ATHLETICS

Tampa Basketball Prepares for Final Regular Season Home Game Against Rivals Florida Southern

Seniors from both teams will be honored for accomplishments throughout his/her UT career.

TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Tampa men’s and women’s basketball teams will hit the hardwood at the Bob Martinez Athletics Center for the last time of the 2013-14 regular season. The match will be against rival Florida Southern College in a pair of senior day battles.

Before the women’s 5:30 p.m. tip, four seniors will be honored for their accomplishments throughout their Spartan career. Tampa will pay homage to Keke Jones, Sadie Oyer, Illyssa Vivo, and Shamika Williams.

The Spartans are coming off wins against Eckerd and No.6 Nova Southeastern to add to its 12- game winning streak. The streak marks the record for most consecutive conference wins in program history and ties for the most consecutive regular season wins. The regular season champs sit at 20-5 overall and 13-2 in the Sunshine State Conference.

Tampa has won its last 12 games by an average margin of 17.8 points. The team is shooting 44 percent from the field, while holding opponents to 36 percent from the field. Juliana Cavallaro has led the team in its last three victories with an average score of 17.3 ppg. Four Spartans record double-figure scoring on the offensively balanced squad; Ellen Nurmi with 11.7 ppg, Taylor McVey and Cavallaro with 10.6 ppg apiece, followed by Illyssa Vivo chipping in 10.5 ppg.

The Mocs are 7-17 overall and 2-12 in conference play. FSC has lost four straight contests, the last a 76-82 finish against Saint Leo. Florida Southern sits at number four in the Sunshine State Conference for three-point field goal percentage. The team is led by Ali Sanders and Mariah Harris averaging just over 10 points per game respectively.

Tampa is looking for the season sweep against the Mocs after defeating them 76-62 in January. UT trails the all-time series 33-54.

At 7:30 p.m., action between the men will commence. Before tipoff, UT will honor seniors Vincent Cornu, Da’Markco Foster, Takechiyo Ikuno, Ryan Kidd, Fred Lewis, Tariq Mackey, and Eric Moraes.

The Spartans split the season series against Nova Southeastern after defeating the Sharks 71-60 on the road this past weekend. Cornu recorded his career-high of 22 points in the match, while Jordan Davis tied second in Spartan history with 15 assists.

Tabbed to finish eighth in the conference according to the preseason rankings, Tampa is second in the SSC with a record of 9-6 and an overall record of 16-8. The team has had success in outrebounding opponents, and shooting well from the field. Foster leads all scorers with 15.4 ppg, followed by Moraes and Davis adding 12 points and 10.8 points per game respectively.

Top seeded Florida Southern holds an overall record of 23-3 and 11-3 in the SSC. The team suffered a 73-76 overtime loss to Saint Leo, ending their 17- game home winning streak. The Mocs bounced back this past weekend with a close 88-84 victory over Palm Beach Atlantic.  The team is led by Kevin Capers scoring 20.5 ppg.

UT trails the all-time series 49-80 against FSC. The teams last battled in January, where Tampa took the then No.2 team in the nation to double overtime, and unfortunately came up short by a score of 83-87.

Tickets are available at the gate for $5. Children 12-and-under will be admitted free. UT faculty, staff and students are admitted free when displaying a valid Spartan ID card.

UT will offer live stats and a webcast for the match through TampaSpartans.tv.

Fans may follow University of Tampa athletics on Twitter (www.twitter.com/utspartans), Facebook (www.facebook.com/tampaspartans), YouTube (youtube.com/utathletics) and Instragram (tampaspartans). UT also offers blAst, a free text messaging service that sends text alerts following all Spartan events. To sign up, please register at www.tampaspartans.com.

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