Oliver bested his previous career-high of 15 points with 20 against the Owls, 14 of which came in the second half. For the game he was 8-for-10 from the field and 4-of-6 from the line. Blair, the team’s top scorer, finished with 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“This was a great win for us,” said head coach Derek Waugh. “Hopefully this will be the kind of win that propels us into getting on a run and winning some more.”
Although he kept the focus on tonight’s solid team effort and did not mention his own accomplishment in the post-game interview, tonight’s win was the 100th overall in Waugh’s career (100-138).
After a poor first half, Stetson opened the second on fire. By the time the whistle blew at 15:37 for the first media timeout the Hatters had put together a 13-4 run to erase the KSU lead and make the score 38-35 Stetson.
Moments later after free throws by Blair and A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) Stetson had completed an 18-0 run and enjoyed a six point lead. And then, when the next timeout came around, the Hatters had gone from down 31-25 at the half to up 48-37 with 11:34 to play in the game.
Stetson more than doubled up KSU in the second half by outscoring their hosts 44-21. Oliver exploded under offensive boards leading to his second half surge. In addition to his three offensive rebounds he found away to get open allowing his teammates to get him the ball time and time again.
Also scoring in double-figures for the Hatters was Tim Lang who hit for 10 points. He equaled Blair with a team-high seven rebounds. As a team Stetson shot just below its season high at 25-of-57 for .439 (.460 vs. Webber) and was an impressive 81.3% from the line (13-for-16).
“Our ball movement was really good tonight,” said Waugh. “Our defense in the second half was the key though. We can be a great defensive team. If we create turnovers like we did in the second half it gets our offense going.”
Stetson forced KSU into 17 turnovers in the game including nine by starting guard Spencer Dixon. A.J. Smith and Kris Thomas (
“We challenged Kris to up his defense tonight. Kris and A.J. were responsible for stopping
The largest run of the night for the Hatters came between 18:39 and 6:34 of the second half when they outscored the Owls 30-4.
The first half was a reflection of Stetson’s play much of the early season with solid defense, poor shooting, and Blair keeping the Hatters in the game with grit and determination. Heading into the locker room the Hatters were just 11-of-35 from the field for 35% shooting and were outrebounded by the Owls 21-16. Blair was the game’s leading scorer with nine points to go along with five rebounds.
Next for the Hatters on the