DeLand, Fla. - Senior guard A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) had 19 points and five assists in his final game, leading four Hatters in double figures as the Stetson men's basketball team (7-22, 5-15 Atlantic Sun) knocked off USC Upstate (6-23, 6-14 A-Sun) 65-60 at the Edmunds Center on Saturday's Senior Night. Junior forward Olivier Dupiton (Montreal, Quebec), who will be graduating this summer, set career highs with nine rebounds and four steals.
Stetson led nearly from start to finish and never trailed, using a 10-0 run from the 8:53 mark to the 3:31 mark of the second half to break the game's only tie. The Hatters held off the Spartans from there until the final buzzer sounded, never letting USC Upstate closer than five points.
Smith hit three three-pointers in the ballgame to finish with 167 for his career, just three shy of the program record set by Hatter great Kerry Blackshear '96. Fellow senior guard Brandon Williams (Miami, Fla.) hit four trifectas and finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists while freshman guard Joel Naburgs (Victoria, Australia) scored 12 points on 3-4 three-point shooting. Senior guard Mark Lohuis (Vero Beach, Fla.) was the final Hatter in double figures with 10 points. Dupiton recorded eight of his rebounds and two of his four steals in the second half to key Stetson down the stretch to victory.
Ryan LeGates sank four three-pointers en route to a team-high 18 points for USC Upstate. Nick Schneiders added 14 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
The Hatters bring in another excellent recruiting class this summer to complement standout freshmen from the 2009-10 team such as Naburgs, Ridge Graham (Stuart, Fla.), Liam McInerney (Victoria, Australia), Tyshawn Patterson (Orlando, Fla.) and J.R. Weston (Morral, Ohio). As a class, Stetson's rookies were second in the nation in scoring only to Kentucky's.
"I was really happy that the seniors were able to go out with a win and that we were able to end the season on a positive note," Head Coach Derek Waugh said. "With the guys we have coming in and coming back, if they keep their heads on straight and work hard - I think we'll be loaded for the future and I look forward to having my best run at Stetson."