Tampa Sinks Eckerd in Second-Place Battle

Tampa Sinks Eckerd in Second-Place Battle

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's basketball team secured second place in the Sunshine State Conference with tonight's victory over Eckerd College. 

INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: Tampa 53, Eckerd 37
Records: University of Tampa Spartans (21-6, 15-4 SSC), Eckerd College Tritons (19-8, 13-6 SSC)
Location: Martinez Athletics Center || Tampa, Fla.
All-Time Series: Tampa leads 78-18; On January 23, UT defeated Eckerd 71-66 at the McArthur Center in Saint Petersburg. Melijah SullivanHear how to pronounce Melijah Sullivan  scored 13 points in the second half and led the Spartans with 19 points.

HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Quarter | Eckerd scored the first basket of the game at the 7:20 mark as UT did not score for the first four minutes of the game. Staja Tyghter grabbed five rebounds in the first quarter and registered the initial bucket for Tampa on senior night. The Spartans defense held the Tritons to 23% from the field as UT shot 50% on 12 shots. Dori Nagy converted two shots at the free-throw line and drained a mid-range jumper. Melijah Sullivan led the way with seven points in the first quarter of action. 

2nd Quarter | The Spartans went scoreless from the field on eight shots, and converted 5-of-6 at the charity stripe. Senior Julia McClure stepped to the free-throw line and connected on both opportunities. Eckerd owned the low-post, as they out-scored Tampa 16-0 in the paint. The Tritons forward Zoe Richards netted nine points in the second quarter and led Eckerd with 11 points at the half. At the break, Eckerd led by a slim margin over the Spartans, 23-21.

3rd Quarter | Tampa's defense locked down in the second half as Eckerd shot 1-for-12 (8.3%) from the field in the third quarter. Coming out of the locker-room, Tyghter added six points while Nagy chipped in four points. After three quarters of play, the Spartans did not record a point in the paint. However, the Spartans out-scored Eckerd 15-4 in the quarter and led 36-27 at the end of the third quarter. 

4th Quarter | Nagy logged six points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field in the fourth quarter and totaled a game-high 14 points in 28 minutes of play. The Tritons were held to 27% from the field while UT connected on 5-of-9 to close out the game. UT went to the paint in the final quarter and notched six points in the low-post. The Spartans generated 14 points off turnovers compared to Eckerd's four.

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • McClure owned the free-throw line, connecting on 5-of-6. Eckerd went 4-for-8 from the charity stripe as a team. 
  • Eshoo has connected from long-range in 22 of 26 games this season.

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • The Spartans went undefeated in the month of February, winning seven straight games.
  • UT's defense held Eckerd to 37 points; the 13th time this season in which an opponent has been held to 50 points or less. 

UP NEXT: The University of Tampa will close out the season at Lynn University on Saturday, as tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m. The Spartans will host the first round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament next Wednesday, March 6.

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