Tigers Escape with Narrow 59-58 Win Over Tampa in Season Opener

Tigers Escape with Narrow 59-58 Win Over Tampa in Season Opener

KINGSVILLE, Texas. – The University of Tampa women's basketball team opened the 2016-17 season at the Texas A&M-Kingsville Classic on Saturday afternoon against the East Central University Tigers at the Gil E. Steinke PE Center. The game was delayed just under two hours from the original tip-off time due to an unusual situation. The Spartans came up just short of the win as the Tigers escaped with a 59-58 victory.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:

Final: Tampa 58, East-Central 59

Records: Spartans (0-1, 0-0 SSC), East-Central Tigers (1-0, 0-0 GAC)
Location: Gil E. Steinke PE Center | Kingsville, Texas.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:

1st Quarter | Both teams came out with a lot of energy despite the almost two-hour delay. The teams went back and forth as they tried to find a rhythm and get their offensive sets in place. The Tigers were able to get going quicker and opened up a double-digit lead, dictating the pace of the game for most of the quarter. Tampa was able to end on a high note as Jenny Horvatinovic hit a three-point shot at the buzzer to cut the deficit to single digits at 17-9.

2nd Quarter | The Spartans came out with a burst of energy and were able to hit two more shots from long distance to climb to within two at 17-15 early in the period. However, the Tigers were able to respond and got their shots to fall despite having a hand in their face most of the time to open up the lead again going into halftime and led 31-24.

3rd Quarter | UT came out of the locker room with more energy as they outscored the Tigers 6-2 to open the second half to climb to within three points at 33-30. Both sides went back and forth with East Central withstanding the initial run by Tampa and being able to answer each basket that UT made to try to tie the game. With just over four minutes left in the quarter, Elena de Alfredo made it a one-point game and after the Tigers answered, Faith Sanders scored the final basket of the period to make it 43-41 going into the final quarter of the game. 

4th Quarter | Tampa came out on a mission to start the fourth quarter as Sanders scored the first basket of the period to tie the game up at 43-43. As was the story of the second half, the Tigers came down the court and answered with a three-point shot. Shortly after, UT would cut the deficit to one for the second time but ECU went on a quick five point run to go up 51-45. The Spartans would not go away however and Karma Jeremie scored a tough layup despite having two defenders on her to get her team within three. The team would pick up the pace and their energy level for the final stretch and de Alfredo tied the game with a three point shot with just under three minutes to go in the game. The Tigers were forced to call a timeout to regroup and came out and hit another three but Tampa was able to answer right back as Griffin Dempsey tied the game from the left corner. The offense would not be able to complete the task and East Central escaped with the win.

INSIDE THE STATS:

  •  Sanders led the way on offense as she finished the night with 22 points and eight rebounds.
  • Jeremie recorded a double-double as she tallied 11 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds on the night.
  • The Spartans scored seven points off the fast break and held the Tigers to zero points. Both teams scored 20 points in the paint.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:

  •  UT outscored ECU in three of the four quarters tonight.
  • Three players, Sanders, Jeremie, and Horvatinovic, played all 40 minutes. 

UP NEXT:

UT will meet host Texas A&M-Kingsville tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. EST to wrap up their opening weekend. Live stats and a live video webcast will be provided through www.javelinaathletics.com.

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