McGowan Records Triple-Double, Bria Wins 200th Game

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Macon, Ga. - Junior guard Victoria McGowan (Inkster, Mich.) exploded for her second triple-double of the season, scoring a career-high 29 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists to carry the Stetson women's basketball team (13-3, 4-0 Atlantic Sun) to a hard-fought 89-84 victory at longtime rival Mercer (3-12, 1-3 A-Sun) Wednesday evening at the University Center. The win was the 200th of Head Coach Lynn Bria's career and the seventh in a row for the Hatters, tying the program record for longest winning streak.

Tied 35-35 at halftime, Stetson appeared to seize control early in the second half with a quick 5-0 burst out of the locker room that led to the Hatters pushing their lead to a game-high 11 points (57-46) with 12:50 to play. However, Mercer guard Tabitha Bradshaw drilled three-pointers on consecutive possessions to start the Bears on the road back.

Stetson fought off a Mercer rally to go back up by eight on a layup from junior guard Shanasa Sanders (Jacksonville, Fla.) with 1:54 left, but once again the home team would come roaring back. Three three-pointers, punctuated by Ry'van Buchanan with 32 seconds left, drew the Bears within 85-84, but McGowan and sophomore forward Sasha Sims went 4-4 at the line in the final 30 seconds to lock up a seventh straight victory.

McGowan and Mercer sharpshooter Briana Williams engaged in a terrific scoring battle throughout the game; the duo combined for 55 points (29-26 to McGowan) but it was McGowan's repeated slashes to the basket for baskets and three-point plays that pushed Stetson over the top.

"It was a great game to watch and be a part of," Bria said afterwards. "Our team fought through some adversity and I thought Mercer played a really good game as well. We tried to put two people on Williams all game; we did a better job of containing her in the second half but she is such a dangerous player."

McGowan, who had 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 78-73 double overtime loss at Ball State on December 4, added five steals to her second triple-double of the season. She becomes the first player in school history to record two such stat lines in a career, let alone in a single season.

Said Bria, "Victoria just did everything for us tonight, I'm not surprised she wound up with a triple-double."

Freshman forward Cherisse Burris (Blue Springs, Mo.) notched her first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds; also in double figures for the Hatters were Sims (18 points) and Sanders (14 points, six rebounds). The 89 points marked Stetson's highest output since a 93-92 quadruple overtime win over Lipscomb on February 10, 2005.

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