Strong Fourth Quarter Leads Tampa Over Florida Tech

Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown November Morton had 11 points in Saturday’s Loss

The host Tampa Spartans proved to be too much for Florida Tech in the fourth quarter Saturday, leading to a 65-52 win for the Spartans at the Bob Martinea Athletics Center. 

November Morton had 11 points and was the only Florida Tech player in double figures.  

Tampa (17-6, 11-4 SSC) led by four on two seperate occassions in the first quarter, but the game was tied four different times in the first 10 minutes. Florida Tech was down 14-10, but a basket by Fanny Hakanson just before the buzzer made it a two-point game, heading into the second. 

A basket by Gudlaug Juliusdottir tied things up 20 seconds into the second quarter. After Tampa took a 16-14 lead, Morton hita three with 8:25 to go, making it 17-16 Panthers. Julia Ingram answwered that with one of her own and Hakanson would tie the game at 19 moments later. 

Ingram would hit another three to give the Spartans the lead and Gracie Doane answered to make it 24-22 Panthers with just over five minutes to go in the half. Florida Tech would lead 26-22 and 32-28, before Tampa got the final basket of the half and trailed 32-30. 

It was a low-scoring third quarter for the Panthers, who managed just eight points. They made just three shots from the floor and trailed 43-40 with 10 minutes remaining. 

Staja Tyghter’s three-ball with 8:32 to go put the Spartans up 49-42 and forced John Reynolds to call timeout. They would go up 51-42, before Morton hit another three to stop the bleeding. Morton’s jumper would cut the Tampa lead to 55-50 with 3:07 to go, but that’s as close as the Panthers would get, as they would score two points the rest of the way. 

For more info: Florida Tech @ Tampa Box Score 

The Panthers fall to 7-15 overall, including 3-11 in the Sunshine State Conference. The loss keeps the Panthers winless on the road, at 0-8. 

The good news is the team returns home on Wednesday to take on Saint Leo in the Play-4-Kay Game. The tip is scheduled for 5:30.