FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The University of Tampa women's basketball team continued its early-season success with a 63-45 victory over Gannon University in the first game of the 2018 North Star Invitational, which is hosted by the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final Score: Tampa Spartans 63, Gannon Golden Knights 45
Records: Tampa (4-0), Gannon (3-2)
Location: Alaska Airlines Court || Fairbanks, Alaska
All-Time Series: This marks the first-ever meeting between the Division II opponents.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Quarter | The Spartans held a small lead for the majority of the opening quarter as the lone Golden Knight lead came off a 3-pointer to make it 9-8 with 0:51 remaining in the quarter. Tampa would score five unanswered to finish the quarter as it grabbed a four-point lead, holding an advantage that it would not surrender on the night. Senior Lauren Kotey scored four points to lead the Spartans in the first quarter as the Spartans shot 42.9 percent from the field.
2nd Quarter | Tampa extended its lead to 35-27 as it controlled the second quarter and set the pace for the remainder of the game. A balanced effort for UT's offense proved too much for Gannon as Staja Tyghter scored seven points while Kris Nelson added five. UT was 3-for-4 from 3-point range and forced five Golden Knight turnovers to take an eight-point advantage to the break.
3rd Quarter | Tyghter added six third-quarter points as the Spartans continued to add on to their lead as the advantaged swelled to 13 points at the end of the third quarter. It was another productive quarter for the Spartans, who outrebounded the Golden Knights by a 7-4 mark and also forced five Gannon turnovers while committing just one.
4th Quarter | Tampa held onto its lead in the final quarter as both teams hit cold spells from the field. UT shot 38.5 percent from the field while Gannon shot at just a 20 percent clip. A 13-4 advantage on the boards allowed the Spartans to finish off the 18-point victory.
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Tyghter led the way with team-highs of 15 points and six assists and she also grabbed nine rebounds.
- Emily Eshoo and Dori Nagy were also in double figures with 12 and 10 points respectively.
- Nagy also grabbed a team-leading 11 rebounds in her first double-double as a Spartan and second consecutive game with double-figure boards.
- In 37 minutes of play, point guard Nelson chipped in nine points with four assists and three steals.
- The Spartans shot 48.3 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
BEYOND THE BOX:
- This marked the first-ever game played by UT women's basketball in the state of Alaska.
- Head coach Tom Jessee now stands at 494 career wins as the program's all-time winningest coach closes in on another milestone.
- This marks UT's first 4-0 start since 2014.
UP NEXT: Tampa has one more game on tap in Alaska as it faces host Alaska-Fairbanks on Saturday at 7 p.m.
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