Stetson and Bethune-Cookman Renew Instate Rivalry

Stetson v BCU

Monday was a quiet day around the college basketball landscape, with only two games featuring nationally-ranked teams in action. Virginia bounced back with a big road win over North Carolina, and Kansas held down their home court with an impressive win over the Iowa State Cyclones.

As we move into Tuesday night, there are a handful more games slated to go all across the country, with some great games on tap all throughout the evening. There are a plethora of great mid-major games that we could have chosen from for our Mid-Major Game of the Day for Tuesday, February 3rd, but we went with an under-the-radar, instate non-conference rivalry that will be a great contest to watch.

Both teams are separated by Interstate-92 in the great state of Florida, and these two teams have played each other in each of the past four seasons. In each of those four contests, the home team has won the game. While they aren’t two of the marquee programs in the country, the games always bring out a large crowd, and these games are constantly among the top attended games for both programs on an annual basis.

Both teams enter Tuesday night’s game with 7 – 15 records on the year, and a win tonight will be another big confidence boost for either team. While they may fly under the radar at times, this rivalry is one of the better ones between mid-major programs, and there is plenty of talent all over this game that will make it worth your while.

We’ve been hyping this game up over the past 24 hours, so enjoy our Mid-Major Game of the Day for Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015, when the Stetson Hatters take the 30-minute drive down to Daytona Beach, FL to take on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats!

Both the Stetson Hatters and the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats haven’t performed overly well this season, but don’t let that deter you from checking out this game on Tuesday night. The instate rivalry game always seems to bring out the best in both teams, and we have seen some great performances over the past four years between the two schools.

This season, the Stetson Hatters found it difficult to score any big wins in non-conference play, and it wasn’t until conference play started before they would score a win over a Division I team not named Florida A&M.

Three of their five wins in non-conference play came against non-Division I opponents (Edward Waters, Palm Beach Atlantic, and Florida Tech). The Hatters capitalized on two games against the lowly Florida A&M Rattlers, who are currently winless on the season, and that was that for non-conference positives for the Hatters.

Entering Atlantic Sun play, the program were projected to finish at the bottom of the standings. Through their first five contests, it looked as though those predictions were going to be fulfilled. The Hatters lost their first five games against Atlantic Sun opponents, to send themselves to the bottom of the standings.

In their past two games, the Hatters have turned things around, at least for the time being. The Hatters have won their past two games over upper-echelon competitors in the conference, beating both the Northern Kentucky Norse and the Lipscomb Bisons inside the Edmunds Center in Deland, FL.

Stetson comes into Tuesday night riding the high of back-to-back wins for the second time this season, but history is not on their side in this rivalry. The home team has won each of the last four games, which doesn’t bode well for them as they go on the road to face the Wildcats. They will look to halt the home-team trend tonight, but the Wildcats won’t roll over easily.

The Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, like the Hatters, struggled through non-conference play before finding some success in MEAC play.

The Wildcats started off the season with a win over the Trinity (FL) Tigers, but then followed that up with three straight losses. The team would alternate one win with lengthy losing streaks right up until January 5th and the start of full-blown conference play.

Bethune-Cookman took down the Trinity Baptist Eagles on January 5th, and then embarked on their trek through MEAC play. The Wildcats lost two straight on their home floor, and then followed that up with two straight wins on the road.

Bethune-Cookman is 0 – 4 on their home floor in conference play, but are 3 – 1 on the road, which is a bit of a head-scratcher. Mind you, the opponents they have played on the road have been weaker than their home opponents, which may be the reason for the skew in the record.

With history on their side, the Wildcats welcome the Hatters to town in a non-conference battle that will be a great momentum boost for either team as they take a much-needed break from the grind of conference play. This game will come down to the play of two stellar guards, one on each team.

Players to Watch

Stetson Hatters: Divine Myles
– Freshman Guard
– 5’10”, 170-pounds from Mobile, AL
– 10.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game in 2014-15
– Averaging 16.0 points, 4.5 assists per game over last four contests
– Season-high 20 points on two occasions this season

Bethune-Cookman Wildcats: Brandon Stewart
– Sophomore Guard
– 6’2”, 185-pounds from Miami, FL
– 13.4 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game in 2014-15
– 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds over last five contests
– Only played in 11 games in 2014-15

The Stetson Hatters have a star-in-the-making with Divine Myles in tow, and he has quickly blossomed into a must-see talent wherever the Hatters travel. On the other side, sophomore guard Brandon Stewart has excelled since returning to the lineup in December for the Wildcats, and he has the team performing well in the absence of Clemmye Owens. Both of these players will have a big impact on the outcome of Tuesday night’s game, and whoever can have the better performance will give their respective team a huge advantage.

The rivalry between Stetson and Bethune-Cookman flies under the radar unless you live in Florida, which is a bit of a shame. The games draw some of the bigger attendance numbers for both schools on an annual basis, so expect a great atmosphere inside the Moore Gymnasium in Daytona Beach on Tuesday night.

Enjoy our Mid-Major Game of the Day for Tuesday, February 3rd, as the Stetson Hatters take on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats!

– T.B.