MIAMI SHORES, Fla – The University of Tampa Women's basketball team traveled to Miami Shores on Wednesday evening to face off against the Barry University Buccaneers in the quarterfinal matchup of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament.
The start of the game was a back and forth affair as the two teams exchanged baskets. The Spartans went cold to finish the first quarter and Barry managed to open up a lead as they started to make shots from three point range. After the first 10 mins, UT trailed 15-8.
Despite a slow start, Tampa managed to have a strong finish to the second quarter. The Spartans were able to cut into the Buccaneers lead and trailed only 29-27 at the half. The offensive charge was sparked by strong play in the post to go along with making some key shots as well as ramping up their defensive energy.
The energy for UT did not stop at halftime as the team came out on a mission. Tampa scored 16 points in the third quarter as they outscored Barry by 2 to go into the 4th tied 43-43. The same play that led to the team cutting into the deficit in the first half was consistent to start the second.
The fourth quarter was a back and forth affair as neither team was able to pull away with defense and missed shots being the biggest factors. With four minutes left in the game and trailing by three, junior Elena de Alfredo made a key three pointer to draw the teams even. After a pair of free throws by the Buccaneers, guard Juliana Cavallaro would make another three pointer to put the Spartans up by one and draw a strong reaction from the team bench. The Buccaneers would answer on the following possession as they got a layup by Ines Kerin that put them back on top. However, UT would answer the call again when senior Angela Alvarez made a layup and a free throw to complete the three point play that gave Tampa the lead for good.
In the end, a mix of making shots from the post and from distance allowed the Spartans to come out on top over the Barry Buccaneers by a final score of 64-55. Guard Juliana Cavallaro led the way as she finished with 22 points on the night, 16 of them coming in the second half. Also contributing were forward Angela Alvarez who finished with a double-double after scoring 10 points and bringing in 15 rebounds with 7 being on the offensive side, guard Karma Jeremie who added 10 points of her own, and point guard Elena de Alfredo who finished with 11 points.
Tampa will now face Nova Southeastern University in the semifinal of the SSC Tournament. The game will take place at the ICI Center on the campus of Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Fla on Saturday March 5th at 5 p.m.
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