DeLand, Fla. - Senior Graeme Radford (Victoria, Australia) and head coach Derek Waugh ended their Stetson careers with an impressive 70-62 win over A-Sun rival Jacksonville Saturday night in the Edmunds Center. Stetson finished the season 8-23 overall and 6-14 in A-Sun play while JU fell to 19-10 and 13-7 in the league.
Always a fierce competitor, Radford tore down six rebounds in 24 minutes on the floor. Freshman Luis Jacobo (Sanford, Fla.) was on fire all night hitting 8-of-19 shots from the floor, 5-of-9 from long range, and a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. He put up the team's highest point total of the season with 28 points and added 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season.
"I really just wanted to get a win for Coach Waugh and Coach Tucker who recruited me and also for Graeme who is our senior leader. They deserved it - I wanted to win for them so badly", said Jacobo.
After announcing last week that he would be stepping down at the end of the season Coach Waugh and Coach Tucker came into tonight's game knowing that it would be the last time they patrolled the Hatters' sideline as a team.
"It's a little bit bittersweet, but it's much more sweet than bitter", said Waugh. "It really is because we've been so close all year and then to finally put it together in the last game is a great way for me to finish my career here and I thought the guys were just energetic and great tonight. I can't thank them enough for coming out and making my last game here special and one to remember."
"I have been fortunate to coach with Wylie Tucker who over the last 14 years has become like a brother to me", he added
Jacksonville opened the game with a four-point lead at 6-2 before the Hatters went on a 7-0 run and took the lead on a 3-pointer by Aaron Graham (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) and then never trailed again. With 6:02 remaining in the first half Steve Forbes (Clermont, Fla.) hit a short jumper and Stetson had its largest lead of the night at 27-11. The Hatters equaled the 16-point advantage with 9:01 left in the game when Jacobo buried one of his five treys.
The Dolphins were able to reduce the deficit to seven points twice in the final 30 seconds, yet on this night Stetson was not going to allow a come back. The Hatters, who have had the misfortune of losing 10 games this season by single digits and seven by five points or less, held on for a satisfying victory.
As a team the Hatters shot 43.1% (22-for-55) from the field and well above their season average from the charity stripe at 82% (18-for-22). Steve Forbes hit double digits for the 9th time this season and for the 4th time in the past five games after knocking down 11 points.
When asked about some individual performances in the game Coach Waugh spoke about Jacobo and Radford.
"Lou was lights out tonight. I am just really impressed with the way he has progressed as a player and Graeme played extra hard tonight and I think the guys wanted to get a win for him", he said.