DeLand, Fla. - The Stetson women's basketball team (8-9, 4-4 Atlantic Sun) picked up its third win in four tries with a 74-60 win over visiting Kennesaw State (3-12, 0-7 A-Sun) Monday evening at the Edmunds Center. Senior forward Jessica Conner (Cocoa, Fla.) put up a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double and senior guard Tierra Brown (Orlando, Fla.) scored 22 as well to lead the Hatters. Sophomore guard Victoria McGowan (Inkster, Mich.) completed the high-scoring trio with 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
The Hatters seemed to set the tone for the night at the outset with a 9-2 run to begin the game, but KSU would come right back with a 14-2 run of its own to go up 16-11 with 11:36 left in the first half. Eventually Stetson would gain the upper hand, however, as Brown hit a three-pointer with 8:44 left before halftime to give the Hatters a 20-18 lead they would not relinquish the remainder of the game. That bucket started a 16-4 Stetson streak that enabled the Hatters to lead 37-25 at the intermission.
Brown scored 18 of her 22 points in the first half and would pass the metaphorical scoring baton to McGowan for the second stanza. The Bowling Green transfer scored 13 of her 17 points down the stretch, including eight free throws in the final 5:15.
Stetson led by 10 points with less than 12 minutes left in regulation before the Lady Owls began one last assault on their deficit. Ashley Holliday sank three three-pointers over the next seven minutes, the last of which brought Kennesaw State within 58-55 with 5:35 to play, but the Hatters would not yield any more. McGowan and Conner built the lead back to eight at the final media timeout; Stetson held KSU to just one field goal in the final 3:19 to salt away its third win in a row over the Lady Owls and fifth in the last six matchups.
Brown and Conner became the first Hatter duo to score 20 points in the same game since Ayesha Barkley '09 and Sharnesha Smith '09 did it in a 71-68 overtime win at Gardner-Webb on January 28, 2008.
Holliday scored 14 points to lead three Lady Owls in double figures with Sametria Gideon (11 points, 15 rebounds) and Brandi Jones (10 points) joining her. Christie Leverette dished out six assists, tying McGowan for the game high.
The Hatters face one of the biggest home games in program history on Thursday, when 14-0 Florida Gulf Coast comes to the Edmunds Center for a 7 p.m. tip-off. The Atlantic Sun-leading Eagles, who are receiving votes in both major national polls, and third-ranked Duke are the last two undefeated teams remaining in NCAA Division I women's basketball. Live Stats and Hatter Vision with Bill Topping and Dee Romine are available as always at GoHatters.com, the official online home of Stetson Athletics.
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