Kierstan Bell Named Regional Finalist for WBCA All-America
FORT MYERS, Fla. – After a standout season in helping the No. 20 FGCU women’s basketball team reach the NCAA Tournament Second Round, junior guard Kierstan Bell was named a regional finalist today for WBCA All-America honors.
One of the most decorated players in program history, this is the most recent accolade for Bell who was earlier named an Associated Press and USBWA Honorable Mention All-American.
Bell helped the Eagles reach the NCAA Tournament Second Round after a thrilling win over fifth-seed/No. 16 ranked Virginia Tech in the first round. The Green and Blue also claimed both the ASUN Regular-Season and ASUN Tournament Championship titles en route to a 30-3 overall record.
The native of Alliance, Ohio, is one of 52 regional finalist and one of just seven players on the list from non-Power 5 schools. The WBCA will select 10 members from the regional pool for its 2022 WBCA Division I Coaches’ All-America team which will be announced on March 31.
Kierstan Bell – Alliance, Ohio – Junior
AP All-America Honorable Mention … USBWA All-America Honorable Mention … ASUN Player of the Year … All-ASUN First Team … ASUN All-Tournament Team … ASUN Tournament MVP
Led FGCU to a 30-3 overall record, the ASUN Championship Title, and a NCAA Tournament Second Round appearance (just the third time advancing to the second round in program history) … Against LSU, Virginia Tech, and Maryland averaged 22.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, 2.3 steals, and 1.3 blocks … Scored 32 points and added 10 rebounds in win at LSU (currently No. 8 in the AP Poll and only loss in non-conference play) … In NCAA First Round against Virginia Tech, scored 22 points while adding 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists … Had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals in NCAA Second Round against Maryland … Despite missing nine games due to knee surgery, her total points on the year (547) are more than any other player in the ASUN this season … Her scoring average of 22.8 points per game leads the ASUN and would rank 5th nationally (doesn’t meet 75% threshold due to injury) … Came back from the surgery in FGCU’s final two games of the season (win at Liberty, win over Jacksonville) to average 23.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 3.0 assists, and 2.5 steals in 30.4 minutes of play … In the two wins over Liberty during the season, averaged 24 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.0 steals … Had five 30-plus games overall on the season highlighted by a season-high 39 (17-of-31 FG) against Tennessee Tech which were the second-most points for a game in FGCU history … Scored 28 points in double OT win over Michigan State … Had six double-doubles on the year and holds the FGCU record with 22 … Set the FGCU record for double-doubles with 24 for her career … Also set the ASUN and FGCU record for most career ASUN Player of the Week honors (12) after earning the accolade four times this season before the surgery and once after … Reached both the 1,000 point career milestone this year (including her year at Ohio State) along with scoring 1,000 points in her two years at FGCU … Currently has 1,505 overall career points (80 games) including 1,179 points in two seasons at FGCU … Has 583 career rebounds (7.3 rpg) overall, 178 assists, 136 steals, and 130 blocks … Was named the ASUN Preseason Player of the Year and a unanimous pick to the All-ASUN Preseason Team … Current candidate for several national prestigious awards: The Wooden Award, the Naismith Player of the Year Award, Ann Meyers-Drysdale Award (Top 5), the Becky Hammon Player of the Year Award (Top 5), and The Wade Award … Projected to be a top-10 pick in the WNBA Draft.
|Lorela Cubaj||Georgia Institute of Technology|
|Elissa Cunane||North Carolina State University|
|Anna DeWolfe||Fordham University|
|Maya Dodson||University of Notre Dame|
|Emily Engstler||University of Louisville|
|Morgan Jones||Florida State University|
|Deja Kelly||University of North Carolina|
|Elizabeth Kitley||Virginia Tech|
|Olivia Miles||University of Notre Dame|
|Kianna Smith||University of Louisville|
|Hailey Van Lith||University of Louisville|
|Shakira Austin||University of Mississippi|
|Aliyah Boston||University of South Carolina|
|Anastasia Hayes||Mississippi State University|
|Destanni Henderson||University of South Carolina|
|Jordan Horston||University of Tennessee|
|Rhyne Howard||University of Kentucky|
|Khayla Pointer||Louisiana State University|
|Kiara Smith||University of Florida|
|Diamond Battles||University of Central Florida|
|Kierstan Bell||Florida Gulf Coast University|
|Mia Davis||Temple University|
|Jasmine Dickey||University of Delaware|
|Vivian Gray||Texas Tech University|
|Rori Harmon||University of Texas|
|Ashley Joens||Iowa State University|
|Ayoka Lee||Kansas State University|
|NaLyssa Smith||Baylor University|
|Madi Williams||University of Oklahoma|
|Grace Berger||Indiana University|
|Leigha Brown||University of Michigan|
|Veronica Burton||Northwestern University|
|Caitlin Clark||University of Iowa|
|Nia Clouden||Michigan State University|
|Monika Czinano||University of Iowa|
|Naz Hillmon||University of Michigan|
|Mackenzie Holmes||Indiana University|
|Taylor Mikesell||Ohio State University|
|Aneesah Morrow||DePaul University|
|Angel Reese||University of Maryland|
|Jacy Sheldon||Ohio State University|
|Maddy Siegrist||Villanova University|
|Christyn Williams||University of Connecticut|
|Cameron Brink||Stanford University|
|Mya Hollingshed||University of Colorado|
|Lexie Hull||Stanford University|
|Haley Jones||Stanford University|
|Charlisse Leger-Walker||Washington State University|
|Charisma Osborne||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Te-Hina Paopao||University of Oregon|
|Cate Reese||University of Arizona|
|Nyara Sabally||University of Oregon|
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FGCU head coach Karl Smesko maintains a record of 610-128 (.826) overall in his career, which is the third-highest winning percentage among active Division I coaches behind only UConn’s Geno Auriemma and LSU’s Kim Mulkey. He has also led the Eagles to a 232-18 (.930) mark in ASUN regular season play and a 30-2 (.933) record in ASUN tournament play. Over the previous 10 seasons, he has guided FGCU to a 153-5 (.968) record in conference play with six undefeated seasons. The 12-time ASUN Coach of the Year has led the program to 12-straight 25-win seasons and 18-consecutive 20-win campaigns, including 30-plus wins in five of the last eight years. On top of all that, the Eagles are 549-101 (.845) all-time since Smesko started the program in the 2002-03 season, and the Green and Blue’s .845 all-time winning percentage is the best in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 90 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10 seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 44 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 25 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021) each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.