Five of the 14 members of the women’s basketball team were underclassmen. But only one is a leader. Sophomore starter Angela Guiu has proved that she is capable of upholding the Tampa winning tradition after last year’s graduating senior class.
Guiu will take the court next year without the help of fellow starters Sheena Walton, Alexa Kane, Erica Woodard, and DeShaydia Mackey.
“It’s good to be around a bunch of experienced players. They’re there to help me out,” the sophomore said. But in many ways Guiu is forming her own place on the team.
“She’s a tremendous shooter. She’s got an unorthodox style of shooting. We make fun of her a little bit,” Coach Tom Jessee said laughing. “But by the attention that’s drawn down inside she’s able then to stretch the floor. It’s a nice inside-outside combination to have and she does a tremendous job with her role in that situation.”
After putting up just two points in last week’s victory over the 1-21 Palm Beach Atlantic, Guiu was ready to attack Lynn.
“Coach just told me to shoot more,” said Guiu. “I’ve been shooting a lot on our shooting machine everyday before each game and the day of the game.”
In previous games when the ball has left her hand the Spartans were almost guaranteed points on the board.
“She’s got unlimited range and shoots a high percentage,” said Jessee.
Guiu proved her coach’s comments in the career game she had on Jan. 16 against Sunshine State Conference rival Eckerd College.
Landing seven of eight from behind the three-point arc, Guiu went on to score 24 points and record three rebounds and steals each. She also picked up an assist, rebound and block playing all 40 minutes of the contest.
“I hope it continues,” the Spartan guard said. “But I don’t go into a game thinking I’m going to have another big game.”
After the Eckerd victory, Guiu came two minutes shy of playing back-to-back 40-minute games.
Though she only was in for 18 minutes against rival Florida Southern, she wasted no time in making an impact.
“It was a big game for us we knew that they had a good team, a lot better than last years,” Guiu said referring to last years 70-54 victory. “It was a good win for us.”
Guiu added 11 to the 72-69 victory. She went three for five in three-point range and also recovered a pair of defensive rebounds.
With 1:33 to play, one of these threes propelled Tampa to a lead they would not again give up.
Angela Guiu balanced basketball and school. As an honors student she has had no problem excelling in both.
“In between practices I’m always doing work,” said the student-athlete. “At night, sometimes there are late nights, but is okay.”
On the court and on campus was not enough. She also reached out into the community.
“Hopefully I can do a lot more,” the guard said.