DeLand, Fla. – Garfield Blair led the Hatters (8-10, 5-5) with 22 points and seven rebounds but it wasn’t enough to overcome a red-hot Jacksonville team (10-8, 8-1) that shot 56% from the field and defeated Stetson 84-61 in the Edmunds Center.
Brandon Williams (Miami, Fla.) had a season-high and equaled his career-high with nine points. A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) and Kris Thomas (Lithonia, Ga.) contributed seven points to the cause. Lehmon Colbert (Roberta, Ga.) scored 28 points for the Dolphins. He was 9-for-12 from the field and a perfect 5-5 from 3-point range, as well as from the line.
“I have to give them a lot of credit,” said Stetson head coach Derek Waugh. “As far as conference opponents, that was the best performance we have seen in here since Georgia State beat us (93-62) in 2004.”
Jacksonville pulled off a complete performance dominating every aspect of the game. In addition to shooting 56% from the field, the Dolphins hit 47% from long range and out rebounded the Hatters 34-24.
Jacksonville’s game plan in the first half was to apply a full court press and take the game to the home team. It worked. The Hatters tried to handle the pressure yet ended up turning the ball over 11 times.
Waugh called a timeout at 13:45 in an attempt to slow JU’s momentum after Stetson’s fourth turnover led to another Dolphin layup and an 18-6 lead. The Hatters were able to get as close as six points after a 3-pointer by Brandon Williams with 10:31 remaining. However, that was as close as they would come as the Dolphins went on a 16-2 run to lead by 18. It was an advantage the visitors would maintain throughout the half.
Blair led Stetson with nine points and four rebounds. The Hatters were a solid 46% from the field, yet the Dolphins were a more impressive 60%. Colbert was lights-out for JU shooting 7-for-10, 4-for-4 from 3-point range, and led all scorers at the break with 23 points.
Stetson opened the second half doing everything it could to get back in the game. Unfortunately for the Hatters they were facing a hot team that was hitting nearly everything it threw up at the basket. With 9:27 remaining in the game the teams played an even 17-17 period.
Overall Stetson played much better late in the game and clamped down on the defense, but in the end it was JU’s night.
Prior to the game Hatters head coach Derek Waugh was honored for his 100th win which came last week at Kennesaw State.
The Hatters will return to the Edmunds Center Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m. to take on North Florida. The voices of Stetson men’s basketball Murray Miller and Harry Arnold will broadcast the action; the play-by-play and analysis can be heard on Hatter Vision at www.gohatters.com, the official online home of Stetson Athletics. The game’s video feed will also be available through A-Sun TV and on Hatter Vision.
Tickets for all Stetson home games are available on line at www.gohatters.com. For more information call the Stetson University Ticket Office at (386) 822-8110 or email at Hattertickets@stetson.edu.