Following Friday's 30-point setback at Florida State, Stetson head coach Lynn Bria challenged many her players to perform at a higher level, including freshman Brianti Saunders.
"She just told me to step it up," Saunders said. "I didn't really have a good game last time, and she told me I needed to play better, that my team needs me."
Saunders responded with a career-high 30 points on 11-for-15 shooting as Stetson completed its two-game Tallahassee road swing with a resounding 101-66 victory over host Florida A&M Monday night at the Al Lawson Center.
The Hatters (4-3) shot 59% from the floor and surpassed the 100-point plateau for the first time since 1989.
"The response from the last game was great," Bria said. "I thought we did a great job of sharing the basketball. We had quite a few possessions where we made the extra pass and found the open person. We did a great a job of finding Brianti for open threes and she knocked them down."
Saunders hit four three-pointers in the game, all in the first half, to help Stetson get off to a great start. The Hatters led 14-2 early, 35-17 at the 7:31 mark, and 55-31 at the half.
"Knocking down threes is a big thing (for me), and driving and attacking the lane and looking for open people," Saunders said. "Getting rebounds is also important because it helps get the offense started."
Fellow freshman Amber Porter helped Stetson maintain the lead in the second half as she finished with career-highs of 23 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocks.
"I thought Amber and (Brianti) carried us in the first half," Bria said. "In the second half Amber hit some really key baskets when we turned the ball over for a little bit. Amber was open and got a couple of 'and-ones' that really kept the gap."
Joining Porter with double-double performances was Cherisse Burris (10 points, 10 rebounds) and Jama Sharp (14 points, 10 assists).
"Florida A&M plays a lot of different defenses so you have to recognize what they are in and Jama got us into the right stuff," Bria said about her point guard. "I thought Cherisse Burris had a great game and really hit the glass hard."
Sasha Sims added 13 points to give the Hatters five players in double figures. While it was Sims's 14th straight game in double figures, it was the first time this season that she did not lead the team in scoring.
"We put a lot on Sasha, and she comes in every game and gives us her best, so it was good to know we have people to fall back on," Sharp said. "Everybody on the team can do something and everyone stepped up, so it was a really good team effort."
Stetson outrebounded Florida A&M (5-3) 55-45. Jasmin Grice led the Lady Rattlers with 24 points.
The Hatters last scored 100 points on Dec. 9, 1989 in a 101-92 win over UCF.
After playing six of their first seven games on the road, the Hatters will return home Thursday to host Palm Beach Atlantic in the annual Volusia County Schoolchildren Day. Tip-off for the matinee at the Edmunds Center is scheduled for 11:00 a.m.
Notes: It was homecoming game for Hatters' assistant coach Kenny Anderson, who graduated from Florida A&M in 2010 ... The 101 points is a team-high in the Atlantic Sun this year, surpassing the Hatters' 90-point game vs. Indiana State ... Saunders's 30-point game is an individual high in the Atlantic Sun this year. She had 22 in the first half alone ... The last Hatter to score 30 points or more in a game was Victoria McGowan (33) at Kennesaw State this past January ... Porter's 15 rebounds was the most by a Hatter since Natasha Graboski had 15 vs. Georgia Southern in 2010 ... Porter's six blocks ties for the third-most in school history and is the most since Joslyn Giles blocked eight shots vs. Bethune-Cookman in 2002 ... Stetson freshmen combined for 62 points as DeAsia Beal (5) and Sydni Davis (4) added to Saunders and Porter's totals ... Stetson had five players in double figures for the second time this season ... Jama Sharp dished out 10 assists for the third time this season ... The Hatters shot 67% (23-34) in the first half en route to 55 points.