DeLand, Fla. - Sophomores Ridge Graham (Stuart, Fla.) and Tyshawn Patterson (Orlando, Fla), along with senior Graeme Radford (Victoria, Australia) put up season-high scoring efforts yet Stetson (7-23, 5-14 A-Sun) could not finish a dramatic comeback and fell 80-77 to the University of North Florida (12-18, 9-10 A-Sun) Thursday night in the Edmunds Center.
With the loss Stetson was officially eliminated from the A-Sun Tournament for the second consecutive season.
Graham tallied his 7th double-double of the season and 2nd in a row with 23 points and 10 rebounds against the Ospreys. Patterson scored 17 second-half points on his way to a career-high of 21. He was 7-for-15 from the field and 6-of-9 from the line. Radford hit 3-of-4 from the field including a pair of power moves to finish with six points. He also added four rebounds.
Joel Naburgs (Victoria, Australia) and Luis Jacobo (Sanford, Fla.) also put up double figures with 13 and 10 points respectively.
After falling behind by as many as 15 points with just under eight minutes remaining in the game the Hatters put on a furious comeback effort. Down 69-54, Stetson went on a 19-5 run to pull to within a single point with 22 seconds on the clock. From there UNF was able to stay just ahead in a back-and-forth free throw shooting contest and then survived a last second 3-point attempt by Patterson that would have sent the game into overtime.
"We battled through a lot of things in the game", said Stetson head coach Derek Waugh. "In the end if I had to sum the season up we've got a young group, we've lost a lot of close games, and we've missed a lot of free throws."
Although they have two of the top free throw shooters in the league (Corey Walden and Joel Naburgs), the Hatters came into the game sitting in 10th place in the A-Sun with a .617 free throw percentage. Against UNF Stetson hit just 17-of-31 freebies (.548) compared to 21-of-28 (.750) for the Ospreys.
The first half was played even with two lead changes and two ties. The Ospreys largest lead was eight points and the Hatters led by as much as six. Stetson shot 46.7% (14-for-30) from the field while UNF shot 43.8% (14-of-32).
Next up the Hatters remain home for their last game of the season against Jacksonville on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. It will be senior day and the final game for senior Graeme Radford. Stetson fans can catch the games on Hatter Vision. Be sure to follow the Hatters on Twitter at @StetsonSID, on Facebook at Stetson Athletics, and check out the Stetson Hatters channel onYouTube.