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Cherisse Burris scored 18 points and tied a career-high with 12 rebounds in Stetson's win over UNF.
by: David S. Williams
Women's Hoops Rallies Late to Keep Home Streak Alive
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  01/23/2014
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Stetson found itself in an unfamiliar position against visiting UNF Thursday night.

Trailing by four at halftime, the Hatters were forced to play catch-up for most of the second half before pulling ahead late for a 75-67 Atlantic Sun Conference victory in front of an energetic crowd of 1367 at the Edmunds Center.

The victory was Stetson's fifth in a row and extended the Hatters' home court winning streak to 10 games.

"We were very fortunate to get this win, very fortunate." Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said.

Amber Porter led the Hatters offensively with 21 points and defensively with four blocks. Cherisse Burris recorded a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, and C.J. Coddington added a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting.

"I thought C.J. did a great job," Bria said. "CeeCee rebounded the whole game and got some critical rebounds."

Stetson (13-5, 5-1 A-Sun) led briefly at 42-41 early in the second half, but Destinee Smith hit one of eight UNF three-pointers on the night to give the Ospreys (5-12, 1-5) the lead back. Over the next 10 minutes UNF never led by more than four but also prevented Stetson from tying the game until Burris hit a pair of free throws at the six-minute mark to knot the score at 64.

Stetson finally got over the hump on the next possession as Porter blocked Raneisha Lamar's attempt and Brianti Saunders grabbed the loose ball and went the length of the court for a tie-breaking layup.

"That's when we are playing our best basketball, when we are getting blocks and getting the ball on the run out," Bria said. "I thought we did a better job attacking their zone in the second half and really getting on the offensive glass."

Porter also scored on a layup the next time down to give Stetson a four-point lead, and Burris scored five of the team's seven points down the stretch to help preserve the victory.

It marked just the second time during the 10-game home court win streak that Stetson trailed at halftime. Stetson also had to rally late to defeat Nicholls State during the Hatter Classic.

"Anytime you play through some adversity it is good, especially for this young group," Bria said. "I prefer if we just played really well all the time, but they tend to do it differently. Anytime we can grow and have different people step up, it just shows we are a true team. We are hard to guard. You can't just zone in on one player. CeeCee and C.J. stepped up today. Amber came around in the second half."

Eight of Burris's rebounds came in the second half, as Stetson owned a 39-33 advantage on the boards. Jama Sharp dished out 10 assists for the fourth time this season. Brianti Saunders added nine points.

Stetson is now tied with Jacksonville and Northern Kentucky for second place in the league standings.  The Hatters will host the Dolphins (8-9, 5-1 A-Sun) at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Stetson Women's Basketball