on ESPNU. Bell, who is a member of several other major award watch lists this season, was originally named to the Top 50 for the award earlier this season. These 25 student-athletes were chosen by a poll of national college basketball experts based on their season performances thus far and are considered the front-runners for the sport’s most prestigious honor.
Prior to the game at Stetson, she was also named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Midseason Watch List recognizing the top 15 players in the country. Bell won the award last season.

Last year, Kierstan Bell became the first player in program history to open her FGCU career with back-to-back double-doubles. Since then, she has recorded seven instances of consecutive double-doubles as an Eagle, including four with at least three straight. She has already added a three-game streak this year.
Last year, Kierstan Bell headlined the ASUN’s postseason awards by becoming the first player in the conference’s 36-year history to be tabbed both the player and newcomer of the year. Tishara Morehouse joined Bell on the first team, while Seneca Hackley was named to the all-freshmen team. Karl Smesko was tabbed coach of the year for the 11th time.
Kierstan Bell and Tishara Morehouse were named to the Becky Hammon Mid-Major Player of the Year Preseason Watch List in October. Bell is the reigning recipient of the award. This year’s watch list includes 22 schools and 13 conferences, while FGCU joined Missouri State and South Dakota as the only schools with multiple players on the list.
Here’s the full watch list:
Dariauna Lewis, Alabama A&M
Destinee Wells, Belmont
Lexi Fleming, Bowling Green
Gabi Haack, Bradley
Dyaisha Fair, Buffalo
Shaylee Gonzales, BYU
Caitlyn Harper, Cal Baptist
Jasmine Dickey, Delaware
Grace Berg, Drake
Kierstan Bell, FGCU
Tishara Morehouse, FGCU
Haley Cavinder, Fresno State
Jenson Edwards, High Point
Macee Williams, IUPUI
Ameshya Williams, Jackson State
Kiki Jefferson, James Madison
Akila Smith, Longwood University
Megan Walstad, Milwaukee
Brice Calip, Missouri State
Jasmine Franklin, Missouri State
Cece Hooks, Ohio
Stephanie Visscher, SFA
Chloe Lamb, South Dakota
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota
Myah Selland, South Dakota State
Kierstan Bell, a junior guard who had the best season in program history in 2020-21 en route to earning Honorable Mention All-American recognition from the AP, WBCA and USBWA, has carried that momentum into this year.
Ann Meyers Drysdale Watch List
Bell was named one of just 20 players nationally to earn a spot on the list, which recognizes the top shooting guard in women’s NCAA Division I college basketball. Players can play their way on or off the list. A national committee of top college basketball personnel determined the watch list. For the full release, visit here.
John R. Wooden Preseason Top 50 Watch List
Bell also made this list, which is chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball experts. It honors the early front-runners for the most prestigious honors in college basketball, the Wooden Award All American Team and Most Outstanding Player Award. For the full release, visit here.
Wade Watch List
This 30-player list, which is presented to the best player in college women’s basketball by the WBCA, featured Bell, who is the only mid-major player featured. For the full release, visit here.
Naismith Award Watch List
Bell also made this list, which features 50 of the nation’s premier players chosen by the Atlanta Tipoff Club board of selectors comprised of head coaches, administrators and media members across the U.S. For the full watch list, visit here.
After her tremendous start to the season, Kierstan Bell was named to the NCAA’s Starting 5 on Nov. 17, which recognizes the top five players nationally from the previous week. It was the third time in her career that she earned the honor, including Dec. 30 and Feb. 24 of last year.
Bell led the Eagles to three wins that week, including a home win over Temple and a road win over LSU by averaging 26.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, four assists, 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

