Spartans Outlast Montevallo in Season Opener

Spartans Outlast Montevallo in Season Opener

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's basketball team outlasted the University of Montevallo on Saturday afternoon as the Spartans secured the season opener by a final score of 63-61. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final Score: University of Tampa Spartans 63, University of Montevallo Falcons 61
Records: University of Tampa (1-0, 0-0 SSC), University of Montevallo (0-1, 0-0 GSC)
Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla.
All-Time Series: This was the first ever meeting between the two programs.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | An entertaining first half contained nine lead changes and five tied scores, as Vincent Biffle led the way for the Spartans posting 10 points and 7 rebounds in 18 minutes of play. The Falcons' Wade Lowman began the game on a 4-0 run before Anthony Gamble splashed a three-pointer to stop the opening momentum. In the opening ten minutes, the Spartans went on a scoring stretch where they made 7 of 9 baskets from the field. UM fought back to take the lead with 4:40 remaining in the half, although UT went on a 6-0 run in the final 1:49. Biffle scored four points in the final three minutes to Tampa a 32-31 lead heading into the half. 

2nd Half | The Spartans opened the half on a 6-2 run in part to Cedric Belemene's four points on two layup's. The Spartans were more efficent in the second half from three-point range as Alberto Moreno made two of UT's five second half long-balls. The two teams went on a scoring drought following the ten minute mark, and Tampa closed out the game with four made free throws in the final twenty seconds. 

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • Gamble logged a game-high 38 minutes while scoring six points and grabbing three rebounds.
  • Despite being out-rebounded 37-27, UT scored six second-chance points compared to UM's five.  
  • The Spartans shot 69% from the free-throw line compared to Montevallo's 55%.

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • Biffle registered the second double-double of his career, recording 14 points and 11 rebounds.

UP NEXT: The University of Tampa will host day two of the SSC-GSC Crossover Challenge at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center, as they face off against University Alabama-Huntsville on Sunday at 3 p.m.

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