Freshman Amber Porter led all scorers with 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting as Stetson extended its school-record win streak to 15 with a 74-57 victory over visiting Northern Kentucky Thursday night at the Edmunds Center.
The Hatters (23-5, 15-1 Atlantic Sun) also stayed undefeated at home (12-0) and remained tied for first-place in the conference standings with just two regular season games to play.
"I thought our defense was excellent," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. “Besides the first 10 minutes of the game, I thought for 30 minutes we guarded really well. They are hard to guard, they can all shoot, and they penetrate well. We mixed up man and zone, and I thought both (defenses) were really effective."
For the first time during the long winning streak, Stetson found itself staring at a double-digit deficit as the Norse (15-11, 11-4) jumped out to an early 20-10 lead.
"We just needed to keep our composure and not panic," said Porter, who also led the team with nine rebounds and three blocks.
The Hatters did just that, scoring 13 of the next 15 points to take a 23-22 lead. C.J. Coddington added a three-pointer just before the half to give the Hatters a 33-31 advantage at the break.
“(Northern Kentucky) came out on fire,” Bria said. “To their credit they did a good job defensively. I was real proud of our team that in the last 10 minutes of the half we got it together. We started to get stops, and then we started to score more, so I thought the momentum was going our way into halftime.”
NKU pulled even early in the second half, but the Hatters broke the game open on a 16-0 run. Coddington got the surge started with a three-point play, Cherisse Burris knocked down a pair of field goals including one from behind the arc, and Porter converted two lay-ups to highlight the attack.
The Norse chipped away at the lead to cut the deficit to nine, but three quick scores by the Hatters in the span of a minute built the advantage back to 16.
"In the second half we flowed better on offense," Bria said. "We were much more aggressive, we attacked the basket, and we got the ball inside more to Amber. I thought she was very effective in the second half.”
Sasha Sims finished with 12 points to move into third-place on the school's all-time scorers list. She now has 1528 points, just 42 shy of the school record. Sims added five rebounds and five assists.
Brianti Saunders (11 points), Burris (11 points), and Coddington (10 points) also scored in double figures for Stetson.
Melody Doss had 15 points to lead Northern Kentucky.
With 23 wins, Stetson is one victory shy of tying the school record for most wins in a single-season. The Hatters will look to equal that mark at 1 p.m. Saturday against Lipscomb.