M. BASKETBALL

Ryan Kidd scored a team-high 12 points, all in the second half, to keep the game respectable.
Ryan Kidd scored a team-high 12 points, all in the second half, to keep the game respectable.

First-Half Cold Spell Dooms Spartans in SSC Matchup

Box Score

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa (4-8, 0-3 SSC) men’s basketball team hit a cold spell in the first half, propelling visiting Saint Leo University (7-5, 1-1) to a 63-45 victory over its Sunshine State Conference opponent on Wednesday at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center.

After taking a 5-0 lead, Tampa would hold an 8-5 advantage before going scoreless for the final 11:32 of the first half. The Lions would go on a 23-0 run for the remainder of the first half as it took a commanding 28-8 edge to the break.

The Spartans would outscore the Lions by a 37-35 margin in the second half as UT’s top two scorers went scoreless for the first 30 minutes of the contest. Ashton Graham and Jon Riles accounted for just two points, coming on a Graham jumper with 9:18 to play.

Sophomore Ryan Kidd scored a career-high 12 points off the bench as he picked up 16 minutes of action, all in the second half. The Jacksonville, Fla., native also had a team-high two steals for the Spartans.

Callum Townsend added 10 points , connecting on a pair of 3-pointers. Eric Moraes led all Spartans with eight rebounds, five of which came in the first eight minutes of play. Freshman Terrell Pritchett provided a spark off the bench as well, dishing out a team-high four assists to go with four points and five rebounds.

Saint Leo outshot the Spartans by a 45.5 to 31.8 percent showing, as SLU’s Shaun Adams led all scorers with 23 points. Adams also turned in five assists, five blocks and three steals for the Lions.

Tampa will look to pick up its first SSC victory on Saturday as it travels to Barry University for a 4 p.m., meeting with the Buccaneers. Live stats and a webcast will be available through tampaspartans.com.

Fans may also follow University of Tampa athletics on Twitter (www.twitter.com/utspartans), Facebook (www.facebook.com/tampaspartans) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/utathletics). 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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