FORT MYERS, Fla. - FGCU continued its winning ways in the 2016 WNIT as the Eagles defeated Tulane by the score of 73-61. Whitney Knight led five players in double figures as FGCU matched last season's record breaking win total with 31. The Eagles will play Hofstra in the WNIT Quarterfinals next.
Knight tallied a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Eagles offense in tonight's win over Tulane. Kaneisha Atwater scored 14 points, all in the second half, while Stephanie Haas added 11 off the bench. DyTiesha Dunson and Taylor Gradinjan scored 10 each to give the Eagles five double-digit scorers.
The Eagles jumped out to an early lead behind three trifectas from Whitney Knight in the opening quarter. The A-Sun Player of the Year scored nine of her 23 points in the first period to lift the Eagles to a 16-12 advantage after one quarter. FGCU totaled 11 assists on 13 made field goals to start the game with Kaneisha Atwater (4) and DyTiesha Dunson (3) combining for seven of those dimes.
The Eagles continued to hit from behind the arc in the second quarter as Taylor Gradinjan, Jaime Gluesing and Knight helped FGCU increase its lead to 33-22 at halftime. FGCU shot 45.0 percent from the field in the first half, while holding Tulane to just 37.0 from the floor. The Green Wave did not make a basket from behind the arc in the first 20 minutes.
In the third quarter, FGCU continued its offensive momentum scoring 27 points in the period and increasing its lead to over 20. Atwater, who didn't score in the first half, found her scoring touch as the Eagles faced increasing pressure defense from the Green Wave. Tulane cut the deficit to 64-53 midway through the fourth quarter forcing the Eagles into a timeout. Atwater and Dunson scored layups that gave FGCU breathing room again. Knight made her sixth three-pointer of the game with 1:02 to go to put the exclamation point on FGCU's third WNIT win of this season.
The Eagles will now play Hofstra in the WNIT Quarterfinals. The game will be played Monday, March 28th at Alico Arena. FGCU has never advanced this far in four appearances in the WNIT in program history.
FGCU vs. Tulane WNIT Tournament Notes
- For the second time in three WNIT games, senior Whitney Knight connected on at least five three-pointers. She has three such games this season and ranks second on the A-Sun all-time career three-pointers made list with 28x.
- DyTiesha Dunson continued her great form running the Eagles offense. She dished out five or more assists for the fourth-straight game.
- FGCU has now won 31 games this season, tying the A-Sun record that the Eagles set last season. FGCU will go for a new record on Monday in the WNIT Quarterfinals.
- Kaneisha Atwater scored all 14 of her points in the second half. She moved into 51st on the A-Sun's all-time career scoring list with 1,248 points for the Green and Blue.