TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa Spartans men's basketball team (5-12, 1-7) fell to the Nova Southeastern University Sharks (7-9, 3-5) by a final score of 73-69 on Wednesday evening at the Bob Martinez Athletic Center. The Spartans loss was their seventh in Sunshine State Conference play this season.
In the first half, the Spartans came out of the gates hot, hitting three three-point field goals on their first three possessions to get off to a 9-0 lead. After a few defensive woes, Tampa settled in and continued to dominate play, outscoring the Sharks 42-24. The Spartans went 14 of 27 from the field while the Sharks finished 11 of 27. The difference maker came from behind the arc with the Spartans draining eight three-point field goals in the first half. Austin Rettig fueled the Spartans offensive production with 17 points in the first half.
In second half action, play flip-flopped with the Sharks putting their foot on the pedal while the Spartans ran out of gas, being outscored 49-27 with a final score of 73-69. The Spartans stayed hot to start the second half but with the Sharks hanging around, went cold quickly. Tampa went 9 of 26 from the field while the Sharks went 15 of 26 from the field. Like the first half, the three point ball was the difference maker with the Sharks cashing in on 10 three-point field goals while the Spartans only hit four of an attempted 16.
Matt Johnson recorded a career-high 11 assists while grabbing four rebounds. Austin Rettig led the team in scoring with 25 points and pulled in five rebounds. Pat Bacon also played a pivotal role in the close match scoring 17 points and dishing out four assists.
Tampa will be back in action Saturday January 23rd where they square off against the Rollins College Tars for the second time this season. Rollins was victorious in the first matchup by a final of 86-75. The SSC battle will tip off at 4:00 PM in the Bob Martinez Center and will be available for live stream.
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