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Stetson Holds Off Campbell To Get Back On Winning Track
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  01/26/2008
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Sheldon Oliver's tough defense held the A-Sun's leading scorer,...
by: Stetson University
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Buies Creek, N.C. Junior forward Garfield Blair (Orlando, Fla.) sank all six of his free throws in the second half, finishing with 17 points and giving the Stetson men’s basketball team its sixth win in the last seven games with a 57-52 win at Campbell Saturday afternoon.  The Hatters improve to 10-11 overall and 5-2 in the Atlantic Sun.  Campbell is 8-11, 3-4 A-Sun.


Reggie Bishop stroked his third three-pointer of the contest to cut the Stetson lead, which was 11 at halftime, to 53-50 with 2:22 left.  The score remained the same with the Camels in possession of the ball and just over a minute left when Blair was able to strip the ball from Bishop on a drive into the paint.  However, Blair was called for an offensive foul with 40 seconds left, giving Campbell a chance.  Cameron Dodson could not get his layup to fall and Blair was fouled on the rebound.


Blair drained both free throws with 16.6 seconds left to put Stetson up five, and when sophomore guard A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) stole the ball on the ensuing possession and went in for the dunk the Hatters had sealed their fifth conference win of the season.


Smith joined Blair in double figures, finishing with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals while junior center Tim Lang (Victoria, Australia) added nine points and six rebounds.


Bishop had a strong day for the Camels, shooting eight for 12 from the floor and finishing with 21 points and nine rebounds.  Jonathan Rodriguez, who came into the game averaging a league high 21.8 points and second-best 9.8 rebounds, was held to just 11 points and eight boards thanks in large part to the defensive efforts of sophomore forward Sheldon Oliver (Orlando, Fla.)


Ahead by 11 points at halftime, Stetson found itself being forced by tough Campbell defense into taking several long three-pointers early in the second half.  The Hatters only made two field goals in the first eight and a half minutes after intermission, but used a strong defensive effort of its own to maintain the margin at 11.  Stetson led 45-34 at the second media timeout with 11:35 to play in the ballgame.


Campbell’s second-leading scorer on the season, Kyle Vejraska, was held scoreless in the first half but heated up in the second half, putting in seven points in the first 11 minutes to draw his Camels within seven.  Campbell continued to chip away, using a Bishop driving bucket to cut it to four, but Lang came up clutch for Stetson with a three-point play on the other end, restoring the Hatter lead to 53-46 with 3:07 to play.


After giving up an opening three-pointer to Bishop, Stetson scored the game’s next nine points to assume early control.  The Hatters hit their first seven free throw attempts to help them maintain a two-possession lead for much of the first half.


Bishop hit another trey with about four and a half minutes left to whittle Stetson’s lead to 24-21, but the Hatters would respond.  Smith converted a three-point play to make it a two-possession lead again and later capped the half in style with a three-pointer at the buzzer.  Smith led all scorers in the first half with 11 as the Hatters took a 34-23 advantage into the locker room.


Blair had seven points and three assists before halftime while Oliver grabbed a game-high six rebounds.  Bishop tallied 10 points for Campbell while Rodriguez scored nine points and pulled down five boards.


The Hatters are back in action Friday, Jan. 31 when they return to the Edmunds Center for a 7 p.m. tip-off against two-time defending Atlantic Sun conference champions Belmont.  Murray Miller and Harry Arnold call the action with the webcast available through Hatter Vision at, the official Internet home of Stetson Athletics.

Stetson Men's Basketball