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Blair's Double-Double Not Enough in 75-67 Stetson Loss at Kennesaw State
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  02/14/2008
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Garfield Blair had 24 points and 11 rebounds at Kennesaw State.
by: Stetson University
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Junior forward Garfield Blair (Orlando, Fla.) scored 24 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and pushed himself to the brink of 1,000 career points, but the Stetson men’s basketball team (12-14, 7-5 Atlantic Sun) was not able to catch the host Kennesaw State Owls (7-19, 4-8 A-Sun) Monday evening in a 75-67 loss.  The double-double was Blair’s second of the season and his career.


Trailing by as many as eight points in the final minutes, the Hatters were able to chop the Kennesaw State lead down to four with approximately 1:20 to play.  Following a missed Tanner Jacobs free throw, Stetson pushed the ball down the floor where sophomore guard A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) found sophomore forward Sheldon Oliver (Orlando, Fla.) under the basket for a layup that cut the score to 69-67 with 40 seconds left.  Jacobs was able to convert both his free throws after being fouled on the ensuing possession, however, and that would prove to be the nail in Stetson’s coffin for the evening.


Down by two at halftime, a pair of Blair baskets briefly tied the game at 32 before a McConnell three-pointer gave the Owls the lead back.  Sophomore guard Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) hit a three-pointer with just under 16 minutes left that gave Stetson a 38-36 lead, its first of the second half.  Once again, however, the Owls would come back, this time with an 11-5 run that brought KSU into the under-12 media timeout leading 47-43.


Stetson tied the game twice before finally re-taking the lead with 7:40 to go when Blair found Diaz under the basket for a layup to put the Hatters ahead 55-54.  That lead immediately disappeared when Wooten’s layup bounced around the rim several times before dropping through.  That basket started a 6-0 Owl run and gave Kennesaw State a lead it would not relinquish.  Jacobs converted a key three-point play with 3:54 remaining that extended the hosts’ lead to six.


Blair added four assists to go along with his 24 points and 11 rebounds, making eight of 15 field goal attempts.  His high-scoring performance brought him to 999 career points as he should become Stetson’s 29th member of the 1,000-point club Saturday at Mercer.


Oliver scored a season-high 14 points and pulled down six rebounds and junior forward Eric Diaz (Miami, Fla.) contributed nine points.  All five Kennesaw State starters scored in double figures, led by Kelvin McConnell’s 18 points.  Jacobs had a strong game, putting up a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double.  Shuan Stegall scored 14 points, Ronell Wooten had 12 and Jon-Michael Nickerson tallied 10 points and eight rebounds with a pair of blocked shots.  The Owls made 12 of 14 free throws in the second half and 13 of 16 in the game.


The two teams traded baskets at the outset in a low-scoring game with neither team getting ahead by more than five points.  Early on the action was continuous and largely unblemished by fouls as neither team shot a free throw until Blair went to the line for two shots with 8:49 left in the first half.  Kennesaw State didn’t shoot one until 4:27 remained before halftime.


The Owls took their largest lead to that point at 23-17 when Wooten buried a long three-pointer with seven minutes to go in the half.  KSU kept going, getting ahead by eight before a pair of Blair free throws with 2:20 to go made it a two-point game at 30-28.  Neither team would score again before halftime.


Oliver led the Hatters with eight points in the first half and Diaz had five.  McConnell, Nickerson and Wooten scored eight points apiece for Kennesaw State.  Blair pulled down seven rebounds to go with four points while Nickerson had a team-high six for the Owls.


Stetson will attempt to get back on the winning track Saturday when the Hatters take on the Mercer Bears at the University Center in Macon, Ga.  Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. as Murray Miller and Harry Arnold call the action on the official website of Stetson Athletics,  The webcast is available through A-Sun.TV.

Stetson Men's Basketball