The Stetson women's basketball team will look to extend the nation's fifth-longest home court winning streak this weekend as the Hatters host ETSU Saturday at 1 p.m. and USC Upstate Monday at 7 p.m.
A perfect 10-0 at home this season and winners of 14 straight at the Edmunds Center, Stetson (16-6, 9-2 A-Sun) will play five of its final seven regular season games in DeLand.
Senior Janelle Mills will likely be playing in her 120th career game on Saturday, which would break the all-time mark held by Tierra Brown (119 games, 2007-11). Mills has also not missed a single game in her collegiate career, but says she is most proud of the fact that her freshman class stayed together for four years.
"We have seen a lot of people transfer, but to be here with people like Simone Taylor and Ashley Dennis is a big deal for me," Mills said. "We made a pact our freshman year to stick it out."
"Janelle's a big reason for our success," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. "She came here and took a chance on us when our program was just getting started. She was a part of my first recruiting class, so I think that just shows her committment to the program and her teammates. I think it's absolutely wonderful and a huge accomplishment for her."
Mills says she has been fortunate to stay healthy enough to play game-in and game-out for four straight years.
"At some point in everyone's career their body is going to take some wear and tear," Mills said. "I've just been lucky enough not to have had any serious enough issues that kept me out of certain games or for a season. I have been lucky and blessed not to have had to deal with that type of adversity."
Mills got her third start of the year at Jacksonville Monday night and contributed five points, two steals and a block. Sophomore C.J. Coddington was also earned a start Monday after playing well off the bench the last few games.
"C.J. gives us so much energy defensively, and she is really doing a lot better for us offensively," Bria said. "She is starting to hit some shots and is playing within herself more."
As the team heads down the home stretch, the coaches continue to look for areas that need fine-tuning. Bria says the team worked a lot on offensive spacing and battling through long stretches defensively.
"As you get into February, you have got to be ready to play longer possessions because teams are going to be better at passing, reversing the ball, and running their offense," Bria said. "So I think you have to guard the ball better side-to-side-to-side."
Mills says the team is always working on its rebounding and defense.
"Those are two categories we can always get better in," Mills said. "Coach Bria tells us 'Your offense can be fickle but your defense should never fail you,'."
Video for both games can be seen on HatterVision and ASun.TV, while the audio broadcast can be heard on WSBB, 1230 AM New Smyrna Beach, 1490 AM DeLand, and on myam1230.com.
In addition fans can get live in-game updates via live stats at GoHatters.com, the Stetson women's basketball twitter account (@StetsonWBB), or by subscribing to the Hat-Alerts text messaging service.