DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The University of Tampa Spartans and the Embry-Riddle University Eagles battles Wednesday night in Daytona Beach, Florida. The contest came down to the final shot, as the final shot attempt from Tampa fell just off, and the Eagles claimed the 59-58 victory. UT now sits at 6-14 on the year, while ERAU improves to 12-8.
Pat Bacon would lead Tampa in scoring as he picked up 20 points. Duke Shelton added a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Marcel Robinson and Austin Rettig scored in double figures as they added 12 and 11 points respectively.
In the first half of play, Tampa would jump out to a quick 11-4 lead before the first media timeout. The Spartans would increase the lead to 18-10 with 13:25 left to play in the opening frame. The Eagles, however, would start their comeback as they held the Spartans scoreless over the next eight minutes as they would go on a 13-0 run to take a 23-18 advantage. UT was able to slow down the ERAU the final five minutes, as they went into the half trailing 30-25.
Both teams shot under 40 percent from the field in the half, as Tampa shot just 33.3 percent (9-27) and Embry-Riddle shot slightly better at 36.1 percent (13-36). Bacon led the way for the Spartans in the opening half as he collected 10 points.
At the 16:57 mark, the Spartans tied the game back up at 33, as Robinson converted on a layup. Tampa retook the lead for the first time since midway through the first half, as Rettig made a three-pointer that gave them a 38-35 lead.
With three minutes left to play, Shelton stole the ball and assisted Robinson on a fast break layup to give Tampa a 55-54 lead.
With the game tied at 57, ERAU grabbed an offensive rebound and made a layup with 28 seconds left to play to give the Eagles a 59-57 advantage.
On the next possession, Rettig would drive to the basket where he would be sent to the line after the Eagles were called for blocking. At the line, Rettig missed the first free-throw and converted on the second to pull UT to 59-58
The Spartans had the final possession of the contest, as the final shot fell just off the mark and the Eagles held on to the 59-58 victory.
UT held a 22-2 advantage in fast break points and a 14-11 lead in assists. As a team, UT shot just 38.1 percent (24-63) from the field and 15.6 percent (5-32) from three in the game.
The Spartans will continue SSC play on Saturday as they welcome in the Eckerd College Tritons into the Bob Martinez Athletics Center. The game is set to being at 4:00 P.M.
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