DeLand, Fla. -- In the first game after the holidays, Stetson came out with a sluggish first half but pulled away from Division III Skidmore, 85-55 Saturday night at the Edmunds Center. After shooting 33% in the first half, the Hatters scorched the net at a 60.6% clip to outscore Skidmore 56-23 in the second half.
Skidmore's offensive execution in the first half allowed the Thoroughbreds to shoot 50% from the floor and take a 32-29 lead into the locker room. Jonah Haviland-Markowitz was a perfect 4-4 from the field and scored nine points to lead the charge.
'I give Skidmore a lot of credit,' said head coach Derek Waugh. 'They are struggling a little bit this season but they played hard and played with confidence.'
Stetson recovered quickly after the break. The Hatters used a 13-0 run to take over the game and did not allow a point until the 15:09 mark. Skidmore pulled to within nine points at 52-43 with 9:52 remaining before foul trouble caught up to their starters and the Hatters out-scored the Thoroughbreds 33-12 the rest of the way.
'Frankly, I like the fact that this game was a little tougher, because I think it will help us with the upcoming Mercer game,' said Waugh.
Garfield Blair scored in double figures for the 11th straight game with a game-high 16. ?He shot 5-7 from the field and 6-7 from the free throw line. Gabe McMillen added 13 points with four assists and five steals. Tim Lang became the first Hatter this year to reach double digits in rebounds with 10.
'Tim did a nice job on the boards tonight, especially the offensive boards,' said Waugh.
Stetson scored 42 points off 24 Skidmore turnovers, 14 of which came after halftime. The Hatters also snagged 18 offensive rebounds.
The 85-55 victory was Stetson's first 30-point win since 2001, when they topped Webber International 87-57 at the Edmunds Center.
The Hatters next begin the back half of their schedule in which all but one of their remaining games is against conference foes. The first of those games comes January 2 at Mercer.