Spartans Seize Victory over Sailfish

Spartans Seize Victory over Sailfish

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's basketball team relied on their defense to escape a second-half rally from Palm Beach Atlantic, ultimately the Spartans secured the 10-point victory on Wednesday evening. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: Tampa 51, Palm Beach Atlantic 41
Records: University of Tampa Spartans (9-4, 3-2 SSC), Palm Beach Atlantic University Sailfish (2-8, 0-4 SSC)
Location: Martinez Athletics Center || Tampa, Fla.
All-Time Series: Tampa owns the series 23-3 and the Spartans are on a five-game winning streak. UT is 13-1 against PBA at the Martinez Athletics Center. 

HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Quarter | Palm Beach Atlantic controlled the game in the opening minutes as they led 7-2 following a three-pointer from Ibilola Oyedeji. However, the Spartans closed the quarter on a 14-2 scoring stretch in part to Staja Tyghter's eight first-quarter points. UT grasped the momentum following a long-range jumper from Julia Ingram to take the lead with 3:47 remaining in the quarter.

2nd Quarter | Both teams went cold in the second quarter, combining to shoot 7-for-24 (29%) from the field. PBA scored 10 straight points to open the quarter, taking a 19-16 lead with 6 minutes left in the half. Jonika Garvin registered six of the 10 points during the Sailfish rally. In the first half, the two teams combined to shoot 3-for-15 (20%) from the three-point line. The Spartans logged seven second-chance points, while PBA recorded six points on the fast break. Dori Nagy grabbed six rebounds in the opening 20 minutes, and PBA's Aniyah Ross led the half with seven boards. Tyghter posted 10 points, along with five rebounds, one assist and one steal in the first half. Entering the break, Tampa led 23-21 after holding PBA to 33% from the field in the opening half. 

3rd Quarter | Four different Spartans scored in the quarter as Nagy led the way with four, and Ingram tallied three points on an "and-one" opportunity. Tampa only attempted four free-throws in the first half, compared to the five attempts in the third quarter. The Spartans held PBA to seven points in the quarter, as Jonika Garvin accounted for five of the teams' seven points. Tampa held a 34-28 advantage heading into the final quarter.

4th Quarter | Garvin kept PBA in the game with seven points to begin the final period, and they cut the lead to 39-37 with 3:13 remaining in the game. The Sailfish recorded one basket in the final three minutes as UT pulled away from the free-throw line. Tampa managed to take 12 of their 21 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter. Nagy ended the night 12-of-16 from the charity-stripe, totaling 18 points and 16 rebounds on the evening. Tyghter finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, her third double-double of the season.

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • Nagy, a USF transfer, tied her career-high with 16 rebounds. She accomplished this feat on November 24 against Alaska-Fairbanks.
  • Four separate times in the second half, UT made at least three consecutive stops on defense. 
  • PBA committed 22 personal fouls compared to Tampa's five fouls. 

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • Head coach Tom Jessee is one win away from 500 career victories.
  • Tyghter, a senior from Orlando, has scored in double-figures in 12 straight games, while she's grabbed at least seven rebounds in 10 games this season.
  • Emily Eshoo has drained a three-pointer in 10 of 13 games this season. 

UP NEXT: The Spartans will try to secure another victory at home on Wednesday, January 9 as they are set to host Rollins College at 5:30pm.

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