Stetson Looks to Go Streaking after 88-74 win over UNF

Step one of Stetson’s plan to go on a winning streak was accomplished on Saturday as the Hatters (9-14, 2-5) upset the North Florida (UNF) Ospreys (9-15, 4-3) 88-74.

“This morning, someone in the locker room put ‘the streak starts now,’” said Stetson junior guard Luke Doyle. “We listed the first five games we have today moving forward and we just crossed off the first one.”

The Hatters, who trailed by nine at halftime, won in large part to shooting 74.2% in the second half. It was an impressive performance, which led to a 23-point differential in second half scoring.

“We knew that we were going to be fine,” said senior guard Divine Myles. “We’re really great in the second half. So we just kept chipping away, playing with each other and got the win.”

Stetson’s sluggish start to the game was due to UNF’s zone defense. UNF extended it behind the three-point line – causing Stetson some major issues.

“The first half it was kind of hard to figure out,” said Doyle. “They pressured up high so we really couldn’t break the first layer of it.”

It led to the Hatters shooting less than 30 percent in the first half. On the other end of the court, they struggled to keep the Ospreys out of the paint as they shot over 51 percent. As a result, the Ospreys took a 41-32 lead into halftime.

It was a deficit that Stetson only needed 8:25 of second-half game time to overcome as it took a 60-59 lead over UNF with 11:35 remaining in the game.

The two teams would trade hoops over the next few minutes with the Ospreys taking their last lead at 63-62 with 9:14 remaining.

The Hatters then closed the game in impressive fashion – outscoring the Ospreys 26-11 down the stretch to win the game.

It was a much-needed win according to head coach Corey Williams. He says his team is getting healthy at the right time for the team to make a run, but says he wants them to stay focused on the task at hand.

“We feel like we have a chance to position ourselves, perhaps, for a home game,” he said. “But what we can’t do is start looking down the road. “We’ve got to take it one game at a time.”

The zone-busting sophomore forward Derrick Newton led the Hatters with 26 points. Doyle had 19 and Myles chipped in 16 with 11 rebounds and 7 assists.

Senior forward Chris Davenport led UNF with 26 of his own while senior guard Dallas Moore chipped in 11.

Stetson next takes the floor on Jan. 30 as it hosts Jacksonville. UNF stays on the road the same evening as it travels to Florida Gulf Coast.


Stetson Blows Late Lead in Loss to Florida Gulf Coast

The Stetson Hatters (7-10) had the Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU) Eagles right where they wanted them after 39 minutes. However, a wacky last minute cost Stetson a chance to start off conference play with a bang as FGCU (12-5) pulled out a 89-88 victory.

It was an emotional loss – one that Stetson head coach Corey Williams says he won’t let his team dwell on.

“That’s supposed to be the best team in our league and [we] had them down,” Williams said. “The same work you put in for Florida Gulf Coast, now you have to put in for every opponent that you play.”

The Hatters shot 65.5 percent in the second half on their way to scoring 52 points – 30 of which came in the last 9:33 of the game.

However, the story of the game came with less than a minute and half remaining where eight-point lead vanished into thin air in large part due to Stetson junior guard Angel Rivera fouling out.

“That’s one of our primary ball-handlers and when he got out of the game it made it a little tough,” Williams said. “Now guys have to step up and handle that ball and make the right decision. We didn’t do a good job of that.”

With 1:21 remaining, junior guard Luke Doyle hit a three-pointer to put the Hatters up 85-77. That’s when things started to get hairy.

On FGCU’s next possession, junior guard Christian Terrell knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to five. After a Stetson free-throw extended the lead to six, senior forward Demetris Morant hit two free throws to make it a four-point game.

The Hatters turned the ball over before they could get it pass halfcourt. Eagles’ guard Brandon Goodwin was fouled on the ensuing possession and hit two free throws to bring the score to 86-84.

Stetson turned the ball over again on its next possession and Goodwin drove down the lane unencumbered to hit a layup to tie the game with nine seconds remaining in the game.

This is where the game turned really crazy. Hatters junior guard B.J. Glasford was able to sneak behind the Eagles’ defense to score an uncontested layup with 4 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds Goodwin was able to get the ball just past half court where he drew a foul on a three-point attempt with .6 seconds remaining.

Goodwin sank all three. On the last possession, Doyle’s desperation heave actually hit the rim.

Then there was the post-game handshake line. Words turned into an altercation that almost spilled into the locker rooms as the two teams had to be separated.

“I told my guys the thing that you have to do is you can’t let your emotions rev up to high,” Williams said.

Junior guard Divine Myles led the Hatters with 21 points while Doyle and sophomore forward Derick Newton both chipped in 18. Goodwin led the Eagles with 20 while sophomore guard Rayjon Tucker helped with 19.

Stetson returns to action on the 12th when it travels to Nashville to play its first road conference game at Lipscomb. FGCU returns to action the same evening at Kennesaw St.