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Women’s Basketball: Record-Setting Season

WBBThe winningest season in Stetson women’s basketball history came to an end Sunday, March 23, 2014, as host USF downed the Hatters 75-56 in the second round of the WNIT at the Sun Dome.

Brianti Saunders led the way with 16 points, but the Hatters (27-8) shot just 32 percent from the floor and 18 percent from behind the arc.

Inga Orekhova hit six three pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Bulls (21-12). USF out-rebounded Stetson 43-32.

“It just wasn’t our day,” Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. “I thought we got some good shots, but at some point you have to stick them in the basket.”

Senior Sasha Sims, pictured above (PhotosinMotion.net), added 11 points in her 135th and final game as a Hatter. She finished her career with 1617 points, more than any player in school history and the 16th highest total in conference history. She also recorded three blocks against the Bulls, bringing her Stetson career-record total to 147.

“I thought she had a great game,” Bria said about Sims. “She was aggressive, she was physical, and she played like a pro. She did a great job and I was really proud of her.”

For the season, the Hatters set school records for most wins (27), most conference wins (16), most road wins (12), and longest winning streak (16). Stetson’s 79.3 scoring average was the second-highest total in school history, while the team set school-records for most points, rebounds, three-pointers, and blocked shots in a single-season.

“I never dreamed that after losing six seniors these kids would do what they did,” Bria said. “This was a tough game for us, but when you look at the body of work, they did a great job.”

As the lone senior, Sims will be the only player graduating from this year’s roster.

“She will be missed, she will be hard to replace, but we have the bulk of our kids back, so that is encouraging, too,” Bria said. “I think we will be more of a veteran team (next year). I think the expectations will be very high because this team has set the bar there. If we have everybody back and healthy, I think we will have a really good team. How many wins will we have? I don’t know. This team was good, but I think next year’s team will be better.”

Notes: Amber Porter produced one of the top statistical seasons in school history. Her 484 points was the highest total ever for a Hatter freshman. However, it was her ability to block shots on a consistent basis that made her one of the top rookies in the country. With 129 blocks, Porter produced the second-highest blocks total in A-Sun history and the fifth-highest total for a freshman in NCAA history … Stetson did not lose back-to-back games all season.

For all Hatter news, visit GoHatters.com