From the the Miracle in Macon in 2011 to this year's 24-win season and second A-Sun title in three years, senior Victoria McGowan leaves a legacy at Stetson University that won't soon be forgotten.
In just three seasons, McGowan nearly became the women's basketball's program all-time leading scorer, moving into second place all-time during Stetson's 66-49 loss Saturday to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament. She finished with 1532 points, just 38 points shy of catching Michelle Michael for the all-time record.
"Victoria could have easily been our leading scorer in the history our program in three years if we ran the same offense (as we did last year), but we didn't," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said during the A-Sun tournament. "I've asked her to pass more, I've asked her to get her teammates open. We play more where more people touch the ball. I've asked to her do that and she's been fine with it. I think it plays more to the strenghths of our team."
Nevertheless, the accolades and accomplishments that McGowan has garnered in her career are second to none. She earned all-conference honors in each of her three seasons, including the Atlantic Sun's Player of the Year in 2012. She was named the A-Sun tournament MVP in 2011, and is the only Stetson student-athlete to earn A-Sun Player of the Year and tournament MVP during their career.
In 99 games McGowan scored in double figures an amazing 86 times. She had 15 games with double-digit rebounds, including a career-high 14 rebounds against UCLA.
“She’s got a lot of heart," Bria said about McGowan. "She’s a big time player. She really carried us in the first half (against UCLA). She can rebound and she can score. It’s amazing that the littlest person comes up with the rebound, I still don’t get that, but she does.”
Even though she stands only 5-5, McGowan had a knack of knowing where to go to get rebounds. She led the team in rebounding her junior and senior years, averaging 6.7 and 6.9 boards per game respectively.
McGowan's double-double Saturday was the 15th of her career. She also had four career triple-doubles, including an NCAA-best three her junior year.
One of the top three-point shooters in school history, McGowan knocked down 177 treys, second only to Kristen Follis's career total of 275. McGowan was among the top three-point shooters in the nation this season, draining threes at a 41.2% clip.
She also ranks fourth all-time in school history with 436 assists, fifth all-time with 231 steals, and third-all-time with a 78.0 free throw percentage.
Perhaps McGowan's greatest asset has been her impact on the team. Stetson won 67 games over the last three years, including a school-record 24 wins this season. She has help lead Stetson to three A-Sun finals, two A-Sun championships, and two NCAA Tournament appearances.
McGowan was asked after Saturday's game what the program has meant to her.
“It means a lot, from being a transfer and not having a good experience at one school, this has been an unbelievable experience for me," McGowan said. "I’d like to thank Coach Bria for giving me another chance.”
Seniors Ashley Buis, Ashley Dennis, Janelle Mills, and Shanasa Sanders also closed their careers with Stetson on Saturday.