The Stetson men's basketball team (9-11, 6-3), currently tied for first place in Atlantic Sun Conference with half of the league, continues its three-game road trip at Jacksonville (11-11, 6-3) on Thursday. The Hatters and the Dolphins are scheduled to tip off at 7:00 p.m. at Swisher Gymnasium.
Stetson's recent five-game winning streak, which was the program's longest since 2007-08, was snapped with a 96-65 loss at Florida Gulf Coast last Friday. The Hatters remain in a tie for first place in league play at 6-3, the furthest into a season that Stetson has ever been atop the conference standings.
"It was disappointing that the good, solid play came to a screeching halt," Stetson head coach Casey Alexander said of the loss at FGCU. "The worst thing we could do now is to let that effect what we do from this point on. I think you have to learn from it. You have to make sure it doesn't happen again, but at the same time, you have to look at it as just one game. You have to move on, and be ready to be as good as you can be for the next game."
That next game is Thursday night against another team in a tie for first place, the Jacksonville Dolphins. After falling to Stetson on Jan. 7 by a score of 81-72, JU won four straight A-Sun contests before falling on the road to USC Upstate this past Saturday.
"It's always a tough, physical, 40 minute game when you play them," Alexander said of Jacksonville. "Regardless of what the margin is, Coach [Cliff] Warren does the best job of anybody in the league of getting his guys to play hard. That's what I expect more than anything."
For the Hatters to come out on top, they will need to contain two of the Dolphins' top scorers, junior guard Keith McDougald and senior forward Glenn Powell. The former is averaging 12.2 per contest and scored 15 against Stetson earlier this month, while the latter is putting up 9.9 points and 7.4 rebounds per game, totaling 13 and seven in the last meeting.
"McDougald has played really well for them since our last meeting," Alexander said. "He had just come back from an injury, and he has since put up some big numbers, and is really playing well. However, Powell is always the guy you have to start your attention on. He's just been such a good player for them over the course of time."
The Hatters have had success against Jacksonville as of late, winning three of the last four meetings between the two teams. The Dolphins, on the other hand, hold a 42-31 overall advantage in the series, and have won 25 of 36 contests held in the River City.
Thursday's game can be watched live and for free on HatterVision and ASun.TV courtesy of Jacksonville Athletics. It will also be streamed on CollegeInsider.com as a part of the website's Atlantic Sun Thursday Showcase. Live Audio will be available on WSBB 1230 AM, 1490 AM, and www.MyAM1230.com. Live Stats, the @StetsonMBB Twitter feed, and Hat-Alerts are also available for in-game updates.