FGCU women’s basketball team advances to conference championship
In a dominant performance Wednesday night, Florida Gulf Coast women’s basketball team advanced past Kennesaw State (77-48) to make it to the conference championship game.
Riding a 17 game win streak, a title game opportunity was on the line, and the women came up big. Destiny Washington returned to the court after missing the quarterfinals game due to a concussion, and helped a lot on both sides of the ball.
“I’m a lot better now and my teammates…they prayed for me and they made sure I was okay and it just felt that much better that I was able to help,” said Washington.
“We had Des back and Des is a really good defender. She’s just someone who has a lot of versatility on offense,” said Coach Karl Smesko.
FGCU’s Keri Jewett-Giles showed support for an injured teammate by sporting alternate colored shoes, one of which was Lisa Zderidicka, who was sitting on the sidelines for the game.
Coach Smesko says gestures like that shows how close his team is with each other.
“That’s what you hope for is that you have a team that plays for one another and cares about one another,” said Smesko.
The game was close in the first half, but a team leading 16-point effort by Nasrin Ulel, and a spectacular performance by Kerstie Phills led the Eagles to the 29-point victory, and advanced the team to the conference championship against Liberty.
“We had a number of players who played well and we’re gonna need them to play well again on Sunday,” said Coach Smesko.
The Eagles will face Liberty on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Alico Arena. Winner will advance to the NCAA Tournament.