SATURDAY, MARCH 05, 2011
Stetson goes long range to win A-Sun title over JU, 69-50
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The JU women’s basketball team magical run in the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament came to a crushing end as Stetson took home the title and a NCAA Tournament berth with a 69-50 win.

Sasha Sims led the Hatters (20-12) with an unconscious night from behind the arc. She hit her first six 3-pointers and had 20 points in the first half en route to a game-high 24 points. Sims hit 7-of-11 from the floor and 6-of-7 from behind the arc to make the all-tournament team.

The Hatters defense frustrated the Dolphins (15-17) all day as JU was held to just 17 field goals and frigid 27.0 percent shooting from the floor.

“I’m proud of the effort these young ladies gave us all week,” said JU head coach Jill Dunn. “You have to give credit to Stetson. They got hot early and we struggled to answer.”

JU got a team-high 12 points from Ashanti Williams and 10 points from Gigi Thomas. Tanaskei Richardson finished her collegiate career with eight points and 11 rebounds, earning all-tournament team honors.

After getting off to early leads in its first two wins, the Dolphins fell behind early and watch the Hatters finish the first half on a 21-8 run – sparked by four Sims 3-pointers to take a 42-26 lead at halftime.

The Dolphins were never able to mount a serious challenge in the second half, cutting the deficit to 14 on the first possession and were never able to get closer as Stetson won its second tournament title.

The Hatters got 10 points from tournament MVP Victoria McGowan, 12 points from Natasha Graboski and 11 points from Jessica Conner. Tierra Brown received all-tournament team honors for Stetson with nine points in the title game.

The loss soured an amazing Cinderella run by JU, upsetting fourth-seeded UNF and top-seed ETSU en route to its third title appearance in the last four years. One of the heroes from the first two wins, Jessica George earned all-tournament team honors.