Hatters take on USC-Upstate in ASUN Tournament at 7 p.m. Friday, March 3
Daytona State transfer Brittney Chambers hit the ground running with the Hatters, starting 13 of the team’s first 17 games of the season. In early January, head coach Lynn Bria decided to slide Chambers into a non-starting role, a move that didn’t bother the junior guard one bit.
“I am just all about the success of the team,” Chambers said. “Coach thought it was a better fit for me to come off the bench, so I just rolled with it, and it has helped me.”
Indeed it has. Chambers has flourished coming off the bench, averaging 12.7 points and 3.3 rebounds per game in the 12 games since. Remarkably, she has led the team in scoring four times over that stretch, including her 18-point performance in Saturday’s ASUN clinching win at Florida Gulf Coast.
“Coming off the bench just fits her better,” Bria said. “She is just playing well right now. When I was starting her early and I talked to her about coming off the bench, she said ‘I don’t care about any of that.’ Sometimes it bothers players, but it did not bother her. She didn’t care, which is a credit to who she is. I just think she gives us a lift when we substitute, which makes it really nice as far as the flow of the game.”
Even though Chambers does not start, she often plays as many minutes as the “starting five”, giving Stetson a virtual “starting six” every time out. Her season scoring average of 11.7 ranks her 10th among all players in the league.
“She plays a lot of minutes, and she is one of our best defenders,” Bria said. “She just really does a lot for us besides the scoring. Now the scoring has picked up for her, and that makes it hard for them to lock in on Bri. We have more than one person who can score. With Britt and Sarah and Bey and now DeAsia scoring, it is hard to lock in on any one of them.”
Stetson will look for its balanced scoring to pay dividends in the postseason which begins Friday night at the Edmunds Center. The top-seeded Hatters (24-5) will host eighth-seeded USC Upstate (9-20) at 7 p.m. in the ASUN quarterfinals with live coverage on ESPN3 and WSBB radio.
The winner advances to Wednesday’s semifinals against the Kennesaw-NJIT winner. The championship game will be played on March 12. Stetson has clinched home-court advantage throughout the conference tournament.
After Saturday’s dramatic overtime win and postgame celebration in Fort Myers, the Hatters will now need to refocus on USC Upstate and the start of postseason play.
“I think they understand that that was the regular season,” Bria said. “What we all try and play for is now. While I think they are proud of what they have done and the body of work, that doesn’t get us ultimately where we want to go. I think they are aware of that and they know that.”
“We enjoyed the time while it lasted, but it doesn’t last long,” Chambers said. “We just have to come back in here and get back to work. It is nothing new. We are just focusing on the same goal we’ve had since October.”
Tickets are on sale now and start at 10.00 for general admission and 5.00 for students and youth age 3-17. The first 100 Stetson students will be admitted free. Call the Hatter Ticket Office at (386) 738-4287 for more information.
With 24 wins this season, the Hatters are tied for the second-highest single-season win total in school history. The school record of 27 wins was set in 2013-14 … Stetson’s 13-game win streak is the second-longest in school history (16) and the sixth-longest active streak in the NCAA … The Hatters have not trailed by more than six points during the win streak … Defensively, the Hatters have allowed just 52.0 points per game during the win streak … Stetson has won the first quarter in 14 straight games … The Hatters are 3-0 in overtime games … Stetson swept the season series from USC Upstate with Brianti Saunders averaging 16 points-per-game … The Hatters have won their ASUN quarterfinal game six years in a row.