Spartans Welcome Tars to Tampa

Spartans Welcome Tars to Tampa

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's, women's basketball programs will host Rollins College for a mid-week conference showdown. The women's team defended homecourt last week against PBA, while the men's team will look to rebound in SSC play. 

WOMEN'S:

The Matchup: University of Tampa Spartans (9-4, 3-2 SSC) vs. Rollins College Tars (8-4, 5-1 SSC)

Date/Time: Wednesday, January 9 at 5:30 pm. 

Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla. | 400 N Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

Series History: Tampa trails 55-45, but the Spartans have won three of the last five meetings. UT defeated Rollins 63-54 at the Martinez Center on February 3, 2018.

Last Time Out: The Spartans secured a 10-point victory over Palm Beach Atlantic last Wednesday, 51-41. The Sailfish rallied and cut the lead to 39-37, but Dori Nagy stepped up for UT posting 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. Nagy went 12-of-16 from the charity stripe, accounting for 75% of Tampa's free-throws. Staja Tyghter recorded her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Tyghter registered eight points in the first quarter, as UT ended the opening period on a 14-2 run. Julia Ingram tallied 11 points, draining two three-pointers. The defensive discipline helped UT weather the rally as Tampa only committed five fouls in comparison to PBA's 22 personal fouls. 

About the Spartans (Women): UT has found success at home; since the beginning of last season, the Spartans are 20-4 at the Martinez Athletics Center. The defense has been the key to success, as the Spartans allow 51.4 points per game, which is ranked 4th in the nation. The offense is ranked 6th in the NCAA, shooting 48% from the field. Nagy leads the Sunshine State Conference and is tied for 51st in the NCAA with 9.3 rebounds per game, totaling 121. Tyghter has scored in double-figures in 12 straight games, while she's grabbed at least seven rebounds in 10 games this season. Ingram leads the team in three-pointers (22) and splashes the long-range jumper at 40.7%, which ranks 55th in the nation. Head coach Tom Jessee is one win away from 500 career victories. 

About the Tars (Women): After dropping their first conference loss of the year to Nova Southeastern, Rollins bounced back against Barry University on Saturday night. The Tars dominated the Buccaneers, 74-60, as four players scored in double-figures. Vernisha Andrews led the scoring with 13, while Carly McLendon posted a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. McLendon is the only Rollins scorer to average in double-figures at 10.6 points per game. The senior leads the SSC and is ranked 8th in the nation with 38 blocks, she trails Nagy for the SSC lead with 8.5 rebounds per game.

MEN'S:

The Matchup: University of Tampa Spartans (8-5, 2-3 SSC) vs. Rollins College Tars (8-6, 2-4 SSC)

Date/Time: Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30 pm. 

Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center | Tampa, Fla. | 400 N Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606

Series History: The Spartans lead 70-47 in the all-time series, and UT defended home court last season beating Rollins 87-82 at the Martinez Center.

Last Time Out: Tampa's four-game winning streak was snapped last Wednesday as Palm Beach Atlantic trailed by 18 in the second half, but rallied to upset UT 74-63. Cedric Belemene commanded the low-post and had a memorable evening; recording 17 points and 16 rebounds, both career-highs. Belemene came off the bench and led in both offensive categories in 32 minutes of play. Four Spartans logged at least three steals, as Vincent Biffle logged his season-high four steals, however Tampa committed 14 turnovers in the final 20 minutes to spoil the double-digit lead.

About the Spartans (Men): UT found momentum heading into the new year as they averaged 94 points per game during the four-game winning streak. Tampa's defense is ranked third in the SSC, allowing 70.4 points per game. Belemene is second in the SSC and 34th in the nation with 9.4 rebounds per game. The junior from Congo has grabbed 51 offensive rebounds, and his average of 3.92 per game ranks 9th in the NCAA. Anthony Gamble leads the team in scoring with 16.8 points per game, and the senior's made 39 three-pointers which is 3rd in the SSC. Alberto Moreno leads the team with 3.5 assists per game and 2.2 steals per game, while he is third in scoring with 12.3 points per game.

About the Tars (Men): Rollins has lost four of the last five games, including the last two, however two of the four losses came in a Las Vegas Invitational. The Tars' are coming off a 71-60 loss to Barry University on Saturday night. Jakobi Bonner, the team's leading scorer at 15.6 points per game, logged 21 points and five rebounds. The junior is shooting 55% from the field, and 50% from the three-point line. Hutton Yenor has come off the bench in every game and registered 18 points against the Buccaneers on Saturday night. Connor McKim is ranked 32nd in the nation with 29 steals. Rollins will look to their defense as they are forcing 19.2 turnovers per game, which ranks 9th in the nation. 

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.

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