Sharks End Spartan Win Streak and Snag SSC ChampionshipMarch 9, 2014
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The No.17 University of Tampa (22-6) women’s basketball team faced-off against No. 10 Nova Southeastern University (25-4) in the Sunshine State Conference Championship match Sunday evening. The Sharks snapped the Spartans’ 13-game winning streak and snagged the tournament title with a 64-55 victory.
Tampa jumped out with a great energy, scoring the first basket of the game. The Spartans looked to get the ball down low to its post players early, and overall attack the basket. UT’s inside game has been an integral aspect of their game in the tournament, and for the majority of the season. The two teams traded points for the first half of the period, until the Sharks went on a scoring spree.
Nova’s Amanda Burakoski hit a three-pointer with 8:15 to go in the half, fueling the Sharks squad. From that point Tampa found themselves down by as many as 13 points. Foul trouble did not help the No. 1 tournament seeded Spartans, along with struggling to get to the rim as a result of a consistent Shark zone.
At the conclusion of the first stint, Shamika Williams led the Spartans with eight points as the team trailed 26-37.
Danielle Robinson of the Sharks, was hot from downtown in the first half, and continued sharp shooting with a three-point bucket to kick off the second half. The Spartans faced a very confident Nova team, who evidently had control of the game.
Tampa forced key turnovers and executed on a couple fast break points to get within three points of the Sharks lead at the 11 minute mark; however, the No. 3 seed continued to have their way on offense.
In the heartbreaking defeat, the Spartans were led by Aisha Rodney and Ellen Nurmi who registered 13 and 10 points respectively.
Rodney and Illyssa Vivo earned spots on the 2014 SSC All-Tournament team.
Tampa now awaits the NCAA regional pairings, as they look to continue on with their season. The Spartans are currently first in the south region in a close run with Nova Southeastern and Rollins. The 2014 NCAA Tournament bracket will be announced tonight at 10 p.m.
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