DELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Garfield Blair scored a game-high 21 points to lead Stetson to a 72-64 victory over USC Upstate Friday night.
Blair connected on four straight free throws in the final 40 seconds as the Hatters held off a comeback attempt by USC Upstate, which had cut a 25-point second-half deficit to just four points, 58-54, on a Luke Payne layup with 2:45 to play.Stetson also got 17 points and four assists from A.J. Smith and 11 points from Sheldon Oliver.Bobby Davis led USC Upstate with 20 points, while Rashawn Brailsford scored all of his 16 points in the second-half rally and Payne finished with 10 points.Stetson made 3-pointers on four consecutive trips to highlight a 16-0 run early in the first half. Smith knocked down a pair of 3-pointers after Blair and Tim Lang each made one.The scoring spree that left the Hatters with a 19-2 advantage also included two other baskets by Blair.Stetson led by 20 points, 38-18, at the break after making 14 shots from the floor, including seven 3-pointers. The lead got as high as 25 points on a 3-pointer by Smith with 17:10 remaining.Stetson had dropped three of its last four Atlantic Sun encounters. The win improved the Hatters to 11-13 overall, 6-4 in conference and 7-1 at home this season. USC Upstate slipped to 6-18 and 4-6.