Johnson City, Tenn. – Junior Mark Lohuis scored a season-high 13 points and Stetson led from start to finish en route to a 64-63 win over East Tennessee State Monday night in Johnson City, Tennessee. Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) shot 4-of-9, all from 3-point territory and also led the team in rebounding with seven boards in a season-high 33 minutes of play. Garfield Blair (Orlando, Fla.) and Kris Thomas (Lithonia, Ga.) added 10 points each.
It was an impressive win for the Hatters (11-12, 8-7) over the team with the best record in the Atlantic Sun Conference (17-7, 11-3). Stetson outrebounded ETSU 40-36 and held the top scoring team in the league (78.0 ppg) to just 63 on its home floor.
"ETSU is obviously a great team," said Stetson head coach Derek Waugh. "Beating them anywhere is a great accomplishment."
Stetson dropped a 73-67 contest to ETSU at home in the Edmunds Center on January 10, 2009.
I have to give our guys a lot of credit; they showed a lot of heart. Everybody who played tonight made a huge contribution to this win," added Waugh.
The Hatters spread the scoring out across the lineup. All eleven on the active roster saw time on the court with nine playing over six minutes and scoring at least a point. The other two added to the stifling defense and pulled down some key rebounds. Seven players chipped in six points or more as Stetson’s bench outscored ETSU’s bench 17-9.
Stetson came into the second half looking to keep the pressure on the home team. It built its 8-point halftime lead to 13 at 18:32 and then played the Bucs even over the next 13 minutes. At 5:20, after Tim Lang (Victoria, Australia) knocked down one of his patented hook shots the Hatters led by 11 points and then braced for a potential Buccaneer run.
ETSU scored six consecutive points to make the score 64-59 with 2:28 remaining. That was when Lohuis committed his fourth foul and sent Kevin Tiggs to the line where he hit one of two and the lead was down to four. With the Bucs run at seven and the pressure turned up to high, the Hatters were forced to play the final two and a half minutes with five players having four fouls and, the team having no timeouts remaining. Blair returned to the game after sitting most of the half. He picked up his fourth foul with 13:02 on the clock.
ETSU continued its run eventually scoring the final 10 points of the game. With 10 seconds remaining and in possession of the ball the Buccaneers set up its final shot for the win. With two seconds left Blair pulled down a key rebound off the miss and Stetson celebrated a hard-fought win.
“We had to have everybody tonight - tremendous effort by the guys,” said Waugh. “We made enough plays down the stretch to get the win - great team win.”
The biggest difference between the two teams in the first half was Stetson’s ability to hit the long ball. The Hatters had seven more 3-pointers than the Buccaneers and went into the locker room leading by eight points. Stetson was red hot from outside the arc in the first half shooting 10-of-20 for 50%. Lohuis equaled his season-high with a trio of treys. Lohuis along with Blair led the Hatters in scoring at the break with nine points.
Stetson returns to the Edmunds Center this week for its final home stand of the season. The Hatters will play a non-conference game against Savannah State on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. before playing Kennesaw State on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Mercer on Monday at 7:00 p.m. 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.