Nashville, Tenn. - For the second time against Lipscomb in as many meetings this season, six Stetson women's basketball players scored in double figures; unlike the first meeting, however, this game went to the Hatters as they routed the Lady Bisons 78-53 Monday evening at Allen Arena. Stetson improved to 11-10 overall and 7-5 in Atlantic Sun Conference action while Lipscomb dropped to 8-14 (5-8 A-Sun).
The Hatters moved their overall record over .500 after New Year's for the first time since their A-Sun championship season of 2004-05, swept the Nashville trip for the first time since Lipscomb joined the A-Sun seven years ago and won for the fifth time in their last six games. Stetson had defeated Belmont 70-60 at the Curb Event Center across Nashville on Saturday.
Five of the six double figure scorers were the same as in the January 3 game against Lipscomb, a 73-72 overtime defeat at the Edmunds Center. The lone change came in the form of redshirt junior guard Mairead McNally (Belfast, N. Ireland), who scored a career-high 10 points tonight. McNally is the first woman from Northern Ireland ever to play NCAA Division I basketball.
Stetson ended up scoring 70+ points for the fifth consecutive game tonight despite getting off to a slow start; the Hatters were down 6-0 more than five and a half minutes into the contest before McNally got them on the scoreboard with a jumper.
Stetson would battle back from that early six-point deficit, using a three-pointer from sophomore guard Victoria McGowan (Inkster, Mich.) with eight minutes left in the first half to take a lead they would never relinquish. That bucket came as part of a 27-5 run throughout the remainder of the half and into the early stages of the second half that put the Hatters ahead by 20, 43-23. Lipscomb would never get closer than 17 points after halftime; Stetson led by as many as 27 before clocking out with the 78-53 victory.
Senior forward Jessica Conner (Cocoa, Fla.) led the double figure sextet with 16 points and six rebounds; McGowan and senior guard Tierra Brown (Orlando, Fla.) scored 14 apiece with McGowan also dishing out five assists. Freshman forward Sasha Sims (Fayetteville, Ga.) and sophomore guard/forward Simone Taylor (Delray Beach, Fla.) chipped in 11 points apiece and McNally rounded it off with 10 of her own. Senior center Natasha Graboski (Upper Sandusky, Ohio) pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Anna Bowers scored a game-high 18 points for the Lady Bisons, which also got 10 points from Jenna Bartsokas, more than six under her season scoring average. Brittany Duerk led all players in the game with 11 rebounds. Stetson shot 55.2 percent from the floor (32-58) and 57.1 percent from three-point land (8-14) while holding Lipscomb to 18-51 from the field (.353).
Stetson returns home to host three-time defending A-Sun tournament champions ETSU at 1 p.m. Saturday, February 5. USC Upstate follows the Lady Bucs into the Edmunds Center at 7 p.m. Monday. Live Stats and Hatter Vison with Bill Topping will be available for both games at GoHatters.com, the official online home of Stetson Athletics.
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