Stetson set a new school-record with 14 three-pointers including eight in the first half alone as the Hatters defeated visiting Ball State 78-66 Sunday afternoon at the Edmunds Center.
Shanasa Sanders and Victoria McGowan each hit four three-pointers and finished with 16 points apiece, while Sasha Sims added 14 points and collected four rebounds.
“Everyone did an awesome job today,” Sanders said. “Everyone found the open player and everyone was knocking down shots. Overall it was a good win and a good game for us.”
Stetson shot 50% from the field (29-for-58) and 50% from behind the arc (14-for-28). The 14 threes surpassed the previous school mark of 12, which was reached twice last season.
“We knocked down a lot of threes because that shot was open,” Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. “Ball State packed the paint so of course the three is going to be open. (Hitting three pointers) opens up everything for us. It makes you a lot harder to guard. Every day we get up a lot of shots in practice.”
The Hatters also recorded 24 assists in the game, including a career-high nine from Jama Sharp and seven more from McGowan.
“I thought we shared the ball very well,” Bria said. “It’s been a long time since we have had that many assists. I really like what we are doing, we are taking good shots, we are working to get great shots, and we are sharing the ball. I am really proud of our offensive effort.”
Similar to the Bethune-Cookman game on Tuesday, the Hatters led nearly wire-to-wire, but had to hold off several Ball State (2-4) runs. Stetson saw a nine-point first-half lead cut to three, and a 19-point second half advantage trimmed to seven.
“Our defense was better today, but that’s the area we have to improve on the most,” Bria said. “We have to get where we are getting several stops in a row. We do it in spurts here and there, but we have to do a better job of doing it over a period of time.”
Also filling up the stat sheet on Sunday was Cherisse Burris with nine points, Simone Taylor with eight, and Ashley Dennis and Ashley Buis with six points each.
“I thought Ashley Dennis had a great game, she came off the bench and really sparked us,” Bria said. “Jama Sharp had nine assists and Victoria had seven. Those two players can score and they can hit three, but for them to share the ball was really impressive. I thought Sasha Sims had a great game for us. She hit some big threes and did very well defensively for us.”
The Hatters finished a busy month of November with a 3-3 record. Stetson has also won seven straight and 19 of its last 20 games at home.
“We’d like to be 6-0, every coach in the country would like to be 6-0,” Bria said. “But I look at today’s game, and then I look back at the Hofstra game, we are so much better now than we were that game. My measure is as long as we continue to improve and get better both offensively and defensively, then I am happy with where we are.
“I like it that we are all still healthy. But we do need a little bit of break. We have put in a lot of games, but it was good for our players to have that test and play through some adversity and through some fatigue.”
After an eight-day break, Stetson will host its annual Volusia County Schoolchildren Day on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The morning tip-off is set for 11 a.m. at the Edmunds Center.
Notes: Stetson played six games in the first 17 days of the season, but will play just twice over the next 19 days as the student-athletes prepare for fall semester final exams … Stetson's 10-0 run in the second half was its longest of the season so far. Sims and Sanders each hit back-to-back threes and Burris and Taylor each converted lay-ups during the run ... The last time Stetson recorded 24+ assists in a game was Jan. 3, 1998, 26 assists in a 102-99 overtime loss to UCF ... As they have done all season, Ball State dressed just eight players for the game - all eight played 20 minutes or more.