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Tars Drop Defensive Battle at Tampa

Yari Martinez-Toro
Yari Martinez-Toro

TAMPA, Fla. (January 9, 2019) – Rollins couldn't solve the nation's fourth-best defense Wednesday as the as the Tars fell to Tampa 55-44 on the road.

The loss was just a second in Sunshine State Conference play for Rollins (8-5, 5-2 SSC) while UT improves to 10-4, 4-2 SSC.

Tampa came into the game allowing just 51.4 points and 34-percent shooting to opponents; both top-10 in the nation. The Tars were held to 13-points below their season average and shot 31.7 percent. Rollins was also beat on the glass 42-25 on the night.

Yari Martinez-Toro led the Tars offense with 13 points while handing out three assists. Carly McLendon recorded eight points and six rebounds.

Staja Tyghter and Dori Nagy both scored 14 to pace the Spartans. Emily Eshoo and Julia Ingram each netted nine.

Rollins scored the first points of the game, but missed their next six shots with three turnovers as Tampa ran out to a 10-2 lead with 3:28 left in the first. The Tars trailed by as many as 12 in the frame and ended the first behind 16-8. 

Points were at a premium in the second for both teams, but the Tars did gain some ground and went into the half trailing 26-19.

Martinez-Toro started the third with a deep three-pointer to get the Tars to within four, but UT rattled off a 10-2 run and jumped ahead 36-24 with 3:15 left in the period.

Rollins trailed 41-30 heading into the fourth.

The Tars allowed just two field goals to the Spartans in the fourth and a three-point play by Vernisha Andrews, that was originally called a charge, got Rollins to within 45-41 with 5:23 to play. However, the Spartans made 10-of-12 at the line down the stretch and Rollins was unable to get over the hump.

Rollins is back on the road Saturday, January 12, visiting Eckerd in St. Petersburg. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. at the McArthur Center. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network at and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.  

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