The Stetson women’s basketball team extended its overall win streak to seven and its home court winning streak to 12 with a 73-56 victory over Jacksonville in an Atlantic Sun Conference game Monday afternoon at the Edmunds Center.
Victoria McGowan hit 11 of her 17 shots including five three-pointers to lead all scorers with 27 points. She added six rebounds, six assists, and four steals in 36 minutes of action.
The Hatters (11-4, 4-0 A-Sun) continued their dominating play at home, leading wire-to-wire for the third game in a row. Stetson has not trailed at home over its last 158 minutes, dating back to an early 2-0 deficit against Georgia Southern on Dec. 18.
Stetson opened the game with a hot hand from three-point range as Jama Sharp knocked down a three just 10 seconds into the game. Ashley Dennis connected on two more three-pointers to give the Hatters an early 9-2 lead.
McGowan hit the first of her five threes at the 14:10 mark to put Stetson ahead 14-9. The Hatters then held Jacksonville to just one field goal over the next six-and-a-half minutes to take a 24-11 lead.
The Dolphins worked their way back to within six, but the Hatters closed the half with a flurry. Sasha Sims knocked down a three from the right-wing with 12 seconds remaining in the half, and before Jacksonville could put up a final shot, McGowan stole the ball and went uncontested for a buzzer-beating lay-up. That sent the Hatters to the locker room with a 12-point advantage, 40-28.
Stetson got off to a quick start again in the second half with McGowan drilling a three-pointer just 10 seconds into the period. After a Sharp steal, McGowan fed Cherisse Burris in the post for a fastbreak lay-up and the Hatters were up 17.
“We try and emphasize the first five minutes of each half and giving the first punch instead of taking it,” McGowan said.
Stetson’s lead fluctuated between 13 and 19 the rest of way as the Hatters improved to 24-1 in their last 25 games at the Edmunds Center.
Burris finished with 10 points while Sims added nine rebounds, seven rebounds, and four blocks.
“I think we had good energy today,” Sims said. “We kind of let ourselves down as far as the rebounding battle that we talk about every game, but it helped us out that we were able to put the ball in the basket.”
Stetson shot 43 percent for the game but was outrebounded by Jacksonville (6-9, 2-2) 51-36. The Dolphins had four players in double figures, including Briona Brown with 16 points.
“I think we did well offensively, but our defense was not as good as we wanted it to be,” McGowan said. “We have to rebound better and contain the dribble better.”
Stetson will look for its eighth win a row at 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at USC Upstate. The Hatters will then travel to ETSU for a 7 p.m. game next Monday night. The school record for longest winning streak is 10, set last year.
Notes: The seven-game win streak is tied for the second longest win streak in school history and is tied for the ninth longest active streak in the nation … The 12-game home court win streak is tied for the eighth longest active streak in the nation … Of the 320 minutes at home this year, Stetson has trailed for just 4:17 … Stetson hit 19 three-pointers on the homestand (nine Monday) ... Victoria McGowan was named College Sports Madness A-Sun Player of the Week Monday. It is the third time this season she has earned that honor.