TAMPA, Fla. – The University of Tampa women's basketball team traveled to Fort Lauderdale to take on the Sharks for the first matchup of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament and the third time battling Nova this season. This time, the Spartans were victorious.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final: Tampa 63, Nova 60
Records: Spartans (17-10, 12-7 SSC), Sharks (17-11, 12-7 SSC)
Location: Don Taft University Center | Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
All-time Series: Tampa leads the all-time series with the Nova Sharks with a 26-12 mark.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Quarter | First team All SSC selection Elena de Alfredo scored the first points of the game after she made a jump shot. The Sharks wasted no time getting on the board and quickly took the lead after they sank a three pointer and a layup back-to-back. Junior Faith Sanders closed the gap when she made a layup. de Alfredo would score again on a jumper assisted by junior Karma Jeremie. Freshman Rachel Warden tallied her first points after hitting a jump shot that was assisted by senior Jenny Horvatinovic, making the score 9-8 Sharks lead. Both teams remained scoreless for two and half minutes until the Sharks made a layup. Senior Teresa Kucera was the last player to score in the quarter on a jumper that would put the Spartans within three points of the Sharks.
2nd Quarter | The second quarter started out much like the first, Spartans and Sharks trading baskets. The Spartans trailed closely behind the Sharks for the majority of the second quarter until Horvatinovic hit a three pointer with 20 seconds left on the clock giving the Spartans a one point lead heading into halftime.
3rd Quarter | The Spartans lead was quickly dimished after halftime when the Sharks hit a three pointer 30 seconds into the quarter. The Sharks increased their lead to eight points after they went on a run that kept the Spartans scoreless. But the Spartans did not let up, Warden got the Spartans within two points after hitting a three pointer with four minutes left in the quarter. But that was not enough to stifle the Sharks scoring, they increased their lead to five points heading into the fourth quarter.
4th Quarter | Sanders scored the first points of the quarter on a layup assisted by Jeremie. The fourth quarter was a back and forth battle between the two teams, as neither team led by more than four points the entire time. With 30 seconds left Sanders made a layup that would tie the game and send the teams in to overtime.
OT | The final five minutes mirrored the fourth quarter, a continuous battle until the very last minute. The Spartans were down by one point with a minute left on the clock when Jeremie put in a layup that would give the Spartans a one point lead. The Sharks fouled Sanders and sent her to the line, she made both shots that would eventually solidify the score at 63-60, Spartans.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Sanders was the leading point scorer for the Spartans with 23 points. She was also a perfect 9-9 from the line and tallied four rebounds.
- Jeremie was the second leading point scorer with 20 points, seven rebounds, and two assits.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE:
- Jeremie set a new career high for points with 20.
- With this win, the Spartans advance to the next round of the SSC Tournament.
UT will travel to Daytona for the next round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament on Saturday, March 4th.
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