Victoria McGowan posted the first triple-double in A-Sun Tournament history, scoring 21 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists as the Hatters (23-9) will play Florida Gulf Coast in an effort to defend their tournament title
The Dolphins (11-20) saw their bid for a second straight trip to the title game go awry after falling by as many as 14 in the first half before rallying to tie with 5:50 left.
“We got down early and Stetson took it to us,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “We weren’t at our best, but the second half, we really fought hard to come back. At tournament time, you can’t be inconsistent. You have to put two halves together and we didn’t today.”
Jacksonville was led by Tracie Sneed’s 14 points and 12 points from Abril Peeples, with three players – Jade Cargill, Crystal Bell and Sneed all recording at least eight rebounds.
Trailing by nine at the half, Jacksonville slowly cut into the deficit and tied the game at 43, the first time since the opening tip, on a 3-pointer by Maggie Wilson with 14:31 left in the game.
After Stetson extend the lead back to six, Peeples tied the game at 55 on a jumper in the lane with 7:02 left.
But that was where Stetson decided they were not going to be denied.
The Hatters closed the game on a 12-5 run, building a 63-56 lead on a McGowan free throw with 1:56 left.
Jacksonville had chances to get closer, but couldn’t get a shot to fall and the Hatters held on for the win.
“We got decent looks and had opportunities to score,” said Dunn. “We just didn’t make shots down the stretch.”
Stetson got 11 points and 10 rebounds for Sasha Sims and Cherisse Burris added 12 points.
Stetson opened up 24-10 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game and saw the Dolphins battle back to cut the lead to six, but McGowan drained a trey with 35 seconds left to take a 37-28 lead at halftime.