FORT MYERS, Fla. – Stetson head coach Lynn Bria wouldn’t mind one bit if history repeats itself on Sunday. When the Stetson women’s basketball team won the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship last season, the Hatters did so as the number two seed. They defeated top seeded Florida Gulf Coast in the final after falling to the Eagles twice in the regular season. As Sunday’s 2013-14 A-Sun Championship game approaches, the Hatters find themselves in a familiar position.
“I think the game is great for women’s basketball,” Bria said of Stetson and FGCU meeting up yet again. “I think it’s great for our conference. I’m a big believer in promoting women’s basketball and I think this game is great for women’s basketball. When we played them down at our place it was a great game. I think it’s awesome that we have this [rivalry] in our league.”
Stetson and FGCU will square off for the A-Sun Title and an NCAA Tournament berth for the third straight year at 3 p.m. Sunday in a game broadcast live on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS), Bright House Sports Network, ESPN3, the WatchESPN app for mobile devices, and WSBB Radio.
Like last season, FGCU is the number one seed after defeating Stetson twice in the regular season and finishing with a 17-1 league mark. The Hatters, at 16-2 in A-Sun action, are again the number two seed. However, if Stetson is to top FGCU this time around, the Hatters will have to do it on the Eagles’ home floor.
“I like competing,” junior Jama Sharp said. “No matter what team we go up against, I just like competing. I’m ready to do what I can for my team.”
Fortunately Stetson went 8-1 on the road during conference play and set a new school record with 12 road wins overall after defeating USC Upstate in the A-Sun Semifinals. Not in the Hatters favor is the fact that FGCU is formidable at Alico Arena. The Eagles are riding a 57-game win streak on their home court against conference opponents, and are 67-1 overall at home over the last six seasons.
“I always think rebounding is the key,” Bria said in reference to going up against the Eagles. “You can’t give them more shots. They’re too explosive offensively. You have to try to limit their attempts. We also have to limit our turnovers. You have to guard them, you have to make them work for shots, and you can’t give them extra shots.”
Live Stats, the @StetsonWBB Twitter feed, and Hat-Alerts will also be available for in-game updates.