Men’s Basketball Drops Arch-Rival Florida Southern

Chris Evans led the University of Tampa past conference rivals Florida Southern 68-66. Evans fell one block short of a triple-double, posting a team-high 24 points, 10 rebounds, and nine blocks. He was 5-for-7 from three-point range and made all three of his free throw attempts. Rashad Callaway did not have the impressive numbers of Evans but did put the points on the board when it counted, sinking a jump shot that sealed the Tampa victory in the last two seconds.

“I think this might be the best game [Evans] has played yet this year. He’s scored more points than this before but he actually played under control and played the best defensive game he has this year,” Coach Richard Schmidt said. “Rashad is a good little player with a big shot at the end.”

The win propelled the Spartans to 11-4 (5-2 SSC) and sent the Moccasins to 14-5 (5-2 SSC).

Tampa won the tip and quickly put five unanswered points on the board. A Moccasin full court press led to tricky passing that found Chris Evans outside for his first of five threes. The fired up Spartan offense was stalled rounding the 10 minute mark as the lead changed hands for the first time. The lead changed three more times culminating in Evans’ third 3-pointer with a minute left in the half to give Tampa the 32-21 lead going into the break.

Florida Southern was quick to break in the new basket, scoring on the first drive out of the locker room to retake the lead before Evans once again reclaimed it with a three. Fancy passing and poor decisions led to 11 total turnovers that the Mocs capitalized on, jumping out by seven with 10 minutes left to play. When all five starters returned to the court, Tampa managed to tie it at 58 with only five minutes left on the clock.

Evans added a basket and one to create a six-point cushion that Florida Southern foul shots cut in half with 40 seconds remaining. A three from the Mocs and the game was tied at 66 until Tampa found Callaway, who found the basket with two seconds to go. Johnathan Ball also had an outstanding game adding 20 of his own points in the victory.

“You try to win as many as you can,” said Schmidt, “there are a lot of good teams this year. This keeps us in the hunt.”

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