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Happy New Year… Hatters Ride Second Half Momentum to Win over Buccaneers
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  12/31/2007
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Diaz hits for 15 in 2nd half
by: Stetson University
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DeLand, Fla.Orlando’s Garfield Blair (Boone HS) and Miami’s Eric Diaz (Columbus HS) combined for 29 second half points to lead Stetson (4-9) to a 76-70 come-from-behind win over the visiting Buccaneers of Charleston Southern (5-8) Monday afternoon in the Edmunds Center.


With 10:30 remaining in the game CSU’s Chris Moore hit a 3-pointer to give the visitors a 10-point lead. Considering recent results for the Hatters the momentum may have seemed insurmountable. However, 25 seconds later Stetson sophomore Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla., Vero Beach HS) displayed the true character of this team with a 3-pointer to put the Hatters back within seven. It was a hoop that ignited a team and a 33-20 run in the final 10 minutes of the game.


With 3:33 remaining Diaz hit his third 3-pointer, pumped his fist into the air, and gave the home team a lead it would not relinquish. Diaz scored all 15 of his points in the second half. He was 5-for-8 from the field, 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Diaz’s long distance shots and his ensuing enthusiasm added fuel to Stetson’s fire.


As a team the Hatters were 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half. In the second, they improved to 6-for-15 for 40%. Overall from the field the team shot 48% in the second half compared to 33% in the first. In the end it was the 3-pointers that turned the team in the right direction. Daiz finished with three, Lohuis had two, and Brandon Williams (Miami, Fla., Monsignor Pace HS) had one.


When they were not shooting threes, Blair was the go-to-man. For the third consecutive game he was the team’s leading scorer with 20+ points. Today he was 6-for-12 from the field and 10-for-14 from the line for 22 points. He also led the team under the glass with six rebounds.


Garfield has been really consistent over the past five or six games”, said head coach Derek Waugh. “He also played better on defense. Our conference can sometimes be like pick-up basketball. It will be important for all our guys to get out and play tough defense.”


In the last game against Longwood, the Hatters played tremendous offense, yet suffered from turnovers and were lackluster on defense. Neither negative was true today. Stetson hustled all over the court and turned the ball over just eight times compared to 21 for the Buccaneers.


Also scoring in double-figures for the Hatters was point guard A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla., Cocoa HS) and Kris Thomas (Lithonia, Ga., Dunwoody HS). They scored 11 and 10 points respectively and hit some key shots coming down the stretch.


Stetson will begin the conference season on the road this Thursday with a 7:00 p.m. at Jacksonville.


“The key to playing Jacksonville will be guarding them defensively”, said Waugh.


If today was an indication, the Hatters are on the right path and ready get the A-Sun ball rolling.

Stetson Men's Basketball