Behind a 55-point second-half scoring effort, the Stetson University women's basketball team rolled to 90-74 victory over Indiana State in the Hatters' home opener Monday night at the Edmunds Center.
Sasha Sims led five Hatters (2-2) in double figures with 24 points. Brianti Saunders and Cherisse Burris added 15 points apiece, while Jama Sharp scored 13 and C.J. Coddington netted a career-high 12.
Stetson played with a lot more intensity Monday after committing 26 turnovers in Saturday's loss to North Carolina A&T. The Hatters turned it over only 15 times against Indiana State (2-2), but grabbed 13 steals and converted 12 fastbreak points.
"We played a lot better and a lot more in sync," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. "Indiana State is a good team and they are well-coached. We knew we had to play well. We had a lot of good energy today. I thought we handled their pressure really well."
The Hatters also reached 90 points for the first time this season and shot 47.5% from the floor.
"Our players share the ball well," Bria said. They find the open person. They don't care who scores. We moved the ball well and we found the open man. When they went to a zone defense we knocked down some open shots."
The Hatters built an early 17-11 lead after Saunders picked the pocket of an Indiana State player and rifled the ball ahead to Coddington who finished a fastbreak lay-up.
Minutes later, Coddington picked off a pass and took it the length of the court for another lay-up to give Stetson a 24-17 lead.
The Hatters extended the lead to 14 in the second half on Sasha Sims's three-pointer at the 15:21 mark, but Indiana State kept the score close. On three separate occasions the Sycamores pulled with six points, but with under six minutes to play, the Hatters went on a decisive 7-0 run to pull away for good. A runner in the lane by Sharp and a three-pointer from the top of the key by Saunders highlighted the rally.
"We knew they were not going to go away," Bria said. "I was happy how we responded. We didn't fold, we started missing some free throws but we didn't hang our heads. We got stops when we needed to when we weren't scoring."
Stetson outrebounded Indiana State 48-36. Amber Porter led the effort with a season-high 10 rebounds. Burris added nine boards and Coddington had seven.
"This is probably one of our best rebounding efforts since I have been at Stetson," Bria said.
The Hatters have now won 19 of their last 20 and 31 of their last 33 games at home. However, Stetson will not see the Edmunds Center again until Dec. 5. The team's next three games are on the road, beginning Wednesday night at Volusia County rival Bethune-Cookman. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.
Notes: Sasha Sims has led the team in scoring all four games. She was 11-for-13 from the free throw line and went over 1200 points for her career ... Jama Sharp has recorded six or more assists in all four games ... Stetson unveiled its 2013 A-Sun Championship banner before the game.