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Solid Defensive Effort Not Enough, Hatters Fall to #7 Texas
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  11/14/2008
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Lang led all rebounders with 8.
by: Stetson University
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Austin, Texas. Stetson showed why it has the potential to be one of the top defensive programs in the nation this season by holding the 7th ranked University of Texas to 68 points Friday night in Austin. Offensively however, A.J. Smith (Cocoa, Fla.) and Garfield Blair (Orlando, Fla.) were the only Hatters able to break into double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively.


With better luck on the offensive end and fewer exposed nerves, the Hatters could have taken the season-opener down to the wire. As it was, however, Stetson shot just 26 percent from the field and lost by a score of 68-38.


Texas is a very good team. We knew they were very good offensively,” said Stetson Head Coach Derek Waugh. “Our goal was to keep them in the 60’s and we were able to do that tonight.”


The Longhorns opened the game with a 7-0 run until the 16:02 mark when Blair was able break Stetson’s 0-6 shooting and knock down Stetson’s first points. The Hatters followed with another scoreless streak that ended at 11:26 when Kris Thomas (Lithonia, Ga.) buried three consecutive free throws to make the score 14-5.


Texas led by as many as 17 points in the first half before Stetson got on track and made an 11-2 run to make the score 26-18 with 42 seconds remaining. A.J. Adams, the games leading scorer with 21 points, hit a key 3-pointer with four seconds on the clock. It was a bucket that broke Stetson’s momentum and sent the Horns into the locker room on a high.


The Hatters continued their outstanding defense in the second half and kept the game close. When Tim Lang (Victoria, Australia) hit a free throw at 9:37 Stetson was within 13 points at 47-34. However, that was as close as the visitors would come on the night. Lang finished the game with just three points, yet played an inspired game down low. He never backed down to players like Texas’ Dexter Pittman (6-10, 300 lbs) and led all players on the floor with eight rebounds.


In the final nine minutes the Longhorns (1-0) were able to run off 21 points to four for Stetson (0-1) to seal the victory.  


Smith was 2-for-4 from 3-point range and 4-for-4 from the line for his team-high 11 points. Blair added six rebounds to his 10 points. As a team Stetson was a disappointing 13-for-50 (26.0%) from the field and 4-for-19 (21.1%) from beyond the arc.


In addition to the defensive effort, the good news is that the Hatters shot 73% (8-for-11) from the free throw line. If they can increase that percentage by just a little over the course of the season they will have what it takes to compete for a conference championship in March. Although a tough night from the field, that percentage will certainly increase as the nerves settle and the team adjusts. This is a talented group that will give its fans many reasons to cheer in 2008-09.


The Hatters return home to host Bethune-Cookman Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Edmunds Center. It will be the first Honor Roll Night as Stetson recognizes the Honor Roll students from West Volusia County in grades K-8.


Stetson Men's Basketball