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Shooting Goes Cold in Second Half, Hatters Fall to Bucs
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  01/10/2009
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by: Dr. Jay Photos
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DeLand, Fla. Stetson’s Garfield Blair (Orlando, Fla.) willed his way to 22 points and eight rebounds to lead the team, yet it wasn’t enough to overcome a second half surge by the A-Sun’s top team as the Hatters (6-8, 3-3) dropped their first home game of the season 73-67 to the Buccaneers (11-4, 5-0).


Coming into today’s game Stetson was 5-0 at home and had won 20 of its last 22.


“I thought the first half was fantastic,” said head coach Derek Waugh. “The second half we struggled a bit.”


A.J Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) chipped in 14 points and equaled his season-high six assists. Kris Thomas (Lithonia, Ga.) also scored in double figures with 10. Kevin Tiggs (Flint, Mich.) was the game’s top scorer with 26 points, Mike Smith (Vandalia, Mo.) hit for 17 and Isiah Brown (Miami, Fla.) had a game-high 12 rebounds. ETSU opened the second half with consecutive buckets forcing a timeout by Stetson head coach Derek Waugh. At 17:47 Mike Smith hit a layup plus one and the Buccaneers were in the lead to stay.


With 9:50 remaining in the game Lang hit a fast break jumper from the top of the key to get the Hatters to within a point at 54-53. Later, down 67-61 Smith hit a 3-pointer at 1:46 to bring the Hatters to within three and excite the Hatter crowd. It was not to be however as ETSU out scored Stetson 6-3 in the final moments to secure the win.


After shooting well in the first half Stetson ended up shooting just 30% in the second, and 38.2% for the game. Blair was 8-for-18 from the field, 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and 3-for-4 from the line. Although Smith was a perfect 5-for-5 in free throws, the rest of the team was just 7-of-16 (.438). 


Stetson opened the game bombing away with treys and led 14-6 at the first media timeout. At 11:27 A.J. Smith knocked down his second long ball of the first half and the Hatters were up 21-12. At 8:54 Lohuis hit a 3-pointer, his first since December 30 at Florida. At 14 seconds later Graeme Radford (Victoria, Australia) with an off balance leaner to put Stetson up by 10 at 29-19.


Stetson didn’t score again until Smith, the league’s 5th rated free throw shooter, hit a pair at 5:48 to put the Hatters up by 10 at 34-24. ETSU came out of the final media timeout and went on a 9-0 run to get to within a point at 34-33.


A Buccaneer trey with just over a minute gave the visitors a lead for the first time in the game. Thomas followed with a layup at :54 to put the Hatters back up by a point, and then Smith was fouled shooting a long ball with 3.2 seconds on the clock. After knocking down all three freebies Stetson went into the locker room up 40-36.


Stetson shot 48% in the first half including a 7-for-13 effort from downtown, while ETSU shot 42%. The Bucs held a 22-15 advantage at the glass.


Next for the Hatters is a match up with USC Upstate Monday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Edmunds Center. The voices of Stetson men’s basketball Murray Miller and Harry Arnold will broadcast the action; their play-by-play and analysis can be heard on Hatter Vision at, the official online home of Stetson Athletics. The game will also be available through A-Sun TV and on Hatter Vision.


Tickets for all Stetson home games are available on line at For more information call the Stetson University Ticket Office at (386) 822-8110 or email at


Stetson Men's Basketball