Spartans Battle Through Adversity, Fall to No. 3 NSU

Spartans Battle Through Adversity, Fall to No. 3 NSU

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's basketball team ended the season with a loss to No. 3 Nova Southeastern, the number one seed in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: No. 3 Nova Southeastern 95, Tampa 82
Records: University of Tampa Spartans (14-15, 8-12 SSC), No. 3 Nova Southeastern (25-2, 18-2 SSC)
Location: Rick Case Arena || Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
All-Time Series: Tampa trails 21-19 as NSU swept the season series.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | The teams exchanged baskets throughout the first half as Tampa led by eight at the ten minute mark. No. 3 Nova Southeastern held the largest lead of the half as they entered the locker-room leading by nine, 47-38. Anthony Gamble led the team with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, connecting on three long-range jumpers. Marco Downer filled the stat sheet with eight points, on a perfect 4-for-4 shooting, grabbed six rebounds and swatted two shots in 11 minutes of action. Each team logged 10 assists apiece in the opening half and Tampa out-rebounded NSU by a slim margin, 20-19. The Spartans led for almost 14 minutes in the first half but trailed entering the break. 

2nd Half | Three separate Spartans registered double-digits in the second half; Downer led the way with 11 points, on 5-of-6 from the charity stripe, while Gamble and Alberto Moreno logged 10 points apiece. Downer also led the Spartans with five rebounds in the half. The Spartans shot 16-for-30 (53%) from the field and converted on 10-of-11 at the free-throw line. Nova's Mark Matthews tallied 16 of his 24 points in the second half, while he led the Sharks in the second half with six rebounds. NSU managed to score 12 points off Tampa's nine second-half turnovers. The Sharks' Dwayne Gibson rattled off 22 points in the game, connecting on 6-of-10 from long range. 

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • In his final game as a Spartan, Gamble scored 25 points on 9-for-15 from the field. It was his 14th 20+ point performance of the season.
  • Downer finished with a double-double, 19 points and 11 rebounds (four of which were offensive).

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • Entering tonight's contest, Downer ranked fifth in the nation with 76 blocks. With three blocks tonight, he will finish in 3rd place in UT history for most blocked shots in a season.
  • Gamble will rank 5th in UT history in regards to career 3-pt. shooting percentage, connecting on 37.2% of his three-point attempts (181-for-486). His 181 made three-pointers ranks 6th in UT history

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