The first half of the Atlantic Sun Conference season is in the books, and after playing all nine league opponents once, the Stetson women’s basketball team is tied for first place with an 8-1 A-Sun record.
The Hatters hit the road this weekend to begin the second half of conference play, with games scheduled against USC Upstate at 7 p.m. Thursday night and ETSU at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday.
What adjustments can the Hatters expect to see from opponents the second time around?
“I don’t know that any of us change a whole lot; maybe you put some wrinkles in here and there,” head coach Lynn Bria said. “For us, it’s just a matter of getting better at what we already do. I do think some teams will play more zone vs. man, or more man vs. zone, and maybe certain players are playing better now than when we played them before, so you have to take that into account.”
While the Hatters (16-5, 8-1) are currently riding a league-best eight-game winning streak, the Spartans (11-9, 6-3) are on a roll of their own, having won five straight and five out of six since falling 78-64 to Stetson on Jan. 9 in DeLand.
“Upstate is playing a lot better,” Bria said. “They are much improved. We had a hard time with them here, so it’s going to be a tough game for us. (The Hodge Center) is a tough place to play. Every year we have a hard time in there.”
The Hatters continue to pile up the points at a frenzied pace. Stetson's offense currently ranks 25th in the NCAA with 79.8 scoring average, and the team's .460 field goal pct. ranks 17th in the country. The Hatters also boast three of the top five field goal pct. leaders in the Atlantic Sun, including league-leader Amber Porter (.558).
Stetson will have an opportunity to clinch a postseason berth this weekend with either a pair of wins or a win coupled with a Lipscomb loss.
Thursday’s game at USC Upstate will be broadcast live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app for mobile devices. Live stats, the Stetson women’s basketball twitter feed, and Hat-Alerts will also be available for in-game updates.