SAINT LEO, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's basketball team shot the ball exceptionally well in both halves to beat West Florida 81-63 in the Saint Leo Crossover Classic.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final Score: University of Tampa Spartans 81, University of West Florida Argonauts 63
Records: University of Tampa (3-0, 0-0 SSC), University of West Florida Argonauts (2-1, 0-0 GSC)
Location: Marion Brown Activities Center | Saint Leo, Fla.
All-Time Series: Tampa now trails the all-time series 5-4. The Spartans won the previous meeting, which took place at home in 2008.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | Anthony Gamble came out strong, scoring the first three baskets for the Spartans. Neither team could gain a decent lead within the first nine minutes of the half. Gamble set the fire for Tampa, scoring eight points during those first nine minutes, coming from easy looks inside the paint. For the Argonauts, Rashaan Benson lit their fire by scoring 13 of their 36 points for the first half. Benson shot 66% from the field. The Spartans jumped to a 12 point lead late in the eighth minute coming off of a three-pointer made by Vincent Biffle. Gamble continued with the hot hand, converting on an and-one and knocking down two three-pointers in consecutive plays increasing their lead to 15. At the half, UT led West Florida 51-36.
2nd Half | To continue where he left off in the first half, Gamble was the first to score coming out of the break. Cedric Belemene came out tougher in the half increasing UT lead to 20 off a jumper in the paint. The Argonauts, however, were not backing down so easily. Maxwell Benoit knocked down the first two baskets of the half, steadily chipping into the Spartans lead. West Florida couldn't get a handle on Gamble who scored in consecutive plays again, increasing Tampa's lead back to 20. Rashaan Benson was the second-leading scorer for West Florida, finishing with 19 points. In the second half, Alassane Kah was an asset for the visiting team filling the stat sheet with 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Late in the seventh minute, Biffle recorded one of his two steals which resulted in him draining a jumper on the other end of the court to increase their lead to 21.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Spartans shots 63.3% from the field and 47% from the three-point line in the first half.
- Four Spartans finished the game in double digits. Gamble had 22, Biffle had 17, Ibrahim had 14, and Brent Duncan had 15.
- Tampa shot 50% from the field compared to the Argonauts 40%.
- The Spartans outrebounded the Argonauts 39-23. 14 of those were offensive rebounds compared to West Florida's seven.
BEYOND THE BOX:
- Duncan scored a career-high of 15 points. He had four offensive rebounds to go along with his 15 points.
UP NEXT: The University of Tampa will be back in Saint Leo, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 17 to face the University of Auburn-Montgomery at 2 p.m.
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