Victoria McGowan scored 16 points and Sasha Sims added 13 points as the Stetson women's basketball team earned its school-record 11th consecutive victory Monday night, defeating Northern Kentucky 62-39 at the Edmunds Center.
The Hatters (15-4) also won their 14th straight home game and are off to their best start ever in Atlantic Sun Conference play at 8-0.
Jama Sharp recorded 11 points, six rebounds, five steals and four blocks, while Cherisse Burris tied a career-high with 12 rebounds.
After opening the game with an unusually cold shooting performance, the Hatters found themselves trailing 20-13 with 3:51 remaining in the first half. The marked Stetson's largest deficit at home this year and ended a run of nearly 200 minutes at the Edmunds Center where Stetson did not trail.
"I thought we took some really bad shots and we weren't patient at all offensively," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said about the first 16 minutes. "We tried to get everything after just one pass and that's not going to work against a team that's guarding well like Northern Kentucky.
"Thank goodness we were guarding well, because I felt our defense was good for 40 minutes," Bria said. "I thought our defense really kept us in the game."
An 11-3 spurt before halftime sent Stetson into the locker room with a 24-23 advantage.
"We started to get the momentum and flow a little better just before the half," Bria said. "We were starting to figure it out and become more patient offensively."
The Hatters opened the second half on a 7-0 run and never trailed the rest of the way. McGowan's fastbreak lay-up at the 17:51 mark put Stetson ahead 31-23, Sharp turned one of her five steals into an uncontested lay-up to give Stetson a 45-30 advantage, and her three-pointer from the left side put Stetson ahead by 20 (54-34) with 4:45 to play.
"Jama really got us going in the second half," Bria said. "I thought Ashley Dennis and C.J. Coddington had a few critical defensive plays and got some steals. I think those three really got us going defensively.
"I thought we did very well rebounding against them, and CeeCee Burris was an absolutely monster on the glass this game," Bria said. "Shanasa was also in there, I saw Victoria get quite a few rebounds, and Jama got a lot defensive rebounds."
Kayla Thacker led Northern Kentucky (6-10, 3-4) with nine points.
Coupled with Florida Gulf Coast's victory over Lipscomb, the stage is set for what is possibly the first-ever meeting between two 8-0 teams in conference history. The Hatters and Eagles will meet at Alico Arena in Fort Myers at 7:05 p.m. Saturday night. The game will be broadcast live on ASun.TV and HatterVision.