Spartans Battle Against No. 4 NSU

Spartans Battle Against No. 4 NSU

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's basketball team battled with the fourth-best team in the nation, but ultimately dropped the contest to No. 4 Nova Southeastern.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: No. 4 Nova Southeastern 90, Tampa 79
Records: University of Tampa Spartans (9-6, 3-4 SSC), No. 4 Nova Southeastern University Sharks (13-1, 7-1 SSC) 
Location: Rick Case Arena || Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
All-Time Series: Series tied at 19-19; the Spartans have dropped three straight against NSU.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | The Spartans led the game early on as Brent Duncan converted an "and-one" opportunity and Alberto Moreno registered back-to-back layups. In a fast-paced game, No. 4 Nova Southeastern bounced back with a 10-0 run via seven points from Nick Smith. Tampa was efficient from the field, connecting on eight straight baskets in the middle of the half. UT committed 11 turnovers which led to 14 points for NSU. Moreno posted a game-high 15 points in the first half. Cedric Belemene dominated the boards, grabbing seven rebounds in 11 minutes of play. Anthony Gamble went 3-for-6 at the free-throw line, and totaled 11 points. UT did not make a three-pointer in the first 20 minutes, as the Spartans trailed 44-40 at halftime. 

2nd Half | To begin the half, the Spartans shot 6-of-7 from the field. UT went on an 8-0 run in about a minute, and secured the lead at 53-52 with 16:23 remaining. Belemene, Gamble and Moreno logged two baskets each during the scoring stretch. Tampa briefly held the lead before No. 4 Nova Southeastern went on 17-2 scoring stretch. The roles reversed as UT went scoreless on the next seven attempts, and the Spartans committed five turnovers in five minutes. With 10 minutes remaining, Moreno committed his fourth foul on an offensive charge. The Spartans tried to rally late in the game, converting on 7 of their last 9 shots, but the game was out of reach.

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • Gamble, the team's leading scorer, led the way with 25 points.
  • Moreno posted a career-high 19 points, although he fouled out with five minutes remaining. 
  • Belemene registered a double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds, for the third consecutive game. 

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • Gamble has scored at least 22 points in four of the last five games.

UP NEXT: The University of Tampa will host Saint Leo on Wednesday, January 16, tip-off will follow the women's game which begins at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets: General admission ticket prices for all Tampa regular season athletic events are $5. Youth (ages 12 and under) are admitted free of charge. UT students and faculty/staff are admitted free with a valid Spartan ID.

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