TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's basketball team will tip off the season with the SSC-SIAC Crossover Challenge at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center. LeMoyne-Owen College and Claflin University will step onto campus representing the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, as Florida Tech will join UT as the Sunshine State Conference competition.
- Friday, November 9:
- 5 p.m. - Florida Tech Panthers (0-0, 0-0 SSC) vs. Claflin University Panthers (0-0, 0-0 SIAC)
- 7 p.m. - University of Tampa Spartans (0-0, 0-0 SSC) vs. LeMoyne-Owen College Magicians (0-0, 0-0 SIAC)
- Saturday, November 10:
- 5 p.m. - Florida Tech Panthers (0-0, 0-0 SSC) vs. LeMoyne-Owen College Magicians (0-0, 0-0 SIAC)
- 7 p.m. - University of Tampa Spartans (0-0, 0-0 SSC) vs. Claflin University Panthers (0-0, 0-0 SIAC)
Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla. | 400 N Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
About Tampa: The Spartans went 17-11 last season while posting a 10-10 record in conference. UT found a home-court advantage with a 14-3 record at Martinez. Tampa welcomes back their returning scorer in Staja Tyghter, who started in every game and averaged 12.9 points per game on 48% shooting. The senior forward logged 7.0 rebounds per game which ranked ninth in the SSC. Tyghter recorded six double-doubles last year, while scoring 15-plus points 12 different times. The Spartans expect contribution from senior guard Emily Eshoo, who started in 11 of 28 games played, as she scored 8.1 points per game in 24.5 minutes per game. Eshoo, a transfer from Bradley University, grabbed 3.4 rebounds while shooting 88% from the free throw line. The Spartans welcome six newcomers, including USF transfer Dori Nagy, junior college transfers Tyra Cormier and Kris Nelson and freshmen Melijah Sullivan, Amaya Lasley and Tatiana Toledo.
About LeMoyne-Owen: In the 2017-18 season, LeMoyne-Owen secured 16 victories while dropping 11 contests. The Magicians caught momentum towards the end of conference play, winning six of the last eight games. They return their leading point-scorer in Dana Gettis, who averaged 18.3 points per game in about 31 minutes per game. The senior guard ranked second in the SIAC with her scoring average. Gettis, a transfer from Robert Morris University, tallied 1.96 steals per game in her second season at LeMoyne-Owen. Lamontazia Blair played in 26 games as a freshman and averaged 7.3 points per game. The Magicians could receive help from a junior college transfer, Chrissa Shaw, who attended Northwest Mississippi Community College. Shaw was named a MACJC 2018 All-Star as she averaged 11.8 points per game. The junior guard registered 20-plus points in five games. Head coach Antony Partee begins his sixth season at the helm of the program.
About Claflin: The Panthers finished off the 2017-18 season with a record of 17-13, picking up 11 wins in conference competition. Ashley Fields, sported an impressive stat line as she averaged about 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists per game. She led the team in assists, finished second in rebounds, and third in points however she returns as the leading point-scorer. Fields swiped 2.5 steals per game which ranked fifth in the SIAC. Deja Dickens, a senior guard, averaged 7.5 points per game and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 31% from three-point range. The Panthers welcome seven freshman to the roster as six players return from last year's squad. Claflin University is led by Revonda Whitley, who is in her second season as head coach at CU. Last season, they took a wire-to-wire victory over Florida Tech by an eight-point margin, 64-56. Fields led the team with a double-double posting 13 points, 11 rebounds and four assists.
About Florida Tech: The Panthers return eight players from last year's roster, including four main seniors. Gracie Doane, a transfer from University of Maryland Baltimore County, was second on the team with 7.7 points per game in her third season as a Panther. Doane was seventh in the SSC with 1.9 three pointers per game. In about 15 minutes per game, she shot 84% at the charity stripe. Tereza Sedlakova ranked 11th in the SSC with 15 blocks. She grabbed 111 rebounds throughout the season, which ranked 27th in the SSC. Kailyn Ebb returns as a senior forward for Florida Tech as she led the team with 6.1 rebounds per game last year. Her 166 rebounds ranked 11th in the SSC while averaging 6.9 points per game in 27 games played. The Panthers are led by John Reynolds who enters his 32nd year as head coach of Florida Tech. He has 559 career victories which ranks eighth among DII women's basketball coaches, and second in the SSC behind Rollins' Glenn Wilkes Jr.
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.
Text Alerts: UT also offers a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.
Front Row: Download the official app of UT Athletics on the Apple or Android store. Look for Tampa Spartans Front Row app to receive notifications from your favorite Spartan teams. The app is completely free.