Spartans End Skid With Win at Eckerd Tournament

Spartans End Skid With Win at Eckerd Tournament

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - The University of Tampa men's basketball team played its second game in as many days at the Eckerd College Thanksgiving Tournament, defeating Keiser University.

Final: Tampa 74, Keiser 63
Records: Tampa (3-3), Keiser (5-2)
Location: McArthur Center | St. Petersburg, Fla.
All-time Series: Tampa took the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
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HOW IT HAPPENED:
1st Half | The game stayed within five points for the entire first half, which featured a total of eight lead changes as Tampa took a 34-31 edge to the break. Head coach Richard Schmidt used nine players in the initial half, as senior Marcel Robinson scored a team-leading 10 points behind a pair of 3-pointers. Leading scorer Pat Bacon chipped in nine points as he also had six assists. Frantz Pinard came off the bench and logged 14 minutes of action in the half, scoring five points. Tampa shot 41.2 percent from the field in the half as each team registered four 3-pointers apiece. UT outrebounded Keiser 22-19 with seven of the Spartans board coming from Duke Shelton.

2nd Half |  Tampa never trailed in the half, enjoying a 7-0 run to start the second behind a dunk and 3-pointer from Robinson. Leading 44-36, the Spartans would grab their first double-digit lead of the evening when Freddy Ibrahim nailed a 3-pointer to put Tampa on top 47-36 with 16:20 to play. After leading 55-43, Tampa allowed Keiser to score 11 unanswered points to bring the game within one point. Robinson put the Keiser run to rest with a 3-pointer at the 9:01 mark. The Hawks would come within one point again as Tampa led 64-63 with 4:59 to play in regulation. That prompted a 9-0 Tampa run, giving the Spartans a 73-63 lead with 55-seconds on the clock. The Spartans held on for the victory, making all six free throw attempts in the final minute on four from Bacon and two from IbrahimRobinson and Bacon paced the Spartans with 13 points each in the second half as Shelton pulled down eight boards.

INSIDE THE STATS:

  • A total of four Spartans scored in double figures, led by Robinson's 23 points. Bacon added 22 for Tampa.
  • Shelton pitched in 10 points as Pinard registered a career-high 11 points off the bench.
  • Shelton tallied his third double-double of the season as he grabbed 15 boards. He also had a pair of blocks.
  • Bacon also had a career-high as he dished out 12 assists. His three steals also led the Spartans.

BEYOND THE BOX:

  • The Spartans snapped a three-game losing streak with the victory.
  • This marks the fifth time this season where Bacon has scored 20-plus points. In six games, he has registered double figures in each while leading the team in scoring at 24.8 per game. He now has 886 points in his three-year UT career.
  • Shelton is now averaging a double-double at 12.3 points and 13.8 rebounds per game.

UP NEXT:
Tampa returns to league action as it travels to Saint Leo University for a Wednesday matchup with the Lions at 7:30 pm. Live stats and video will be available through TampaSpartans.com.

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