College basketball: Rough shooting night sinks FGCU women in loss to UCF

ESTERO — FGCU coach Karl Smesko didn't like what he saw from his team in the shoot-around before its game against UCF on Saturday night at Alico Arena.

He liked even less what he saw from the Eagles once the ball was tipped in their 60-53 loss to the Knights.

"(Tonight was) really not a good effort in my opinion," said Smesko, whose team fell to 6-5 on the season. "Our pace of play was really poor. A lot of standing around, not much team play. I don't think we looked good in shootaround. We had already checked out."

The Eagles took 67 shots in the game, 38 of them from behind the 3-point line. Of those, FGCU sank just nine. Especially critical was the Eagles' shooting in the final minutes.

UCF (5-8) led 47-44 with just under five minutes remaining in the game. Up to that point, FGCU had made just six of 29 trey attempts. However, Sarah Hansen (11 points) drilled a three from the top of the key to tie the score.

Twenty seconds later, Lerrin Cook hit another three to put FGCU up 50-47. But the Knights' Brihanna Jackson reeled off seven straight points for her team to give UCF a 56-53 lead it would never relinquish.

The Eagles' cold shooting from beyond the arc returned in the last two minutes as they were unable to make a comeback.

"Our shooting was really bad tonight," said Smesko. "Usually, up against a zone, we can shoot people out of the gym. We weren't making any shots."

It was FGCU's first loss in four meetings between the schools.

Jackson led all scorers with 18 points. Teammate Gevenia Carter chipped in 16.

Joyce Iamstrong led the Eagles in scoring for the second straight game with 12 points.

The Eagles resume play Friday when they host LSU at Alico. The Lady Tigers enter the game with an 8-3 record, having won seven of their last eight. The teams share one common opponent this season in Hampton, which beat LSU 67-58 on Nov. 16. A week later, FGCU defeated Hampton by 11 points.

UCF 60, FGCU WOMEN 53

UCF (5-8)

Jackson 6-15 3-4 18, Djassi 1-5 0-0 2, Carter 6-12 2-2 16, K. Keough 0-0 2-2 2, Taylor 3-5 4-5 10, Hines 2-5 0-0 6, M. Keough 0-0 0-0 0, Morton 4-12 1-2 9, Jones 2-6 2-4 6. Totals 20-50 15-19 60.

FGCU (6-5)

Kennedy 3-7 0-0 7, Hansen 5-16 0-0 11, Iamstrong 5-11 0-0 12, Adams 3-12 0-0 8, Meador 3-5 0-0 n6, Dunson 0-2 0-0 0, Cook 2-8 0-0 6, Gluesing 1-4 0-0 0-0 0, Haas 0-0 0-0 0, Moore 0-0 0-0 0, Gradinjan 0-0 0-0 0, Murrell 0-0 0-0 0, Chatzigiakoumi 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-67 0-2 53.

Halftime—FGCU 31-28. 3-Point Goals—FGCU 9-38 (Hansen 1-7, Iamstrong 2-5, Kennedy 1-3, Gluesing 1-4, Cook 1-2, Adams 2-10, Dunson 0-1), UCF 5-15 (Jackson 3-6, Carter 2-4). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds— FGCU 34 (Kennedy 8), UCF 45 (Djassi 8, Jones 8). Assists—FGCU 16 (Kennedy 8), UCF (Carter 5). Total Fouls— FGCU 17, UCF 11. A—1,153.

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