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Stanford ends FGCU women’s season, 90-70

March 20, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

STANFORD, Calif. - The 12th-seeded FGCU women's basketball team (31-5) saw a record-breaking season come to an end with a 90-70 loss to 4th-seeded Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday.

Despite the loss, the Eagles added 17 3-pointers to their season total and finished with an NCAA single season record of 431, which breaks the previous mark of 424 set by the 2014-15 Sacramento State program.

"I thought a big part of the game was the first quarter," FGCU head coach Karl Smesko said. "We had more defensive breakdowns in the first quarter than we had the whole game against Missouri. (I) can't really explain why. It just happened. And then you dig that kind of a whole, you're pretty much pressing to get back in the game the entire time. You just can't build that kind of hole against a team this good."

China Dow scored all 23 of her team-high points in the second half as she led a trio of FGCU double-figure scorers along with 16 from Lisa Zderadicka and 10 by Nasrin Ulel.

Dow's 23 points were aided by six 3-pointers, while Zderadicka made a season-high four. Erica Nelson (Kansas City, Mo./Lee Summit North HS), who added nine points, finished with three - one shy of her career-high.


Stanford is now 86-29 all-time in the NCAA Tournament, including a 36-4 record in Maples Pavilion. They've won 16 straight at home in the tournament with the last loss coming to Florida State in 2007.

FGCU is now 2-5 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. Two of the losses have come in overtime and another by two points.

Dow, who averaged 22 points in the tournament and owns the second and third best scoring games in the program's tournament history, finished just three points shy of matching Kaneisha Atwater's record of 26 set on March 21, 2015, against Oklahoma State.

FGCU is now 1-2 all-time against the Pac-12, including an 0-2 record against Stanford. The program's win came against Arizona, 57-55, on Dec. 20, 2015, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The Eagles saw a season-high 11-game winning streak end on Monday, but they closed the season having won 21 of the past 23 and 25 of the final 28 games.

The 11-game streak was tied for the fourth longest in the nation behind UConn (33), Baylor (29) and Quinnipiac (23).

FGCU, which has made the NCAA Tournament in five of the past seven years, is now 40-12 in the month of March in the Division-I era, including a 23-5 record over the past five seasons alone.

The Green and Blue will finish the season as the NCAA leader in 3-point field goals attempted (1,190) and made (431).



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