Stetson headed to NCAA tournament
MACON, Ga. – No. 2-seed Stetson women’s basketball team took control of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship final early and never looked back, defeating No. 5-seed Jacksonville 69-50. It was the third A-Sun crown for the Hatters (20-12) having previously won in 1989 and 2005.
After the two teams sparred for the first few minutes, SU began to exert itself and built a double-digit advantage by the 6:46 mark of the first period on a pair of free throws by Jessica Conner. After taking a 42-26 cushion into the locker room, the Hatters would extend their lead to as much as 23 midway through the second half.
Four Hatters registered double figures in the title game, led by Sasha Sims’ double-double with game-high totals for both scoring (24) and rebounds (12). Sims was an efficient 7-for-11 from the floor – including six-of-seven from beyond the arc – and was a perfect four-of-four from the free throw line.
In addition to Sims and Conner (11), Natasha Grabowski and Victoria McGowan added 12 and 10 points to the Hatters’ coffers. McGowan also added a game-high five assists.
For Jacksonville, the loss represented its third championship game disappointment in the past four A-Sun finals. The Dolphins (15-17) also had runner-up finishes in both 2008 and 2009.
Ashanti Williams came off the JU bench to lead her team with 12 points. Gigi Thomas added 10 points. Taneskei Richardson booked eight points and a team-leading 11 boards for the Dolphins, while Madison Scott blocked three shots.
McGowan earned Tournament MVP honors and was joined by teammates Sims and Brown on the all-tournament team. Jacksonville’s Richardson and George also placed on the list with Belmont’s Haley Nelson.