With a little under five minutes to play in Thursday night's contest at Northern Kentucky, Stetson University freshman DeAsia Beal was summoned off the bench and made her way to the scorer's table to check into the game. The move prompted a roar from the 50 or so family, friends, and former teammates that had turned out to see their hometown hero play.
"I got a little shy and nervous when they did all that but that's just out of love," Beal said. "It meant a lot because they came to all my high school games and supported me. They have been on this journey with me ever since I left."
Beal hails from Covington, Ky., a mere two exits down I-275 from the Bank of Kentucky Center, the site of Thursday's game. She played prep ball at Holy Cross High School where she was named the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference Division II Player of the Year.
Beal made the most of her opportunity Thursday, scoring four points and recording one steal in five minutes of action. She sunk a pair of free throws at the 3:18 mark, and then delighted the crowd with a spin move along the baseline before scoring on a lay-up with 2:05 to play.
"That was actually my favorite move in high school, but I kind of quit doing it," Beal said. "I knew I couldn't keep going baseline or I would have been out of bounds."
Several other Hatters had family present at Thursday's game, including Stacia Allen (Lima, Ohio), Jama Sharp (Mooresville, Ind.), and Sydni Davis (Southfield, Mich.).
"We recruit up here and we have a lot of players from this area, so it is a lot of fun to be able to get them in the game and for them to play well," head coach Lynn Bria said. "I thought DeAsia did very, very well when she got in and Stacia did also. I was very pleased with what they did when they got in the game. I thought they executed very well. You never know when you are going to get those windows of opportunity and they were ready."
Stetson (15-5, 7-1 A-Sun) defeated Northern Kentucky 90-66 and will carry a seven-game winning streak into Saturday's game at Lipscomb (3-16, 0-8). Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m. ET in a game broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app for mobile devices. The Stetson audio broadcast will be available on WSBB with Ryan Rouse on the call.
Live stats, the Stetson women's basketball twitter feed, and Hat-Alerts will provide in game updates as well.
Broadcast Note: ESPN3 and WatchESPN is available to fans who receive ESPN's linear networks as part of their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV or Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision or Cox Communications. The app is available free to download for Android devices from the Google Play store and Amazon Appstore and for Apple devices from the App Store, as well as online via WatchESPN.com.