Stetson led for much of the first
half and only trailed by six points with five and a half minutes to go, but USF
pulled away late for 70-48 victory Saturday afternoon at the Sun Dome.
Jama Sharp, Shanasa Sanders, and Cherisse Burris
each scored 10 points for the Hatters (0-2), who were playing their second game
in as many days to start the season.
Stetson was without the services of senior Victoria McGowan for the
first time in her two-plus seasons with the Hatters.
“I was obviously much happier with the first half,”
Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. “I
think their pressure really got to us. I think having Simone Taylor in foul
trouble hurt us, because she helps us break the press. We really couldn’t afford for her or Jama to be
out of the game without Victoria.”
A tightly contested first half featured five ties
and five lead changes, with the Bulls (1-0) taking a one-point lead into the
A three-point play by Burris and a three-pointer
from Ashley Dennis gave Stetson an early second half lead at 38-37. But USF scored the next 11 points and never
relinquished the lead after that run. The
Bulls picked up 14 steals in the game and scored 22 points off of turnovers.
“I think they wore us down a bit in the second
half. They just kept the heat on, which
was the right thing to do, because we didn’t handle their press very well,”
Bria said. “I felt like we didn’t have
the crucial turnovers in the first half, the back court turnovers where they
were getting easy lay-ups. That really
“Against a team like USF, when they get up by
double digits, it’s hard to come back, because their athleticism makes them
hard to press. I thought that if we
stayed with them, we would have a chance, but we had trouble scoring.”
The Hatters shot 26 percent for the game and hit
just four field goals in the second half.
Stetson will play its home opener on Friday against
Florida A&M. Tip-off is set for 7
p.m. at the Edmunds Center. Free live
video will be available on HatterVision.
Notes: Janelle Mills played her 99th career game … Victoria McGowan had played and started in 68 consecutive games since the start of her sophomore year ... Shanasa
Sanders played her sixth career game against USF … Simone Taylor made her first
start since 2011 and led the team with seven rebounds ... Amena Brent played eight minutes in her first collegiate
game ... Sasha Sims recorded a block for the sixth straight game dating back to last year.