DeLand, Fla. -- McKenna Beach led four Hatters in double figures with 20 points as Stetson defeated North Dakota 74-63 Wednesday afternoon in the first game of the Hatter Classic at the Edmunds Center.
The Hatters (2-8) led by 20 at the half, then held off a second-half rally by the Fighting Hawks (3-8) to earn their second victory of the season.
"It was the tale of two halves," Stetson head coach Lynn Bria said. "To North Dakota's credit, they came back with a lot of energy in the second half. I just felt like in the second half we gave up too many offensive rebounds."
Stetson shot 59 percent from the floor in the first half and raced out to a 41-21 lead at the break. North Dakota chipped away in the second half, cutting the lead to just five on four different occasions. The Hatters answered each time, however, and hit 15 free throws in the fourth quarter alone to preserve the victory.
"I thought we did a great job of taking care of the basketball, and we did a great job at the free throw line," Bria said. "We stayed aggressive, but we just gave them way too many points in the second half. We have to stay committed and locked in to keeping people off the glass."
North Dakota finished the game with 21 offensive rebounds and 17 second chance points. Stetson shot 47 percent from the floor despite making just five field goals in the second half.
Sarah Sagerer scored 17 points, seven of which came during the fourth quarter. Day'Neshia Banks recorded her first career double-double with a 15-point, 10-rebound performance. Jon'Nita Henry hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored a season-high 11 points.
Melissa Dailey led the Fighting Hawks with 20 points.
In the second game of the day, San Francisco defeated North Dakota State 75-42.
The Hatter Classic continues Thursday as Stetson hosts Florida A&M at 1 p.m.
- The Hatters made a season-high 30 free throws, and the most since Jan. 1, 2016 vs. Hampton (30).
- Stetson held a 36-8 advantage in points in the paint
- Sarah Sagerer had two blocks to increase her career total to 196.
- Head Coach Lynn Bria won her 196th game at Stetson.
- The Hatters have held eight of 10 opponents to 65 points or less
- Stetson has won 75 straight games when scoring 74 points or more
- McKenna Beach and Sarah Sagerer each scored in double figures for the 40th time in their careers. Beach hit 20 points for the fifth time overall, third this season.
- Day'Neisha Banks has 29 points in her first two games as a Hatter.