Garfield Blair (
“We really played extremely well in the second half. We cut down on our mistakes and played our defense,” said head coach Derek Waugh. “That plus a contagious offense helped us win it.”
When Smith knocked down a trey from the top of the key just before the first media timeout, Stetson was back to within five points. Soon after he added another from the same spot and the score was 47-45 Bruins with 14:05 to play.
It was another 3-pointer by Smith at 5:56 that put Stetson on top to stay 61-59. On the night Smith was 6-for-12 from long range tying the team record for three point attempts in a game twice accomplished by Mark Brisker in 1991. Smith shot 9-of-18 from the field, 8-for-9 from the line and finished with five assists and four steals. He scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half.
“A.J was fantastic tonight - he makes plays. He did a great job offensively and defensively on Alex Renfroe as well,” said Waugh.
Coming down the stretch Stetson was not to be denied. After a hard drive to the basket by Blair for a bucket the Bruins were forced to call a timeout at 4:13 to slow Stetson’s momentum. It didn’t work as Stetson stole the ball on the next possession fed it to Smith in the corner for another bomb and the Hatters led 67-59 at the final media break. That was when Super fan Gus Gibbs took to the floor and did his thing spelling doom for the visitors.
Stetson dominated the battle of the boards pulling down 41 to 29 for
The biggest issue for the Hatters in the first half was the turnovers. They gave the ball up 17 times in the period. The Bruins were able to take advantage of the miscues and led by as many as 12 points.
Offensively, predictable perimeter play combined with a swarming Bruins defense made it difficult for the Hatters to penetrate into the paint.
The Hatters eventually were able to work the ball inside to Sheldon Oliver (
The Hatters will take to the road this weekend for games against USC Upstate on Saturday February 7 at 1:00 p.m. and ETSU on Monday February 9 at 7:00 p.m. The voices of Stetson men’s basketball Murray Miller and Harry Arnold will broadcast the action; the play-by-play and analysis can be heard on Hatter Vision at www.gohatters.com, the official online home of Stetson Athletics. The game’s video feed will also be available through A-Sun TV and on Hatter Vision.