Spartans to Host High-Power Florida Southern

Spartans to Host High-Power Florida Southern

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's, women's basketball programs welcome two high-powered Florida Southern team's to the Martinez Center on Wednesday night. At halftime of the men's game, the University of Tampa will honor the women's volleyball team on their 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship. 


The Matchup: University of Tampa Spartans (14-5, 8-3 SSC) vs. No. 13 Florida Southern Moccasins (17-1, 10-0 SSC) 

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

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

Series History: The Spartans trail the series 61-37; The Moccasins are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings. On November 28, Tampa fell to then-ranked No. 21 Florida Southern, 55-48. The Spartans held a lead in the fourth quarter, however, did not make a basket from the field in the final 7:34 of the contest. Staja Tyghter and Dori Nagy tallied 14 points apiece in the SSC opener, while Florida Southern's Camille Giardina scored eight points in the fourth quarter and finished with 22 points on the night.

Last Time Out: Tampa secured their second consecutive road victory on Saturday afternoon as they defeated Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. The Sunshine State Conference battle came down to the final minutes as UT took home a 64-62 victory. It was a memorable night for multiple Spartans, as Emily Eshoo recorded a season-high 19 points on a career-high five three-pointers and Tyghter logged a season-high 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the team. Kris Nelson scored in double-figures for the second time this season, and dished out a team-high four assists. The Spartans splashed 10 three-pointers, half of them from Eshoo, as UT averaged about 5 long-range jumpers made per game. 

About the Spartans (Women): UT is riding a four-game winning streak and victors in six of the last seven games. The Spartans defense is holding opponents to 52.4 points per game, which ranks 8th in the NCAA. Tampa is led by Tyghter and Nagy, who are the top two rebounders in the Sunshine State Conference. Tyghter has recorded double-digit scoring in 18 straight games. The senior from Orlando has posted a double-double in three of the last four games, totaling seven on the season. Nagy, a sophomore transfer from USF, is averaging 13.1 points per game while grabbing nine rebounds per game. The Spartans have two rebounders averaging over 8.5 rebounds per game for the first time since 2005-2006 (Erica Woodard 10.0, Sheena Walton: 8.6). Tampa has 9-1 record at home this season, holding a 23-4 record at the Martinez Center since the beginning of last season. 

About the Moccasins (Women): The 12th-ranked Moccasins are coming off a dominating performance over Saint Leo, defeating the Lions 68-34. FSC's leading scorer, Anja Fuchs-Robetin, led the way with 21 points and eight rebounds. The SSC-leaders average 79.8 points per game, which ranks 12th in the NCAA. The Moccasins' two leading scorers, Giardina (18.6) and Fuchs-Robetin (18.3), are the top two scorers in the SSC. Giardina is seventh in school history in career scoring at 1,596, while Fuchs-Robetin moved into 10th place (1,386) against Saint Leo. The lone loss of the season came against Le Moyne, 74-67, in the Eckerd Thanksgiving Classic on November 23. 


The Matchup: University of Tampa Spartans (9-10, 3-8 SSC) vs. Florida Southern Moccasins (14-4, 7-3 SSC)

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

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

Series History: Tampa trails the series 71-42; In the last 10 games, Florida Southern is 8-2 against UT. On November 28, UT out-rebounded FSC 49-33 as Cedric Belemene's grabbed career-high 15 rebounds. Despite the extra possessions, the Spartans fell to then-ranked No. 21 Florida Southern, 74-67. 

Last Time Out: UT came up short against Barry University on Saturday night, 71-62. Anthony Gamble returned to the lineup and scored 20 points. Tyler Wilson led the team with a career-high nine rebounds. The Spartans shot 94.7% from the free-throw line on 19 opportunities. Barry's Tylan Birts registered a double-double with 20 points and 11 boards. Tampa held a lead with 12 minutes remaining, and kept the game close until Barry pulled away with two minutes to go.

About the Spartans (Men): The Spartans look to snap a five-game losing streak, as they've lost six of the last seven games. The team has been hit with the injury-bug as multiple leading scorers have missed extended time. Gamble, the team's leading scorer, has scored in double-figures in 11 of the last 12 games. The senior ranks fourth in the Sunshine State Conference logging 17.6 points per game. Marco Downer leads the SSC in blocks, swatting two blocks per game. Belemene leads UT with 9.1 rebounds per game, which ranks 3rd in the conference. However, the junior's 172 total rebounds sits atop the SSC and ranks 25th in the NCAA.

About the Moccasins (Men): Florida Southern rallied on Saturday night against Saint Leo, as the Moccasins were trailing by 24 points and used a 48-point explosion in the second half to defeat the Lions, 86-83. FSC trailed by 24 with five minutes to go, but Jonathon Lawton logged 21 points in the second half to win their fifth game in six tries. Brett Hanson chipped in 23 points in the Florida Southern comeback. Lawton, the team's leading scorer, is 18th in career scoring among active D-II players. The senior leads the SSC and ranks 20th in the nation, averaging 21.8 points per game. Hanson, the Moccasins' leading rebounder (7.1), leads the SSC in minutes per game (35.8).

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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