In the final round of the Preseason WNIT, the Stetson women's basketball team (1-2) fell 73-68 to North Carolina A&T Saturday evening at the William R. Johnson Coliseum in Nacogdoches, Texas.
The Hatters shot 54.5 percent from the floor, but committed 26 turnovers and surrendered 17 offensive rebounds to the Aggies (2-1).
"We didn't execute offensively the entire second half," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. "(North Carolina A&T) did a really good job, their defense is hard to play against, but we just threw the ball away. We had entirely too many turnovers, and we gave up entirely too many rebounds. When you turn the ball over and you are not rebounding, you are probably not going to win."
The Hatters trailed by four at halftime but used an 8-0 run out of the locker room to take a 45-41 lead. Stetson still led by four at the 11:36 mark, but the Aggies fought back and built a five-point lead with under four minutes to play.
Stetson made one last run as offensive rebounds and putbacks by Sasha Sims and Brianti Saunders cut the deficit to one, but the Hatters would pull no closer. The Aggies hit a couple of timely baskets and made enough free throws to hold on for the win.
"Even though we didn't play well we still had some chances down the stretch, but we just didn't capitalize on them," Bria said.
Sims led four players in double figures with 17 points behind 7-for-8 shooting. Cherisse Burris scored 14 points, while Saunders notched her first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Amber Porter added 10 points, and Jama Sharp registered 10 assists for the second straight day.
The Hatters will host Indiana State for their home opener Monday at 6 p.m.
Notes: The game featured nine ties and 16 lead changes ... A&T scored 32 points off of Stetson turnovers ... Stetson was 17-of-22 from the free throw line ... The Hatters traveled over 3,600 miles to play in the Preseason WNIT, but will spend the next two months playing games in the state of Florida.