The long wait for Myeisha Hall is finally over.
It had been nearly 12 full months since the Stetson University junior guard last laced up the sneakers and put on a uniform. After transferring to Stetson from Old Dominion in January and sitting out the NCAA-mandated two semesters, Hall hit the court Tuesday night and made an immediate impact in the Hatters' 83-81 win over Charlotte at the Edmunds Center.
"It felt good to be playing again but I was extremely nervous," Hall said about her debut. "It was my first official game in a year."
“I don’t think we would have won this game without her," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said after the victory. "Myeisha just came in and made some big plays for us.”
Hall entered the game at the 16:31 mark of the first half, but she admittedly got off to a shaky start as her first couple of attempts missed the target. However, she knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the final minute of the first half that help stake Stetson to a 42-36 halftime lead.
"At first I head my head down because I wasn't hitting any shots and I had a couple of turnovers, so those two shots (before the half) really boosted my confidence," Hall said.
In the second half, Hall converted four free throw attempts, including two that gave Stetson a one-point lead with 10:11 remaining. Later, with time running down and Charlotte making one last push to try and tie the game, Hall came up with a huge offensive rebound and putback to help ice the contest.
"That really was a big play," Hall said. "I was really praying that I would get the rebound because (the 49ers) were so big, but I knew we needed it so I just tried as hard as I could to get it."
"I thought Sasha Sims's three and Myeisha's big rebound really separated the game down the stretch where they had to foul us," Bria said. "I thought Myeshia’s two threes in the first half were huge for us as well.”
The key for Hall now will be to continue to gel with the rest of the squad that has played together for 10 regular season games. Sims doesn't think it will take long for Hall to be acclimated to the flow of the game and contributing even more.
“We have been working on that a lot in practice, just getting her reps and getting her into it," Sims said. "The only days that she has missed are games that we have had. Other than that she’s there (every practice) and has been putting in the same work as we have been putting in, so it’s all going to come together.”
Stetson (6-4) will host Murray State (6-4)and Nicholls State (4-4) this weekend in the 26th Annual Hatter Classic at the Edmunds Center. Bethune-Cookman (3-7) also joins the field in the two-day, four-game tournament. On Friday, Stetson and Murray State tip-off 1 p.m. followed by Bethune-Cookman and Nicholls State at 3 p.m. On Saturday, the Hatters and Colonels square off at 1 p.m. followed by the Lady Wildcats vs. the Racers at 3 p.m.
Single-day tickets range from $5-$30 and are available online at GoHatters.com/tix or at the Edmunds Center ticket office.
All four games can be seen live on HatterVision, while the two Stetson games will also be broadcast live on WSBB, AM 1230 New Smyrna Beach, AM1490 DeLand, and online at myam1230.com. Live stats, the @StetsonWBB twitter feed, and the Hat-Alerts text messaging system are also available for in-game updates.