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Stetson Hangs on for Win Over USC Upstate
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  02/08/2008
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Oliver helps Hatters hold on
by: Stetson University
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DeLand, Fla. Friday night in the Edmunds Center Orlando’s Garfield Blair (Boone HS) scored a game-high 21 points and the Stetson Hatters fended off a late rally for a 72-64 win over conference foe USC Upstate.

 

The Hatters exploded out of the gate with an impressive 19-2 run over the Spartans and led by as many as 22 points in the first half. Blair led the way with 11 points on 5-for-8 shooting from the field. Point guard A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla./Cocoa HS) was right there with him, shooting 3-of-4 from the field including a pair of 3-pointers. Smith also dished out four assists to spark the run. Stetson carried all the momentum and a 38-18 lead into the half.

 

Coming out in the second Stetson pushed the lead up to 25 points when Smith knocked down a 3-pointer at 17:19. When the lead was still 20 with 8:13 on the clock, it looked like the Hatters would finally have a run away victory. However, the Spartans were not done.

 

Fifteen seconds later Upstate’s Josh Chavis (Greensboro, NC) hit a shot from beyond the arc that boosted the Spartans’ confidence. Five minutes later, and with just 2:46 remaining in regulation, Luke Payne (Spartanburg, SC) hit a layup to complete the 19-3 Upstate run and leave them four points down on the scoreboard.

 

The four point deficit was as close as the Spartans would get, however, as the Hatters pulled away at the end for a 72-64 victory. Blair surpassed the 20-point mark for the 8th time this season. Smith completed the one-two punch with 17, and Sheldon Oliver (Orlando, Fla./Edgewater HS) equaled his season-high in points with 11, and free throws with seven. Oliver, Smith, Blair, and Olivier Dupiton (Montreal, Quebec/Vanier College) all finished with a team-high five rebounds.

 

Tonight’s game was televised by Comcast Sports South and was played in front of a season-high home crowd of 2,945.

 

The victory pushed Stetson’s overall record to 11-13. With six A-Sun games remaining on the schedule, the Hatters have already equaled last season’s total of six conference wins (6-4). Stetson also pushed its impressive home court record to 7-1 in 2007-08. With the loss tonight USC Upstate dropped to 6-18 overall, 4-6 in A-Sun play   

 

Sunday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Stetson will play host to first place ETSU (8-2) who also won tonight 95-71 over Florida Gulf Coast. Fans can go to www.gohatters.com and see the game on Hatter Vision with Murray Miller and Harry Arnold calling the action, or come on out to the Edmunds Center and support the team in person.



Stetson Men's Basketball




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