Spartans Stumble in Valdosta

Spartans Stumble in Valdosta

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's basketball team committed six turnovers in the final quarter to waste their second-half lead against Valdosta State on Tuesday evening. 


INSIDE THE MATCHUP:

Final Score: Valdosta State Blazers 61, Tampa Spartans 57

Records: University of Tampa Spartans (6-2, 1-1 SSC), Valdosta State Blazers (4-3, 1-1 GSC)

Location: The Complex || Valdosta, Ga.

All-Time Series: Tampa trails 12-6; Tampa has won the last 3 of 5 meetings. 

HOW IT HAPPENED:

1st Quarter | To begin the game, the offenses were stagnant as the two teams shot a combined 1-for-7 in the first three minutes. However, Tampa stuck to their defensive gameplan and held Valdosta State to 26.7% shooting in the first quarter. Kris Nelson ignited the Spartan offense, scoring seven of UT's first nine points. Staja Tyghter went on a 7-0 run in the middle of the quarter to provide Tampa with their longest lead of the night at 16-6.

2nd Quarter | In the opening five minutes of the second frame, Valdosta State rallied as they shot 4-for-7 along with four points at the charity-stripe. The Blazers took the lead following a three-pointer by Maddy Corazza at the half-way mark, but Dori Nagy countered with a basket of her own to grab the lead back from VSU. Melijah Sullivan led the way for UT with five points in the second quarter. Tyghter and Nelson were the first half leaders with seven points apiece. Nagy, a sophomore from Hungary, logged five rebounds and four assists along with two points. Despite the second quarter outburst, Tampa's defense restricted VSU to 30% shooting from the field in the half. Heading to the break, the Spartans led 29-25 over the Blazers. 

3rd Quarter | Nagy tallied the first basket of the second half on a lay-up, and was followed by a scoring splash from Tyghter. The senior from Orlando, Tyghter, hit a jumper and two free-throws to register double-digit scoring for the seventh time in eight games. The Spartans worked their way to the free-throw line four times in the period, converting all four opportunities. Valdosta State grabbed four offensive rebounds in the third quarter, compared to UT's one offensive board. Nagy notched eight points to give Tampa a 43-38 advantage entering the final quarter. 

4th Quarter | Valdosta State's Shon Kitchens opened the final frame with four points to cut UT's lead to 43-42. Emily Eshoo kissed a shot off the backboard to end the VSU scoring run, and she was followed up by a Tyghter long-range three pointer. The Blazers responded with three straight jumpers to take the 49-48 lead, however Eshoo drained a mid-range shot to re-take the lead. VSU's Corazza grasped the momentum with an "and-one" opportunity following a made layup, and converted the free-throw attempt to give the Blazers a five-point lead, which sealed the game. The Spartans committed six turnovers in the final quarter to squander the second-half lead. 

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • Tyghter finished with a game-high 16 points in 38 minutes of play. She has scored 14+ points in seven straight games.
  • Nagy had an all-around performance with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. However, she committed 10 turnovers on the evening. 
  • Eshoo played every minute of tonight's contest and tallied nine points along with four rebounds.

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • Tampa has lost three straight meetings at The Complex in Valdosta, Ga.
  • Head coach Tom Jessee currently sits at 496 wins. 

UP NEXT: Tampa heads to Melbourne, Florida on Saturday afternoon to battle with the Florida Tech Panthers, tip off is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the Charles & Ruth Clemente Center.

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