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Stetson Pulls Away Late for Big A-Sun Win over ETSU
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  02/10/2008
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by: Stetson University
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DeLand, Fla. Sunday afternoon in the Edmunds Center the Hatters men’s basketball team made a statement to its fans; this season it can play with the best teams in the A-Sun Conference. With 2:13 remaining in the game and the shot clock ready to expire, Garfield Blair (Orlando, Florida) stepped back and knocked down a big 3-pointer to increase his team’s lead to six points. He pumped his fist in the air and gave Stetson (12-13, 7-4) the momentum and the confidence it needed to pull away for a 68-56 win over ETSU (14-10, 8-3). The same Buccaneers squad picked in the preseason polls to finish first in the conference by both the coaches and the media.

 

This was a game that began as ugly as a basketball game can get. Both teams had trouble getting started committing a combined five turnovers before either team could put a point up on the board. Stetson opened the scoring on a Blair 3-pointer at 18:30 and ETSU made it a 3-2 game on jumper by Mike Smith at 16:48. The remainder of the first half saw much of the same; particularly for the Hatters who went into the locker room with a total of 16 turnovers (ETSU had nine). When they could hold on to the ball however, Stetson played quite well shooting 50% from the field and beating the Buccaneers on the boards 20-to-13. The halftime score was 32-32.

 

Although ETSU had defeated the Stetson three times in three opportunities last season, and came into today’s game with an 8-2 A-Sun record and a 4-2 all-time series lead, the Hatters would not be intimidated on their home floor. Stetson is 8-1 (.889) in the Edmunds Center this season.

 

The Buccaneers struck first in the second half when Travis Strong sunk a pair of free throws awarded due to a technical foul on the Hatters bench. With 17:23 on the clock Courtney Pigram hit a 3-pointer and ETSU held what turned out to be its largest lead of the game at five points. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) and Tim Lang (Victoria, Australia) and Stetson was back on top.

 

As the half progressed the teams went back and forth until 5:04 remaining when Blair hit the first of two free throws and the game was tied for the 10th time. When he sank the second, Stetson was on top to stay. Including the free throws and his dramatic 3-pointer at 2:13, Blair scored 10 of Stetson’s final 15 points. For the night he finished with 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field and hit a career-high three baskets from beyond the arc (3-for-3). Eric Diaz (Miami, Fla.) narrowly missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds. Lohuis equaled a career-high with eight rebounds, and Sheldon Oliver (Orlando, Fla.) chipped in eight rebounds of his own.

 

As a team Stetson shot 43% from the field (22-51), 42% from 3-point range (10-24) and 70% from the line (14-20). The Hatters out rebounded the Buccaneers 41-39. After having trouble in the first half (16 turnovers), Stetson regained control and lost the ball just six times in the second.   

 

The Hatters now hit the road for a pair of A-Sun games in Georgia. This week Stetson takes on Kennesaw State on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Mercer on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Both games can be heard on Hatter Vision Audio with Murray Miller and Harry Arnold calling the action. Subscribers can also see the games through an A-Sun TV feed on Hatter Vision.



Stetson Men's Basketball




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