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Stetson Clinches A-Sun Berth, Squeaks By Mercer 73-72
Courtesy: -  
Release:  02/09/2006
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Stetson Clinches A-Sun Berth, Squeaks By Mercer 73-72
February 10, 2006

Macon, Ga. ' The Stetson men's basketball team edged Mercer 73-72 to clinch a spot in the 2006 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament Friday night at the University Center.

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The Hatters won for the fifth time in their last six games to improve to 7-17 overall and 6-9 in the league.? The Bears fell to 6-16 and 5-11.

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'It was a nice game for us tonight and I am really proud of our guys,' said head coach Derek Waugh. 'Our offensive execution was excellent especially in the first half.'

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An E.J. Gordon (DeLand, Fla.) layup with just over a minute remaining in the game put Stetson ahead 73-69 and helped secure the one-point win. After Gordon's basket, Mercer's Andrew Brown drained a three-pointer at the other end of the court to cut the Hatters' lead to one point.

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After Mercer missed another three-point attempt with 10 seconds on the clock and Stetson failed to capitalize on a Bear foul by missing two free throws with six seconds left, both teams struggled for a lose ball at midcourt. The Hatters batted it away to hold on for the win.

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Mercer worked to cut Stetson's lead after halftime, knotting things up 52-52 at 12:33. The Bears would then enjoy their first lead of the evening, 56-54, with a jumper by Ross Alacqua at 11:02.?

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The game went through five more lead changes and two more ties during the final 11 minutes of play.

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The game started with the lead going back and forth for the first 10 minutes. After eight lead changes and four ties, a made free throw by Eric Diaz put the Hatters on top 19-18 at 9:25. Stetson would then control the remainder of the half, increasing its lead to a game-high 11 points at the break, 46-35.

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Junior Gabe McMillen (Largo, Fla) led the Hatters with 17 points while going 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Gordon added 14 points and seven assists and senior Karl Hollingsworth (Jonesboro, Ga.) contributed 11 points.

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Brown led all scorers with 26 points, while Sam Dolan and Montavious Waters chipped in 12 points apiece.

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The Hatters held a 32-31 advantage in rebounds for the evening while also outshooting the Bears from the floor, from three-point range, and from the free throw line.

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'We tend to be successful when we outrebound opponents and that's what we did tonight,' said Waugh. 'After losing the last two against Mercer, it was nice for the tides to turn for us.'

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Stetson is in action again Sunday when it hosts Florida Atlantic at the Edmunds Center at 3 p.m.?

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Box Score

Notes: Stetson won its third straight road game for the first time since 1995 ... The Hatters will be returning to the A-Sun tournament for the first time since 2004.



Stetson Men's Basketball




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