Seventeen games was not enough to determine a regular season champion in the Atlantic Sun Conference this year, and neither was 40 minutes in the decisive final game.
Stetson and Florida Gulf Coast put on an epic display Saturday, battling back-and-forth and into overtime before Stephanie Haas hit a pair of three throws with 0.2 seconds left to lift FGCU to a 74-73 victory in front of 1,449 fans at the Edmunds Center.
The loss snapped the Hatters 16-game win streak and made Stetson the no. 2 seed for next week's A-Sun tournament. The Hatters will host seventh-seeded Kennesaw State at 7 p.m. Tuesday night in the quarterfinals.
"I thought we battled, and I thought we played extremely hard," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. "I am not going to lie, that was a really tough way to lose the game."
Stetson (24-6, 16-2) had rallied from a 71-67 overtime deficit to take a 73-72 lead on Jama Sharp's bank shot from the left block with 15 seconds left.
After FGCU called timeout with 8.6 on the clock, Sarah Hansen missed a short jumper in the closing seconds but Haas was fouled on the rebound attempt.
"It should have been a no call," Bria said after the game. "We had two teams who were battling, going back and forth and putting it all out there, and a call is made like that. It's a no call, and you move on.
"For me, I am just standing there," Bria continued. "I am not sweating, but my players are, and I hate it for them."
The game featured an amazing 10 ties and 17 lead changes, including eight in the final eight minutes of regulation. Sharp helped force overtime by hitting a pair of free throws with 39 seconds left. She led all scorers with 18 points in the game.
"It's tough, especially when you play so hard and come so close," Sharp said. "We have a quick turnaround so we have to get refocused and back to doing what we have been doing the whole season."
Also scoring in double figures for Stetson was Brianti Saunders with 13 points and C.J. Coddington with 11 points. Amber Porter, Cherisse Burris, and Sharp each collected 10 rebounds, and Porter swatted away six Eagle shots.
Stetson shot 44 percent from the field and 50 percent from behind the arc.
FGCU (23-7, 17-1) hit 15 of their 45 three-point attempts.
"It's not the end-all be-all," Bria said. "I would say that if we were sitting here having won the game. There is work still left to do. We have to focus on Tuesday and take it a game at a time. That is all you are guaranteed."