W. BASKETBALL

Spartans Make First Appearance at No. 20 in National Poll

Tampa looks to continue winnng streak this Wednesday vs. Florida Southern.

LILBURN, Ga. – The University of Tampa (20-5, 13-2 SSC) women’s basketball team has moved into the national rankings at No. 20, announced Tuesday by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).

The Spartans make their first appearance in the poll as a result of a 12-game winning streak with key wins against ranked opponents, regular season sweeps, and solid defense. The recent victory against the Sharks of Nova Southeastern clinched the regular season title, along with the No.1 seed in the 2014 Sunshine State Conference Championships.

Tampa is among three SSC schools in the national rankings, joined by No. 8 Nova Southeastern and No. 18 Rollins. UT swept Nova this season, while splitting the series 1-1 against Rollins.

Amidst the streak, UT has been dominantly beating opponents by an average margin of 17.8 points. A balanced offensive attack forces teams to pick their poison with respect to defensive strategies. The team is led by Ellen Nurmi averaging 11.7 ppg, followed by Taylor McVey and Juliana Cavallaro chipping in 10.6 ppg apiece, while Illyssa Vivo and Shamika Williams add 10.5 and 8.6 ppg respectively.

Under head coach Tom Jessee the Spartans are no stranger to the national polls as UT has been ranked in six of the past seven seasons.

The women return to action Wednesday for its final regular season home game against rivals Florida Southern. A win against the Mocs will set a Spartan record for the most consecutive regular season wins.

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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