Party Hatters: Stetson surprise
Published: Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 1, 2005 at 12:10 a.m.
ATHENS, Ga. - Stetson's zone defense stymied Georgia, but Georgia coach Dennis Felton was more concerned with his team's lack of defense after a 56-52 loss Friday.
''I could care less about our offense,'' said Felton. ''We didn't lose this game because of offense. We didn't play hard enough. We didn't guard and we didn't rebound.''
The Bulldogs missed 15 of 17 3-pointers, including Steve Newman's off-balance attempt to tie the game in the closing seconds.
''I don't care who you are, you are going to have nights like that,'' Felton said. He also said he did not expect future opponents to learn anything from the effectiveness of Stetson's zone.
''You can guard us a lot of ways,'' he said. ''We are not an explosive team. We don't have many guys who can just go get points. Actually, we don't have any.''
Anthony Register scored 22 points to lead Stetson (3-6), ending a four-game losing streak while halting a five-game winning streak by Georgia (6-4). Levi Stukes scored 18 points for Georgia.
It was Stetson's first win over Georgia since Jan. 16, 1936, and its first win over a Southeastern Conference team since it beat Florida 77-73 on Nov. 26, 1983.
''Georgia has a young team, and we caught them at the right time,'' said Stetson coach Derek Waugh. ''They lost a lot of seniors from last year's squad. They are still an SEC team with SEC talent. It was a great win for us.''
Dave Bliss hit a layup with 1:08 to play to pull Georgia within two at 50-48. Georgia set up a press, and Sundiata Gaines intercepted a pass, flinging it to Stukes, who was fouled as he drove for the basket. Stukes made only the second free throw.
The Hatters led 51-49 with 57 seconds remaining after E.J. Gordon hit one of two free throws. The Bulldogs had trouble penetrating the Stetson zone, and Stukes attempted a wild layup that missed the rim, The shot clock expired while the players scrambled for the ball.
Abernethy broke out of a mini-slump, scoring 11 consecutive points with three straight 3-pointers to spark a 14-2 run during the final eight minutes for Mississippi (9-4).
Rickey Woods had 18 points and Terry Bryant had 16 for Southeastern Louisiana (7-5), which shot 56 percent (15-of-27) from the field but couldn't overcome 22 turnovers and a huge rebounding disadvantage.
Gonner, who finished with a season-high 20 points, has scored 35 points in his last two games while hitting 12 of 20 field goals, including five of 11 3-pointers after he made just six of 27 from beyond the arc in his first nine games.
Powell finished with 14 points and nine rebounds as the South Carolina (8-3) beat Wofford (7-4) for the 20th straight time.
The visiting Indians (6-5) failed to deal with the Razorbacks' aggressive defense, committing 18 turnovers by halftime against only two by Arkansas (12-1).
On Wednesday, the Razorbacks had struggled at times in getting a 73-67 victory over Jacksonville State, trailing by two points at the half.
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