Final: Western Washington Vikings 87, Tampa Spartans 77
Records: Tampa (4-6), Western Washington (7-3)
Location: Hawaii Convention Center | Honolulu, Hawaii
All-time Series: first meeting
Follow Us: @TampaSpartans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Vimeo
HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | Playing in their first game of the Hoops in Hawaii Classic, the Spartans started slow as WWU grabbed a 10-point lead. Trailing 23-13, Tampa closed out the half on a 15-7 run to draw within two of the Vikings at the break. Though UT never led in the half, they did draw even at 28-28 with 2:06 on the clock. Junior Mekhi Biffle came off the bench to lead Tampa with six first-half points. UT shot just 30.8 percent in the half as WWU was 46.2. The Spartans did convert on 10-of-12 from the free-throw line.
2nd Half | Despite grabbing a brief one-point lead, the Spartans were unable to outscore the Vikings in the second. It was a back-and-forth affair for the first 10 minutes of the half. A go-ahead layup from Marcel Robinson put UT on top 47-46 with 12:10 to play in regulation, which was answered by a 7-0 Western Washington run to lead by six at the mid-way point of the half. Tampa would get within four under the two-minute mark, but the Vikings connected of 16-of-18 free throw shots in the final two minutes of the game to seal the victory.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Pat Bacon was one of four Spartans to score double figures, leading the way with 17 points.
- Mekhi Biffle and Marcel Robinson added 14 apiece while Alberto Moreno chipped in 11.
- Duke Shelton pulled down a team-leading five rebounds.
- Bacon led the Spartans with a pair of assists.
- The Spartans lost the rebounding battle, 41-26.
BEYOND THE BOX:
- This marks the third game in school history for the Spartans in the state of Hawaii. The first two came during the 2007-08 season when UT split a pair of games. The Spartans fell to BYU-Hawaii before defeating Hawaii Pacific in 2017.
- A pair of Spartans are nearing the 1,000 career point milestone as senior Robinson sits at 970 while junior Bacon has 957.
Tampa concludes play at the Hoops in Hawaii Classic on Monday evening as it meets the University of Hawaii at Hilo. The game will start at 7:30 p.m., Hawaii Time, or 12:30 a.m., Eastern Time. Live stats and video ($) will be available through TampaSpartans.com.
TAMPA SPARTANS MOBILE APP:
A free app is also available for free download through Apple and Google Play stores. Please search for Tampa Spartans Front Row.
RECEIVE TEXT AND EMAIL ALERTS:
UT also offers free messaging service for text and/or email, which sends alerts and press releases for Spartan teams. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.