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Disappointing End to Senior Night; Hatters Fall to Mercer
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  02/16/2009
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Tim Lang scored his second double-double of the season vs. Mercer.
by: Dr. Jay Photos
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DeLand, Fla. Garfield Blair (Orlando, Fla.) scored his second consecutive double-double with 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds but it wasn’t enough as Stetson (13-13, 9-8) suffered a disappointing overtime loss to Mercer (16-11, 10-6) Monday night.


It was Senior Night in the Edmunds Center and all four Hatter seniors marked the occasion by scoring in double figures. Tim Lang (Victoria, Australia) produced his second double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Eric Diaz (Miami, Fla.) and Kris Thomas (Lithonia, Ga.) added 12 and 10 points respectively.


“The seniors have been absolutely fantastic all season I feel bad for them to have to go out this way,” said Head Coach Derek Waugh. “It was disappointing but we have to take the good with the bad. Tough times build character so we’ll just rebound from this and try and come back.”


After controlling the action throughout the game and leading by 11 points with just under seven minutes to play, the Hatters suddenly went ice cold. After Blair knocked down a jumper at 6:43 of the second half, Stetson did not hit another field goal until Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) nailed a 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining in overtime. It was an 11 minute and nine second stretch that allowed the Bears to catch up, take the lead, and put the game away.


Michael Ellis (Statesville, N.C.) scored 28 points and James Florence (Marietta, Ga.) added 27 for Mercer.


Stetson opened up the game riding a “senior night” high and jumped out to a 16-6 lead by the second media timeout.


After shooting just 13% in the first eight minutes, Mercer increased its output to 29% over the next four minutes and decreased its deficit to four points at 24-20. Eric Diaz scored 10 of Stetson’s first 24 points with 4-of-5 shooting from the floor and 2-for-2 from long range.


After outscoring the visitors 15-12 coming down the stretch, a three-pointer by A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) at the buzzer lit up the fans and sent the Hatters into the locker room with a 10-point lead at 42-32. Smith finished the game with nine points and a career-high eight assists.


Note: Senior Eric Diaz suffered a broken nose last Thursday in Stetson’s win over Savannah State. Although he was able to take the floor tonight, he will undergo surgery this Friday to repair the damage and will have to sit out the remainder of the season and likely the A-Sun Tournament.


Stetson will finish the season with a three-game road trip beginning this week at UNF on Saturday 4:15 p.m. and then at Jacksonville Monday night at 7:15 p.m. The voices of Stetson men’s basketball Murray Miller and Harry Arnold will broadcast Monday’s action; the play-by-play and analysis can be heard on Hatter Vision at, the official online home of Stetson Athletics. The game’s video feed will also be available through A-Sun TV and on Hatter Vision.


Tickets for all Stetson home games are available on line at For more information call the Stetson University Ticket Office at (386) 822-8110 or email at

Stetson Men's Basketball