FGCU Holds Off Stetson For A-Sun Title, 72-70
FORT MYERS (AP) — Jenna Cobb scored 19 points, Kaneisha Atwater added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast withstood two late rallies to beat Stetson 72-70 in overtime Sunday for the Atlantic Sun Conference title and a berth into the NCAA tournament.
Sarah Hansen scored 13 for the top-seeded Eagles (26-7), who were down nine early in the second half. It was the second overtime win for FGCU over second-seeded Stetson in the span of just over a week.
Hansen made one of two free throws with 3 seconds left, and FGCU escaped when Brianti Saunders’ 3-point try for second-seeded Stetson (26-7) missed at the buzzer.
Sasha Sims scored 14 for Stetson, including a basket with 9 seconds left in regulation that tied the game at 60-all. Jama Sharp scored 13 and Cherisse Burris and Myeisha Hall each scored 12 points for the Hatters.
The Eagles won all three matchups this season with Stetson, who beat them in the A-Sun title game a year ago.
Atwater scored four straight points midway through overtime, putting FGCU up 68-61. Just like in regulation, though, Stetson had a big run left.
Stetson went on a 9-3 run in less than a minute, getting within 71-70 on a 3-pointer by Sharp with 6 seconds remaining. Hansen followed with one free throw, then helped FGCU get the stop that clinched the NCAA berth.
FGCU prevailed despite going more than 7 minutes without a point, giving up 15 straight during a stretch that started late in the first half. The Eagles were up 27-21, then were down 31-27 at the break and saw the deficit grow to 36-27 early in the second.
C.J. Coddington had all five of her first-half points on consecutive possessions for Stetson during that run, while the Eagles were flat-out cold.
FGCU was only 4 for 17 from 3-point range in the first 20 minutes — while Stetson was 6 for 8 from long range during the half, with Hall going 4 for 4 from beyond the arc in that span. That matched her career-high for 3-pointers in a game entering the day, and she did it in just a 5:46 stretch of the half, scoring 12 straight Stetson points.
Hansen found Whitney Knight for a 3-pointer to end the FGCU drought, and start what became a 28-11 run for the Eagles.
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