Spartans Extinguish Flames in NCAA Opener

Spartans Extinguish Flames in NCAA Opener

LAKELAND, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's basketball team advanced to the NCAA South Regional semifinals as it led for the entire contest against its first-round opponent Lee University.

INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: Tampa Spartans 72, Lee Flames 63
Records: Tampa (22-8), Lee (25-7)
Location: Jenkins Fieldhouse || Lakeland, Fla.
All-Time Series: The all-time series between the South Region opponents now stands even at 3-3.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

1st Quarter | The Spartans came out strong with an excellent shooting quarter, connecting on 7-of-10 from the floor while its opponent carried a 26.3 field goal percentage in the quarter. UT would lead throughout, though the score was 15-12 following 10 minutes as Lee was able to limit the damage while forcing eight Spartan turnovers.

2nd Quarter | The three-point margin quickly swelled as the Spartans surged to a 29-16 lead with just under four-minutes to play until break. The Flames were able to cut into the Spartan lead as UT scored just two points in the final 4:54. Despite the late drought, Tampa still carried a 31-25 lead to the break.

3rd Quarter | Similar to the second quarter, the Spartans came out of the gates blazing, regaining a double-digit lead under two-minutes into the quarter. Once again, Tampa would force its opponent to play catch-up as it build a 15-point margin heading to the final quarter.

4th Quarter | Lee's troubles continued in the fourth, needing nearly three minutes before scoring its first basket of the quarter. By that time, the Spartan lead ballooned to 20 points. The Flames would put up a fight, coming as close as nine points with just over two to play. The Spartans continued to have answers, connecting on five of six free throws to close out the postseason victory.

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • The Spartans had four starters in double figures, led by Dori Nagy's 21 points. She would finish 9-for-12 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free throw line. She also notched a double-double with a team-high 12 rebounds.
  • Staja Tyghter added 16 points and nine rebounds.
  • Point guard Kris Nelson was strong from start to finish, scoring a season-best 14 points while shooting 4-for-6 from the field.
  • Emily Eshoo contributed 10 points, making 2-of-3 from beyond the arc.

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • This marked the third double-figure scoring effort of the season for Nelson.
  • This is the seventh NCAA tournament win for Tampa, and first since 2016.

Next Game: UT will face host and top seed Florida Southern College in the regional semifinals on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

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