Behind Second-Half Surge, Spartans Tame Lions

Behind Second-Half Surge, Spartans Tame Lions

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa Spartans and Saint Leo Lions entered Saturday's game at the Bob Martinez Center with four game losing and winning streaks, respectively. Fortunately for the Spartans, both came to an end with a 86-71 victory.

With the win, their first win against a Sunshine State Conference opponent this season, Tampa improves to 5-11. This is also the Spartans' third straight victory over the Lions dating back to last season, and fourth straight win against them in the Bob Martinez Center.

Freshman guard Pat Bacon led the team with 29 points while shooting 71 percent from the field. This was the 12th time this season he has led the team in points.

Sophomore forward Duke Shelton also shined for the second straight game, once again setting a new career-high with 27 points. He shot 57 percent from the field and 85 percent from the line while also leading the team with 12 rebounds.

What was a slim 41-40 lead at halftime opened up in the second half, as the Spartans stretched their lead to 15 points with a 13-2 run over 4:52 late in second half.

Overall, the Spartans shot 52 percent from the field, 27 percent beyond the arc and 86 percent from the line. Tampa also outrebounded Saint Leo 37-30 and outscored them in the paint (40-16) and off the bench (24-21).

The defense held the Lions to just 38 percent from the field for the game, and 35 percent in the second half while allowing just six points in the final seven minutes of play.

The Spartans return to action Wednesday when they welcome in another Sunshine State Conference foe, the Nova Southeastern Sharks, to the Bob Martinez Center for a 7:30 PM ET tipoff.

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