DELAND, Fla. – Senior forward Kelli Riles scored a team-best 16 points while sophomore guard Shonese Jones added 11 to UNC Asheville’s total, but the Bulldogs could not cool off a hot-shooting Stetson squad as Asheville fell 74-47 to the Hatters on Wednesday afternoon at the Edmunds Center.

The game was a part of the 25th Annual Hatter Classic hosted by Stetson, with the Hatters finishing the tournament with a 2-0 record after defeating Georgia Southern on Tuesday afternoon. 

Asheville is now 2-10 on the season while Stetson improves to 7-4. For her efforts in the two games Jones was named to the Hatter Classic All-Tournament Team.

“We didn’t really execute in the first half once again, and that’s something we’re going to have to improve on,” said Asheville head coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick. “Stetson was playing at full speed while we seemed to be in slow motion on defense at times. We played better in the second half, but we’ve got to learn how to be tougher when the game is on the line.”

Riles and Jones were the only Bulldogs in double figures, with Riles pulling down a team-high eight rebounds for Asheville. 

Stetson was led offensively by Cherisse Burris, who scored a game-best 18 points for the Hatters. Victoria McGowan scored game-best 17 points, while dishing out six assists from the point. Shanasa Sanders scored 10 for Stetson and pulled down a team-high eight boards on the day.

The first half saw the Bulldogs give up a 9-0 run before battling back to within a point of the Hatters. Jeannie Buckner connected on a pair of free throws to cut the Stetson lead to 11-10 with 15:26 left in the first, before the Hatters went on a 14-0 run that included four treys over the next four minutes. 

Stetson would eventually push their lead to as much as 23 with 2:13 left in the frame before eventually talking a 44-23 advantage into the break. 

The Hatters would pick up where they left off in the second half, going on a 10-2 run over the first five minutes of the frame. Asheville was able to cut the lead to 20 at 63-43 with 6:10 to go in the game, but Stetson would keep the Bulldogs at arm’s length for the rest of the contest, eventually winning by 74-47.

The Bulldogs will next be in action after the holiday break, when they welcome Big South Conference foe High Point to Kimmel Arena on Saturday, Dec. 29. The game is set to begin at 2 p.m.