Bell wins ASUN Player of the Week honor for third time this season
FORT MYERS, Florida. – Junior Kierstan bell (Alliance, Ohio / Township McKinley / State of Ohio) won her third ASUN Player of the Week title after helping the FGCU’s No.28 women’s basketball team (11-1) to two wins last week against Michigan State and High Point in the West Palm Beach Classic. Bell averaged 29 points and 9.0 rebounds while becoming the all-time leader in the career double-doubles program with 21 in just 38e game for the Greens and Blues.
“Kierstan had two great games before the break. Despite the early foul issues, she helped us beat Michigan State, ”said the head coach. Karl Smesko. “She came in strong in second overtime when we were late. Against High Point she showed her scoring versatility and helped us get this game off to a good start and ultimately the victory.”
In the double overtime win over the Spartans, Bell scored 28 points while adding six rebounds, two assists and two steals. She scored five key points in the final minute of double overtime to erase a four-point deficit. In that stretch, she hit a three-point pointer, stole the ball on MSU’s next possession, and went coast-to-coast to give the FGCU an 85-80 lead with 17.3 seconds. remaining. The Spartans missed a last-second shot with Bell grabbing the rebound as time ticked to secure the win.
She followed that up with a 30-point, 12-rebound performance against the Panthers to break the double-double mark. Her 30 points came on an effective 11 of 18 shot from the ground (61.1%), while she added three blocks and a steal in the 86-50 win. Prior to the game, Bell was tied with Sarah Hansen for most doubles-doubles in program history.
In 12 games, Bell is averaging 24.5 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. She ranks second in scoring nationally and is just 1.1 points behind Jasmine Dickey of Delaware, with the two players having traded or shared first place throughout the season. Bell continues to lead the nation in points total with 294.
It was the ninth time in Bell’s career that she was named ASUN’s All-Time Best Player of the Week in FGCU history.
His nine caps are also now tied for second in ASUN history.
|Leslie McElrath||State of georgia||9|
|Patechia hartman||State of georgia||8|
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FGCU Head Coach Karl Smesko maintains a career record of 590-126 (.824), which is the third highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only Geno Auriemma of UConn and Kim Mulkey of LSU. He also led the Eagles to a 217-17 (.927) mark in the ASUN regular season and a 27-2 (.931) record in the ASUN tournament. Over the past 10 seasons, he has guided the FGCU to a conference record of 153-5 (0.968) with six seasons unbeaten. The 11-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program in 11 straight 25-game seasons and 17 straight 20-game seasons, including more than 30 wins in four of the past seven years. On top of that, the Eagles are 529-99 (.842) since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Greens & Blues’ all-time winning percentage of .842 is the best in NCAA Division I. history of women’s basketball.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/adminservices/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 86 regular season conference and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Plus, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles brought together 42 teams or individuals competing in the NCAA Championships. Eight FGCU programs ranked among the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (# 25, 2021-22), beach volleyball (# 20, 2021) and soccer men’s (2018, 2019) and women’s football (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-2017, the Greens and Blues secured a sixth place, the best in the department, in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors Cup and a top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven ASUN and Florida State teams that won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall semester of 2020 and outperformed the general undergraduate population of the University for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone, with all 15 programs each achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also completed a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the top NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.