TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa women's basketball team won its first Sunshine State Conference game of the season against Nova Southeastern University by a score of 72-70 in dramatic fashion.
INSIDE THE MATCHUP:
Final Score: Tampa 72, Nova Southeastern 70
Records: University of Tampa Spartans (2-1, 1-0 SSC), Nova Southeastern University Sharks (1-3, 0-1 SSC)
Location: Bob Martinez Athletics Center || Tampa, Fla.
All-Time Series: This marked the 39th all-time meeting between the two schools, with the series 24-15. Tampa has won the last two contests against the Sharks, and are 12-6 all-time at the Martinez Center against Nova Southeastern.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Quarter | Tampa got off to a quick 8-4 start; Dori Nagy and Melijah Sullivan scored the Spartans first ten points. Nagy collected two early fouls limiting her to just four minutes in the quarter. LaShayla Wright-Ponder was 2-2 from the field adding three rebounds and an assist. Tampa was 7-11 from the field and assisted on five of the seven buckets. The Sharks concluded the quarter strong shooting 8-13 from the field and outscoring the Spartans 16-6. Both teams committed three turnovers. || Nova Southeastern 22, Tampa 16
2nd Quarter | The Spartans locked in defensively holding Nova Southeastern to seven points, on 2-11 shooting, and forcing nine turnovers all while Nagy remained on the bench. Wright-Ponder controlled the paint shooting 3-4 from the field and 3-3 from the foul line and adding three boards. The game remained a nail biter as UT went on a 19-5 run late in the half. Tampa took advantage of the seven fouls committed by Nova Southeastern in the quarter shooting 6-7 from the free-throw line. || Tampa 35, Nova Southeastern 29
3rd Quarter | Tampa ran through Nagy, Wright-Ponder and Sullivan with the trio delivering 16 of the 17 Spartans points in the quarter. Nova Southeastern took five more shots in the 3rd, scoring seven baskets while assisting on four. The game was back and forth with each team going on several mini runs before the other closed the gap. Nova Southeastern connected on 50 percent from the floor with two long-range shots while the Spartans were 66.7 percent from the field. || Tampa 55, Nova Southeastern 52
4th Quarter | UT thrived at the charity stripe scoring 12 of their 20 points from the line. Nagy and Hailey Conley put their teams on their back with both scoring double digits in the 4th. Nova Southeastern dealt with foul trouble most of the game; the Sharks fouled eleven of their twenty-eight times in the last ten minutes. Nova Southeastern began the quarter on a 14-8 run to take a 61-60 lead. From there, the Spartans went on a 10-2 spurt to take a 70-63 with 2:20 left in regulation. Over the next 2:12, the Sharks went on a 7-0 to tie the game at 70 with eight seconds remaining. Nagy made seven shots but none was bigger than her last-second finger roll as time expired to secure a Spartans victory. || Tampa 72, Nova Southeastern 70
INSIDE THE STATS:
- Wright-Ponder and Nagy led the Spartans with 23 points each.
- Nagy scored 12 points in the 4th quarter while adding 6 rebounds. Shooting 7-11 from the field, she also made eight of her ten free throw attempts.
- Leading UT in assists was Sullivan with six. She also shot three for four from the field and seven of nine from the charity stripe.
- Junior Aliyah Abney led the Spartans with two steals along with two offensive rebounds.
- Julia Ingram, Sullivan and Wright-Ponder played over 38 minutes while Ingram and Sullivan played the entire game.
BEYOND THE BOX:
- The Spartans have won six of their last eleven meetings against the Sharks.
- Mya Giusto started for injured guard Kris Nelson and orchestrated the Tampa offense in the first collegiate start for the freshman.
- Anna Popovic provided 16 minutes off the bench, finishing with three rebounds to go with an assist and a steal.
- Tampa was 25-32 from the free-throw line while holding Nova Southeastern to eight attempts.
- Tampa has now made 48-of-56 free throws in its first three games, which is 85.7 percent.
- Wright-Ponder is averaging 20 points per game through her first three contests and is shooting 66.7% from the field.
UP NEXT: Tampa travels to Louisville, Kentucky for two games in the Bellarmine Thanksgiving Classic. Up first, the Spartans take on the Screaming Eagles of Southern Indiana Friday, November 29th at 1:00 p.m. The team is back in action Saturday, November 30th at 3:00 p.m. against the Knights of Bellarmine.
Text Alerts: UT also offers a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.
Front Row: Download the official app of UT Athletics on the Apple or Android store. Look for Tampa Spartans Front Row app to receive notifications from your favorite Spartan teams. The app is completely free.