The Tampa Spartans showed why they are the class of the Sunshine State Conference on Wednesday, beating the Florida Tech Panthers 83-55 in a women’s basketball clash at the Martinez Center.
With the win, the Spartans sealed their 18th straight victory and moved to 17-0 in the conference. They improve to 20-3 overall.
Panthers coach John Reynolds told us during our interview Saturday that Tampa was a machine and in order to have any chance, his team was going to have to get between 60-70 shots. They took 66 in all from the field, hitting 22 of those. That included going 10-of-24 from three-point range. They shot 33.3 percent overall and 41.7 percent from three.
Fanny Hakanson led the Panthers with 16 points. She was 6-for-10 from the floor, including 4-for-6 from downtown. She finished with three rebounds and three assists. Amanda Allen had 12 points, going 4-for-8 overall, and 3-for-5 from three-point range.
Things started well for the Panthers in the first quarter. They got early threes from Hakanson and Allen to tie the game 6-6. After a three by Tampa, the Panthers went up 11-9 when Fanny Paulin drained one from long range. Severine Uggen answered the tying bucket with a three of her own and the Panthers were up 14-11.
A three-point play was completed by Allen giving the Panthers a six-point lead, and November Morton would hit yet another three to make it 20-13. The Panthers were 5-of-7 from three-point range in the opening quarter, and they led 20-15 going into the second stanza.
Tampa stepped on the gas pedal immediately to start the second, reeling off 10 straight points and taking a 25-15 lead, before Hakanson dropped in a layup. They would go on another 9-0 run before Allen’s three made it 34-25 with 4:44 to go.
Hakanson would drill a three to make it an eight-point game, but the Spartans were just too much. They would close the quarter on an 8-0 run and ended up outscoring the Panthers 34-12 in that second quarter and taking a 49-32 lead into the locker room.
With five minutes left in the third quarter, the Panthers were down 61-36 and had scored 16 points in total between the second quarter and the first five minutes of the third. Both teams struggled to score for much of the quarter, both suffering scoring droughts of three minutes plus.
Hakanson had a three with 2:32 left for the Panthers and Gudlaug Juliusdottir made the last bucket of the quarter with 1:06 to go, as Tampa led 67-46 with 10 minutes remaining.
Hakanson hit a three with 8:47 to go, making it a 71-51 game and the Panthers would go cold until she made a layup with 3:24 left in the contest. That stopped a 12-0 run for the Spartans, who led 83-53. Cheyenne Scott would score the only points for either team before the buzzer, and the final deficit was 28.
For more info: Florida Tech @ Tampa Box Score
Inside the numbers: According to floridatechsports.com, Juliusdottir and Hakanson are now both on the Panthers’ top-10 all-time list in assists, and Hakanson is seventh in single-season assists. Allen now has 54 three-pointers this season, putting her 10th in the Panthers record book for a single season.
The Panthers return home on Saturday, February 22, for a 2:00 p.m. game against Nova Southeastern.