FGCU Advances To @ASunWBB Semifinals Behind Dominating Defense

FGCU Advances To @ASunWBB Semifinals Behind Dominating Defense

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU advanced in the 2016 Atlantic Sun Women's Basketball Championship with a dominating 60-31 win over NJIT. The Eagles remain perfect against league opponents and will host No. 4 Stetson on Wednesday, March 9th in the semifinals.

A balanced attack saw four Eagles score eight or more points, while the defense only allowed 31 points, a new A-Sun Championship record. Taylor Goodall came off the bench to lead the scoring with 11 points. FGCU finished with 12 made threes and only committed six turnovers, tying a season-low. DyTiesha Dunson, the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year, controlled the tempo and locked down NJIT's All-Freshman team selection Kelly Guarino on defense. Kaneisha Atwater added nine points and nine rebounds as FGCU out rebounded the Highlanders 44-39. 

The first half was dominated by the Eagles' defense as they held NJIT to just 2-20 from the field in the opening 20 minutes. FGCU opened the game on an 11-3 run led by First Team All-Conference selection Kaneisha Atwater scoring seven of the first 11 points. Two-time A-Sun Player of the Year Whitney Knight got in on the action on both ends of the floor. In the middle of the first quarter, Knight blocked her 300th career shot, the first A-Sun women's basketball player to reach that milestone.

In the second quarter, Knight's offense came to life as she scored all nine of her first half points in the second period. All-Academic team selection Taylor Gradinjan connected on two triples to give FGCU a 20-3 lead. NJIT was led by Olivia Dudley in the opening half, as she scored five points, while Maria Ruban added four off the bench. FGCU closed the half on an 8-0 run to take a 28-10 lead into the break.

The Eagles would never relinquish the lead as they moved to 12-1 all-time in A-Sun Championship play. FGCU has never lost in the opening round, moving its record to 5-0 in quarterfinal round games. FGCU will now host Stetson in the semifinal round, the only team to defeat the Eagles in A-Sun Championship history.

FGCU vs. NJIT Quarterfinal Notes
- FGCU's defense allowed 31 points tonight, an A-Sun Championship record for fewest points allowed in a game. The Eagles held the previous mark of 35 last season against North Florida.
- Whitney Knight moved into second on FGCU's all-time rebounding list with 662 career rebounds. Knight also became the first A-Sun player to reach 300 career blocks.
- DyTiesha Dunson, the A-Sun Defensive Player of the Year, blocked a career-high three shots tonight. Dunson entered tonight's contest with 12 blocks on the season.
- Tatianna Torres scored a career-high nine points tonight to lead the Highlanders offense. The freshman scored seven or more points in each of the last four games of the season.

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