W. BASKETBALL

Lindsay Watson set a new Tampa record tallying the most points in a half with 24
Lindsay Watson set a new Tampa record tallying the most points in a half with 24

Tampa Bites Back

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women’s basketball team (3-2) avenged its previous loss against regional foe, Valdosta State (2-3) by a single digit margin 67-63 at the Bob Martinez Sports Center Wednesday evening.

In the first stanza both teams came out producing an incredible offensive fire power as the lead changed as many as seven times and tied up a total of 13. The score became knotted at 31 with 1:26 left in the period after a made trey by freshman Lindsey Watson. The 5-foot-7 rookie led the way for the Spartans in the first half as she was able to connect on 8-11 field goal attempts tallying a new school record for most points in a half with 24.  Valdosta State would answer however with a 6-0 run in the final minute following a Dominique Smith bucket sending the Blazers into the locker room with a six point advantage 40-34.

During the second half, Tampa battled for 16 minutes before they could finally secure a lead following a Greta Bartkute layup. With a one point lead at 3:25 to go in regulation, Watson would be able to hit a perfect 4-4 from the charity stripe in the final minutes giving the Spartans the victory.

"This was a big regional win for us that we had to get after losing up in Valdosta. Our defense really picked us up down the stretch," says head coach Tom Jessee.

Watson led all Spartans with four assists and tabbed a career high 34 points good for the second highest single game scoring record in UT history going 9-18 from the field and ending the game 11-12 from the free throw line. Also scoring double figures for the fourth game this season was senior captain Taja Green, adding 14 points to the board. Barkute, a six-foot-three freshman from Siauliai, Lithuania posted a team-high seven rebounds for the night as both Gianna Messina and Catriana Messina produced impressive defensive performances collecting a team-best five steals.

The Spartans return to action to open up conference play Saturday at 2 p.m. as the team travels to Barry University. The last time the two teams met was in the NCAA Regional tournament as Tampa was able to pull out a four point win to advance in the tournament.

Live stats and a webcast will be available through www.tampaspartans.com.

Fans may also follow University of Tampa athletics on Twitter (www.twitter.com/utspartans) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/tampaspartans). UT also offers blAst, a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.

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