On Saturday the No. 9 ranked University of Tampa women’s basketball team continued to roll this time it was against another ranked foe. The Spartans pulled out a hard-fought victory on the road against the No. 22 North Georgia Nighthawks.
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INSIDE THE MATCHUP
Final Score: No. 9 Tampa Spartans 56, No. 22 North Georgia Nighthawks 50
Records: Tampa (10-2, 3-0 SSC), North Georgia (6-2)
Location: Lynn Cottrell Arena at the UNG Convocation Center | Dahlonega, Ga.
All-Time Series: This was the first meeting between both schools.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Mya Giusto opened the scoring for the game on the opening possession with a midrange jumper. Kath Van Bennekom and Zoe Piller also contributed points in the paint in the first 5 minutes, but North Georgia took its first lead at the first media timeout with a score of 7-6. The Nighthawks went on an extended 8-0 run which ended with a Giusto long two-point basket. Audrey Ramsey made a three near the end of the quarter but Piller committed 2 fouls as she would deal with foul trouble throughout the afternoon. | Score: 14-11 North Georgia
Vivianne Jende made her first field goal attempt to cut Tampa’s deficit to one point. Carly Fahey knocked down a three-pointer for North Georgia and both teams traded baskets at the seven-minute mark of the quarter to keep the Nighthawks in front. The Spartans regained the lead on a three from Ramsey about halfway through the second quarter. Van Bennekom would expand the advantage to four with a three of her own before a media timeout. A three-pointer from North Georgia’s Livi Blackstock helped the Nighthawks keep the game close as both teams entered halftime tied. | Score: Tied 25-25
Ramsey opened the second half with a midrange jumper. North Georgia took a two-point lead after a corner 3 in the first 90 seconds. Piller recorded consecutive baskets inside the paint to give Tampa a one-point lead at the seven-minute mark of the quarter. The Spartans continued to work their offense through the post as Jende subbed in. The game continued at a back-and-forth pace in a tightly contested game that would continue all the way through. | Score: 42-39 North Georgia
The game featured at least 10 ties and lead changes, with many coming in the fourth quarter. With the score tied with a little over 3:30 to play, Van Bennekom gave the Spartans a two-point advantage on a layup with around three minutes left. North Georgia would knot the score back up at 50 with two minutes left, but a great effort on the offensive glass by Piller grants her foul shots, which she would make one of two attempts. Two three-point attempts didn’t fall for the Nighthawks, forcing them to foul with 24.9 seconds left. Ramsey would only make one of two attempts, keeping it a one-possession game at 52-50 in favor of Tampa. The Spartans defense continued to get stops, and a pair of Giusto foul shots put the game away. | Final: 56-50 Tampa
UP NEXT: The Spartans will return home for two games in the Tampa Holiday Classic. The first game against Walsh tips off on Monday, Dec. 18 at 12:00 p.m.