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Hatters Gang Up on Bears
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  01/22/2010
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Smith scores 22 against the Bears.
by: Jim Hogue Photos
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DeLand, Fla. - Stetson (5-12, 3-6) scored on its opening possession and then never trailed en route to a 76-69 win over Mercer (9-9, 5-3) Friday night in the Edmunds Center. Eight of the nine Hatters that took the floor scored as they bullied the Bears with a strong team effort.

A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) had 22 points to lead Stetson while Ridge Graham (Stuart, Fla.) and Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) added 15 apiece. Mercer's James Florence, the A-Sun's #2 gunner, was the game's leading scorer with 25 points. Daniel Emerson added 18 points for Mercer.

Lohuis equaled his career-high in three pointers with five and hit a season-high with the 15 points. He was 5-for-9 from the field and 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.

"I was really proud of our guys tonight", said Stetson head coach Derek Waugh. "This was a really big win for us."

"We have been waiting for this group to come together and gel. I am not sure if we are completely there yet, but this was a big step forward", he added.

 Stetson has now won two of its last three A-Sun conference games including last Thursday's upset victory on the road against ETSU.   

Tonight as a team Stetson shot a season-high 50.9% from the field and an impressive 42.9% from long range. The Hatters held Mercer to 39.1% from the field and 18.5% from 3-point territory.

In the first half Stetson led by as many as 12 points when Tyshawn Patterson (Orlando, Fla.) buried a 3-pointer at 6:48. Patterson was a key contributor to the win totaling nine points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.

Florence did what he could to keep his team in the game. He hit a jumper with 2:11 on the clock to narrow the lead to seven points. Brandon Williams (Miami, Fla.) knocked down a long ball to push the lead back to 10, yet Florence wasn't done. He answered with a three of his own and then added a pair of free throws to send his team into the locker room down by just five.

The second half was back and forth yet the Bears could not get over the hump. The lead dwindled to as low as one point at 40-39, and then it reached as high as 14 points after a Patterson layup with 6:57 remaining. In the end Stetson remained in control and booked a seven-point margin of victory.

Graham was the Hatters' top rebounder with nine followed by Smith and Lohuis each with five.

Next up for the Hatters is a home game on Sunday afternoon, January 24 against Kennesaw State. The game can be seen on Stetson's Hatter Vision at Murray Miller will provide the play by play with Harry "Chat Man" Arnold adding color.

Stetson Men's Basketball