Championship Info | Bracket | Photo Gallery
FORT MYERS, Fla. - Top-seeded FGCU reached a multitude of milestones in its 83-62 victory vs. No. 8 NJIT in the 2018 ASUN Conference Women's Basketball Championship Quarterfinals. The Eagles earned the program's 300th victory at the NCAA Division I level, all of which have come under eight-time ASUN Coach of the Year, Karl Smesko. The Eagles extended their win streak to eight with the victory as FGCU faces No. 4 Lipscomb on Wednesday, Mar. 7th.
Offense highlighted the first quarter for both sides with FGCU holding the 30-17 advantage behind 12 points from senior Taylor Gradinjan as she connected on all four of her three-point attempts. As a team, FGCU made 6-of-10 from deep in the first while missing only five shots from the field on 11-of-16. Kelly Guarino paced the Highlanders with seven points in the early going.
At halftime, FGCU increased its control of the scoreboard to 48-30 on the Highlanders. Second Team All-Conference member Tytionia Adderly grabbed 11 first-half rebounds with six coming on the offensive end. First Team nod Rose Julien scored six points in the second quarter to increase her total to 11 going into the break. Tatianna Torres guided the Highlanders with five points in the second to move her scoring allotment to six, while Ellyn Stoll chipped in four to sit with six at halftime.
The third quarter was tightly contested as FGCU only outscored NJIT, 15-13, as the Eagles struggled from the field shooting 6-of-15, while the Highlanders connected on 5-of-9 on field goals. Guarino increased her scoring to 15, while Gradinjan matched her in the scoring column. Julien and Nasrin Ulel entered the fourth quarter with 14 and 13 points, respectively. The final stanza of the contest mirrored the third as FGCU posted 20 points to NJIT's 19 as the Eagles closed out the victory.
With the win, FGCU earned its 28th victory of the season and its 19th triumph in the past 20 contests. NJIT's season ends with a 4-26 record and a 2-12 mark in league action. Gradinjan finished with a game-high 20 points with six three's made on 11 attempts, while Adderly needed one more point to earn a double-double with nine points and 13 boards. Julien capped the contest with 16 points as four Eagles finish in double figures with Ulel (13) and Erica Nelson (11). Guarino's 17 points were most for NJIT ahead of 14 by Torres.
No. 1 FGCU vs. No. 8 NJIT Quarterfinal Notes
- FGCU set the program's single-season record for three pointers made in the contest to sit with 380 for the season.
- China Dow reached 1,000 points for her NCAA career after transferring from Middle Tennessee after her sophomore season.
- Taylor Gradinjan surpassed 1,200 career points in her FGCU career, becoming only the sixth player in program history to do so.
- The Eagles improved to 13-0 in the first two rounds of the ASUN Championship to reach their seventh-straight ASUN Semifinal.