The University of Tampa (24-6)
women’s basketball team recorded a 56-47 victory on Sunday, March 5,
against previously undefeated Rollins (28-1) to win its first Sunshine
State Conference tournament championship since 2000. The Spartan
victory at the tournament in Saint Leo gives Tampa the SSC automatic
bid for the NCAA South Regional.
Rollins, one of three
undefeated teams coming into the game, was stifled by Tampa’s defense
from beginning to end. Tampa center Shaneisha Walton recorded three
blocked shots in the first eight minutes, setting the tone for the
Spartans on the defensive end. Walton finished with a career-high eight
blocks and moved into sole possession of Tampa’s single-season record
for blocked shots with 105. She finished with eight points along with a
team-high eight rebounds.
After shooting a combined 2-23 against
Rollins in the two regular season games, Tay Mathis led Tampa with 18
points and seven assists. The point guard connected on 7-19 field goals
and also played 35 minutes without a turnover. Shay Mackey also added
11 points and Courtney Wilder had 10 for the Spartans.
23-22 at halftime, Tampa went on a 13-0 run to start the second half.
The Spartans held Rollins without a field goal until the 14:10 mark of
the second half. Though Rollins outrebounded Tampa 56-47, the Spartans
held the Tars to 23.4 percent from the field.
For their performances, Mathis was awarded the tournament MVP while Walton was named to the all-tournament team.
will play Delta State in the first round of the NCAA South Regional at
2:30 p.m., March 10, at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia, Ark.
For more information, please call Tom Kolbe, sports information director, at (813) 253-3333 x 6241 or firstname.lastname@example.org.