(Jacksonsville, Fla.) -- An old rivalry in a historic gymnasium saw
After a tightly played first half, Stetson fell behind in the second half before staging a comeback in the final minutes.
“Ultimately we had our chances,” said head coach Derek Waugh. “We had some open looks and chances to score but we just were not able to capitalize.”
A wild first half saw five ties and six lead changes before
Garfield Blair used the bravado of a gunslinger to put in 10 first half points for Stetson. He was 5-for-7 from the floor, bullying his way into the paint for lay-ups and short jumpers. Jesse Kimbrough answered for JU with 10 points of his own. He buried two three-pointers and was 4-for-7 from the field.
Though JU led off the second half with a three-pointer, the Hatters immediately went on an 8-0 run to tie the score at 33. Moments later a Gabe McMillen three gave Stetson their first lead since the 13:50 mark in the first half.
The Dolphins quickly regained the lead, though a thunderous Tim Lang dunk with 8:53 remaining brought Stetson back to tie at 44. JU responded with a 14-2 run, punctuated with three traditional three-point plays, over the next five minutes to take a 58-46 lead.
Blair stopped the run and scored Stetson’s first points in over three minutes with a remarkable reverse lay-up. A Mark Lohuis trey with 46 seconds left brought the Hatters to within 63-60 but JU held on from the free throw line, going 15-of-19.
The Hatters had one of their better shooting nights, knocking down 49% of their shots, but just six of 17 three-pointers. Blair finished with 16 points and five rebounds to lead Stetson in both categories. J.J. Hirst scored 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting. He hit two threes and both his free throw attempts.
Stetson dropped to 3-6 in the conference and 7-13 overall. The Dolphins improved to 5-4 and 9-10.
The Hatters return home to the