Saturday, March 09, 2013
MACON, Ga. - The Stetson Hatters refused to give up as they took down top-seeded FGCU, 70-64, in the 2013 General Shale Atlantic Sun Women's Basketball Championship.
The Hatters won the 2011 A-Sun Championship but fell to FGCU in the 2012 final to take runner-up honors. Stetson trailed by as many as 15 points to comeback in the final minutes for a dramatic win to regain the title.
Atlantic Sun Insider: Resurgent Stetson Claims Second Title in Three Years
The first half looked eerily similar to last year's final for Stetson in its championship rematch with the Eagles as the Hatters went into the locker rooms trailing 40-27. Stetson came back with a vengeance with an 8-0 run in the second half and prevented the Eagles from scoring a field goal for a span that lasted from 13:13 to 4:52 in the half to collect its fourth A-Sun Championship title.
All-Tournament team member, Sasha Sims tallied a team-high 15 points, while fellow all-tournament selection Victoria McGowan recorded the game-high nine rebounds while adding 14 points. McGowan becomes the ninth student-athlete in A-Sun history to land all-tournament honors three times as the senior was the MVP in 2011 and a selection last year.
Head Coach Lynn Bria has earned her third championship trophy with two coming with Stetson. The last time the Hatters made the NCAA Tournament in 2011 they face top-seeded Tennessee.
FGCU's Joyce Iamstrong collected the A-Sun Women's Basketball Championship's Most Valuable Player Honors after a 31-point performance in the final. Iamstrong averaged 26 points per game in the A-Sun Championship. Iamstrong registered five three-pointers in the first half alone, but was held to just one in the second half which proved to be a game changer.
Joining Iamstrong on the all-tournament team from FGCU was Sarah Hansen, who tallied 13 points, six rebounds and three steals in the game and Brittany Kennedy as she registered six rebound and two blocks.
Hansen was awarded the A-Sun Scholar-Athlete and Player of the Year, while Kennedy collected Defensive Player of the Year Honors.
FGCU fell to 27-7 on the season as the Hatters snapped their 41-game winning streak against conference opponents dating back to the beginning of the 2011-12 season. They also halted the Eagles 21-game winning streak, which ranked No. 4 in the country coming into today. FGCU is currently ranked No. 49 in the RPI.
With the A-sun Regular Season Title the Eagles have clinched at least an WNIT bid.
2013 Atlantic Sun Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team Joyce Iamstrong, FGCU Brittany Kennedy, FGCU Sarah Hansen, FGCU Precious Bridges, Mercer Victoria McGowan, Stetson Sasha Sims, Stetson