Other selections to the starting 5 included Portland’s Lucy Cochrane, Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes, Kansas State’s Ayoka Lee and LSU’s Khayla Pointer, who had 23 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against FGCU along with a triple-double in her other game.
With a 3-pointer just under five minutes into the second half against Temple on Nov. 12, Kierstan Bell joined the NCAA’s 1,000 point club. In 77 career games, which includes her time at Ohio State in 2019-20, the Buckeye State native has now produced 1,443 points, or 18.7 per contest. In 47 games at FGCU alone, she has 1,117 points (23.8 per game).
Behind a team stacked with experience, the Eagles were tabbed to repeat as the ASUN regular season champion by the coaches and media this year. It represents the 10th time FGCU has been tabbed to win the crown by both the coaches and media polls since 2009-10. In 2012-13 and 2016-17, they were picked to win by the media only. The Green and Blue was selected to finish 10th in its first season in the conference in 2007-08 and ultimately finished second by just one game. Then, in 2008-09, the Eagles were tabbed fifth before winning the first conference title in program history. Since then, the Green and Blue has compiled 12 regular season titles, all of which have come outright, including the past four in a row. Seven of those titles have come in undefeated fashion, as well.

ASUN Preseason Coaches Poll
Place Team (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. FGCU (12) 144
2. North Florida 128
3. Liberty 119
4. Lipscomb 99
5. Stetson 93
6. Jacksonville State 70
7. Kennesaw State 65
8. Central Arkansas 50
9. North Alabama 47
10. Eastern Kentucky 45
T11. Bellarmine 38
T11. Jacksonville 38


ASUN Preseason Media Poll
Place Team (1st-Place Votes) Points
1. FGCU (20) 262
2. Liberty 232
3. North Florida (2) 210
4. Jacksonville State 158
5. Lipscomb 156
6. Stetson 140
7. Central Arkansas 136
8. North Alabama 112
9. Eastern Kentucky 96
10. Kennesaw State 82
11. Bellarmine 78
12. Jacksonville 54

On top of that, Kierstan Bell was picked to repeat as the ASUN’s player of the year while Tishara Morehouse joined Bell on the preseason all-conference team. 

ASUN Preseason All-Conference Team
Pos. Name School Cl. Hometown Academic Major
G *Kierstan Bell FGCU Jr. Alliance, Ohio Integrated Studies
F *Lucy Ibeh Central Arkansas Jr. Lagos, Nigeria Dietics
G *Tishara Morehouse FGCU Sr. Milwaukee, Wis. Psychology
G *Marissa Mackins North Florida Sr. Durham, N.C. Criminal Justice
G Amani Johnson Kennesaw State Sr. North Versailles, Pa. Accounting
F Alexis Poole Kennesaw State Sr. Ellenwood, Ga. Elementary Education
C Mya Berkman Liberty Jr. Marble Falls, Texas Accounting
G Jaida Bond North Florida Jr. Murfreesboro, Tenn. Biology
F Jazz Bond North Florida Sr. Murfreesboro, Tenn. Interdisciplinary Studies
G Yazz Wazeerud-Din Stetson Sr. Marietta, Ga. Sport Business
* – Denotes unanimous selection


For complete coverage of the women’s basketball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter and Instagram at @FGCU_WBB, on Facebook at /fgcuwbb and online at You can also sign-up to have news on FGCU women’s basketball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!
Do you enjoy watching or following the FGCU women’s basketball program? Would you like to play a role in the growth of the program and help take it to heights never before experienced? If so, you can reach out to Director of Advancement, Matt Ring, about opportunities to make an impact on the experiences of our student-athletes. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or by office phone at 239-745-4434.

FGCU head coach Karl Smesko maintains a record of 608-127 (.826) overall in his career, which is the third-highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only UConn’s Geno Auriemma and LSU’s Kim Mulkey. He has also led the Eagles to a 232-18 (.930) mark in ASUN regular season play and a 29-2 (.933) record in ASUN tournament play. Over the previous 10 seasons, he has guided FGCU to a 153-5 (.968) record in conference play with six undefeated seasons. The 12-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program to 12-straight 25-win seasons and 18-consecutive 20-win campaigns, including 30-plus wins in four of the past seven years. On top of all that, the Eagles are 547-100 (.845) all-time since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Green and Blue’s .845 all-time winning percentage is the best in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry ( and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (, FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 87 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 43 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 25 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, 2021 Spring, and 2021 Fall semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.






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