Freshman Brianti Saunders scored a team-high 15 points to help lead Stetson to its school-record 12th straight win, 62-49 over visiting Mercer Saturday afternoon at the Edmunds Center.
The Hatters (20-5, 12-1 Atlantic Sun) also reached the 20-win mark for the fourth season in a row and clinched at least one postseason home game in the A-Sun tournament.
"It is a great accomplishment," Saunders said about the win streak. "I really like playing with my teammates. I feel like we are going to go far if we keep playing together, working hard, and getting better every day."
Stetson led 36-25 at halftime, but a four-minute scoring drought to start the second half allowed Mercer to pull within four at 36-32. Cherisse Burris ended the drought with a baseline jumper which ignited a 13-0 Stetson run. Saunders hit a three-pointer, C.J. Coddington turned a steal into a fastbreak lay-up, and Burris and Saunders hit back-to-back shots to put Stetson ahead by 17.
Mercer (12-12, 5-8) ended its drought with a basket by Precious Bridges, but on the Hatters' next possession, Jama Sharp banked in a two-handed heave from behind the arc to beat the shot clock and send the Edmunds Center crowd into a frenzy.
"It was just a heave up there to try and hit rim," Sharp said. "I had to at least point it toward the goal. We had had some sloppy plays so it was a good time to get a basket."
Head coach Lynn Bria also described the Hatters' play as sloppy. After committing eight turnovers on Thursday night, Stetson turned it over 18 times on Saturday.
"I don't think we were very sharp," Bria said. "We were fortunate to win the game. I didn't feel like we executed very well. I thought the defense was pretty good most of the time, but we still gave up too many offensive rebounds."
The Hatters had been averaging over 83 points during the win streak but were held to just 62 Saturday. Saunders was 6-for-9 from the floor and hit a pair of three-pointers to lead the offense. C.J. Coddington and Sharp each added 11 points.
"I thought 'Brea' had a great game," Bria said about Saunders. "She was effective for 40 minutes, she was aggressive and she made great decisions."
While the Hatters broke the school win streak record for the third year in a row, the team knows it still has a lot of work to do moving forward.
"We are just trying to take it one game at a time," Sharp said. "It's a great accomplishment, but we can't really focus on it. We have to keep looking at the next game."
The next game for Stetson will come Thursday night at UNF, the first of two road games in Jacksonville.
Notes: The Hatters led wire-to-wire for the third game in a row ... Stetson posted its sixth 20-win season in school history ... The Hatters are off to their best 25-game start in school history ... Stetson extended its home court win streak to 13 ... Stetson leads all schools in the state of Florida with 20 victories ... Cherisse Burris tied her career high with 12 rebounds ... Jama Sharp is now tied for fifth all-time in 3-point field goals made with 102.