Kierstan Bell Named Regional Finalist for WBCA All-America

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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.

 

 

Region 1















Player Institution
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

 
Region 2












Player Institution
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

 
Region 3














Player Institution
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

 
Region 4


















Player Institution
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

 
Region 5













Player Institution
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  

 
 
For complete coverage of the women’s basketball program, follow the Eagles on Twitter and Instagram at @FGCU_WBB, on Facebook at /fgcuwbb and online at www.FGCUathletics.com. You can also sign-up to have news on FGCU women’s basketball or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.

E.A.G.L.E. CAMPAIGN

IT TAKES A TEAM to achieve our newest goal – a $10 million campaign to address student-athlete needs in continued academic success, life skills, mental health, nutrition, and strength and conditioning as well as departmental needs in facility expansion and improvement as well as mentoring and leadership training for coaches and staff. The name embodies our mission and the purpose of the E.A.G.L.E. Campaign – Eagle Athletics Generating Lifetime Excellence. Join Our Team and pledge your gift today to help the Eagles of tomorrow!

 

SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PROGRAM

Do you enjoy watching or following the FGCU women’s basketball program? Would you like to play a role in the growth of the program and help take it to heights never before experienced? If so, you can reach out to Director of Advancement, Matt Ring, about opportunities to make an impact on the experiences of our student-athletes. He can be reached by email at mring@fgcu.edu or by office phone at 239-745-4434.

COACH SMESKO

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.

 

#FEEDFGCU

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 utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.

 

ABOUT FGCU

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.

 

—FGCUATHLETICS.COM—

 

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