Spartans Drop Upset Bid in SSC Opener

Spartans Drop Upset Bid in SSC Opener

LAKELAND, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's basketball team squandered the upset bid on the road Wednesday evening against No. 21 Florida Southern. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP:

Final Score: No. 21 Florida Southern 55, Tampa 48

Records: University of Tampa Spartans (5-1, 0-1 SSC), No. 21 Florida Southern College Moccasins (5-1, 1-0 SSC)

Location: Jenkins Field House || Lakeland, Fla. 

All-Time Series: Tampa trails 60-37; Florida Southern has won three straight matchups. 

HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Quarter | The two teams exchanged several free throws at the beginning of the contest and the Spartans' Staja Tyghter got UT off to a 3-2 lead. However, the Moccasins went on an 11-0 run in the following three minutes. Tyghter and Melijah Sullivan grabbed the momentum for Tampa with four points apiece during a 10-2 stretch of their own. After the UT rally, No. 21 Florida Southern led 15-13 at the end of the quarter. Tyghter, a senior from Orlando, finished the quarter with seven points. The Spartans defense allowed only two FSC players to score in the opening frame. Camille Giardina, a Sarasota native, tallied ten points for FSC during the first ten minutes of play. 

2nd Quarter | No. 21 Florida Southern went on 9-0 stretch to open the quarter and extended their lead to 24-13. With 3:29 to go in the quarter, Kris Nelson swished a three-point basket at the shot clock buzzer and the junior from Augusta, Ga. was fouled in the shooting process. Nelson made the free-throw to complete the four-point play which ended the Spartans seven minute scoring drought. The Spartans trailed 26-19 at the halftime break. 

3rd Quarter | Emily Eshoo registered her first points of the game with a three-point bucket to begin the second half, as Tampa went on a 10-4 run and cut the deficit to 30-29. Dori Nagy contributed two free-throws and a layup during the Spartans comeback. Tyghter controlled the game for UT scoring seven points in the quarter, and she gave UT a 38-36 lead as the seconds ticked off the clock in the third. 

4th Quarter | Nagy scored six of her 14 points in the opening three minutes of the fourth quarter, which gave Tampa a slight 44-40 lead. The Moccasins rode the wave and bounced back with a 12-0 scoring run via three long-range field goals. Giardina led the way for No. 21 Florida Southern with eight points in the quarter, totaling 22 on the night as she went 9-10 from the free throw line. The Spartans tacked on a few free-throws but did not make a field goal in the final 7:34 of the game. 

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • Tampa out-rebounded FSC 32-28, however UT committed 19 turnovers which led to 16 points. 
  • No. 21 Florida Southern shot 5-18 (28%) from three point range.
  • The Spartans only shot five three-pointers in comparison to their season average of 16.8 attempts per game. 

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • Entering the contest, the Spartans averaged 72 points per game. 
  • The Spartans defense held Anja Fuchs-Robetin, last year's SSC Player of the Year, to only five points. 
  • Tyghter has logged at least 14 points and eight rebounds in five of six games this season. 

UP NEXT: The University of Tampa will host their first conference game of the year against Barry University this Saturday, December 1st at 2 p.m.

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