DeLand, Fla. - Stetson (6-12, 4-4 A-Sun) finished the game on a 25-17 run yet couldn't repel a buzzer beater and fell 63-62 to Kennesaw State (5-12, 3-4 A-Sun) Sunday afternoon in the Edmunds Center. With six seconds on the clock and down by a point KSU's Spencer Dixon (Marietta, Ga.) dribbled the length of the floor and hit a layup just before the horn sounded. After a video review the winning tally was upheld by the officials.
"We did a nice job executing coming down the stretch", said Stetson head coach Derek Waugh. "I thought Graeme Radford did a good job stepping in and had a decent chance at getting the charge on that final play but it wasn't to be."
For the second consecutive game freshman Luis Jacobo (Sanford, Fla.) led the Hatters in scoring. He finished with 16 points on 8-for-17 shooting from the floor and added five rebounds. Fellow Freshmen Corey Walden (Ormond Beach, Fla.) and Steve Forbes (Clermont, Fla.) also contributed to the Hatter cause. Walden was second in scoring with 13 points and Forbes was a monster under the glass tearing down a career-high and a season team-high 13 rebounds.
"In the beginning of the game Steve was dominant on the boards", said Waugh. "After his second foul we had to take him out which is unfortunate because he was dominating play."
Four Owls hit double-figures in scoring led by Kelvin McConnell (Smyrna, Ga.) with 16 points. Aaron Anderson (Tucson, Az.) and LaDaris Green (Savannah, Ga.) each had 10 rebounds for the visitors.
Stetson outscored KSU 40-30 in the paint and shot 45.8 pct. from the field compared to 44.6 pct. for the Owls. One costly statistic for the Hatters was a 1-for-13 result from 3-point territory.
"We lost this game because we just were not as focused as we were on Friday night. That has been a problem for us this year; we come out focused one game and are not nearly as focused the next. So that is something we need to improve on", said Waugh.
The action was back and forth in the first half with neither team extending an advantage to more than four points. The lead changed hands eight times and there were five tie scores. Forbes surpassed his career game-high of seven rebounds with eight in the first period and Jacobo led all scorers with eight points.
In the second half KSU was able to build a nine-point lead at 46-37 with 9:58 on the clock. Stetson scored the next nine points. The run included a pair of steals and five points by Walden. In the final seconds Ridge Graham (Stuart, Fla.) took a feed from Jacobo and charged into the paint for a go-ahead layup with six seconds remaining. After a Hatter timeout and a readjustment of the game clock Kennesaw State's Dixon came up with the winning play.
Next up the Hatters will travel to Savannah, Georgia to play Savannah State on Tuesday, January 18 at 7:00 p.m. Stetson fans can catch the game audio on Hatter Vision with 17-year veterans Murray Miller and Harry Arnold calling the action. Also be sure to follow the Hatters on Twitter at @StetsonSID, on Facebook at Stetson Athletics, and check out the Stetson Hatters channel onYouTube.