With the team’s two leading scorers Garfield Blair and A.J. Smith injured and watching from the bench, Stetson had a chance to win the game in regulation, yet Brandon Williams’ 3-pointer could not find the hoop and the game went to an extra period. Blair sat out the entire game with a bruised sternum; an injury sustained in the final seconds of Stetson’s win Saturday night at Mercer. Smith left the game with just over six minutes remaining in regulation with an injury to his foot; he did not return.
Without Blair the Stetson knew it would have a challenge holding off a Tiger team looking to even up the season series and win its first-ever game over the Hatters. Stetson defeated
The Tigers jumped out to an early lead with a 6-0 run to open the game. Stetson took its first lead at the 10:37 mark on a layup by junior Kris Thomas. The Hatters never led by more than two points in the opening period. Just before halftime
Stetson came out of the locker room inspired and built a lead up to a game-high of eight points when freshman Shawn Bowen knocked down a 3-pointer with nine and a half minutes remaining. The Hatters held on until 5:14 when the Tigers’ Raye Bailey hit a layup and tied the score at 51. The play went back and forth down the stretch when Lazarius Coleman tied the game at 56 with a single free throw at 00:27. Stetson held the ball as the clock ticked down yet could only manage a long range effort that missed its mark.
Stetson out rebounded
Smith led Stetson in scoring with 18 points, Thomas was second with 11. However, they combined for a less than stellar 10-for-26 effort from the field (.384). Bowen equaled his career-high with five points in 16 minutes on the floor. Sophomore Sheldon Oliver led the team under the glass with four rebounds. Chris Linton led the Tigers with 13 points, followed by Anthony Jones with 12 and Curtis Brown with 10.
Stetson will return to the floor this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. for an A-Sun game against