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FGCU D-II tourney coverage

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OK, I'm already back. Not much to do in the Health and Sports Center, either. Put it this way, I miss the food sometimes served in Alico Arena.

Southern Connecticut State is up 53-44 on UC-San Diego. If FGCU advances to Saturday night's title game, I don't see any way either of these can keep up at all with the Eagles.

The arena is about 2/3 full. My stomach is not.

FGCU coach Karl Smesko did a brief interview on ESPNU a bit ago. We think he has not slept since last night. He was still studying film at 6 this morning. He called assistant Bryan Crislip at 3 to check on more tape. The Eagles got up at 10:30, had some lunch, watched film from 1-2:00 and had a one-hour shootaround. It's been a long day for them (Clayton State, too, of course).

Why the bizarre late start? TV money.



Not much to do in Kearney, folks. Of course, I'm the only Florida person who would eat shrimp in Nebraska. Hey, 'Red Lobster.' Recognized that.

Adam, my server, said the Eagles dined their Sunday night and he really liked them and coach Karl Smesko. He had watched last night's game and was amazed at the ease FGCU dispatched of North Dakota.

In the small, smokey cafe/lounge at the Ramada Inn, where all the Elite Eight teams stayed/stay, I walked to a table full of North Dakota fans, a half-dozen of the rowdies who almost filled the Health and Sports Center.

They were as amazed as Adam.

Overheard some Southern Connecticut State folks dogging FGCU's independent schedule. I educated them.

OK, back to today ... I thought about hitting a matinee, but they don't have those here.

So I end up at the Platte Road Archway Park. The thing stretches across Hwy. 80, which follows the original wagon-train path. It was actually pretty cool and I highly recommend it should you be stuck, er, get to come to, Kearney.

Talked to Smesko a little while ago. He is a bit concerned because Clayton State will go uptempo and will press. "We haven't played anybody like them all season," he said. He also is a bit worried because of the quick turnaround from last night to tonight. The stubble on his chin attests to the number of hours he has been studying film.

The Eagles -- and some of their opponents -- still are watching the first semifinal.

I hope Southern Connecticut State loses. Don't want to type in that name a bunch of times between now and late Saturday night.

  • Cruise Control Posted 3/21/2007 at 9:56 p.m. 0 comments

    North Dakota fans are chanting and feeling better but FGCU still is in cruise control with a 77-56 lead with less than five minutes remaining. Well, there's a Steffi Sorensen steal and layup. That's how fast the Eagles are in this.

  • Foul trouble Posted 3/21/2007 at 9:33 p.m. 0 comments

    The bad news? Schrader picked up her fourth foul. The good news? Doesn't seem to matter. The Eagles are hawking the ball and nailing jumpers while running past the exhausted Fighting Sioux. The lead has ballooned to 59-34 with just over 15 minutes left to play. Opps, Delia De La Torre jumper, 61-34.

  • Schrader action Posted 3/21/2007 at 8:52 p.m. 0 comments

    Well, Schrader has now taken two consecutive shots, resulting in an old-fashioned three-point play and a 3-point swish, 25-19, FGCU.

  • Schrader yet to score Posted 3/21/2007 at 8:44 p.m. 0 comments

    Without All-American forward Kate Schrader taking a shot to this point, FGCU somehow is tied at 19-all.

  • All tied up Posted 3/21/2007 at 8:34 p.m. 0 comments

    It was a shaky start for the Eagles. They fell behind 4-0 and looked out of sync. But Alex Nelson's two free throws and a deep trey to close to 6-4. They are now swarming the Fighting Sioux and getting it going in transition ... 10-10 at the 15-minute mark.

  • FGCU vs. North Dakota Posted 3/21/2007 at 8:24 p.m. 0 comments

    FGCU may have gotten a big break tonight. No. 2 Glenville State was stunned by No. 12 UC-San Diego despite leading 20-5.