Spartan Men Advance to SSC Semifinal

The University of Tampa men knocked off Rollins 80-76 Tuesday night, earning them a spot in the semifinal match of the SSC basketball tournament against rival St. Leo.

Rollins had an early lead in the game, making sure that the Spartans were kept on their toes throughout the game. The first half ended with Rollins ahead by a score of 32-26, due to an incredible three-point buzzer shot by Jeremy Sharpe of Rollins.

Sharpe seemed to be making all the shots that were needed to secure a win for Rollins. However, it was the Spartans “never say die” defense and motivation that brought them neck and neck with the Tars toward the end of the second half

The game was a tight match from that point on until the final shots from Tampa’s own Rashad Callaway and Jeremy Black that brought the game to overtime tied at 59.

In overtime the Spartans never let up. Between the strong defense and huge points from Jeremy Black, Tampa never looked back.

“Ever since our last loss to St. Leo I’ve been getting an earful,” said Black. “But I can tell you now that St. Leo is going to be in for a rude awakening from me alone.”

Rashad Callaway also had a very strong game last night recording 20 points and eight assists. Only a freshman, Callaway has been proving himself as a very strong member of the Spartan team.

Callaway seemed very confident towards the end of the game when the buzzer sent the two teams to overtime.

“I knew that if we went to overtime that we would win,” said Callaway.

Coach Richard Schmidt seemed pleased with the team’s victory however he still realizes that there is a lot of work ahead of this strong Spartan team.

“We can’t ever ease up,” said Schmidt. “We went out there and dug and dug until the final buzzer. We will continue to work hard, we aren’t in the NCAA tournament yet and that has been our goal all year.”

With Tuesday’s first round win, the Spartan men will advance to the semifinal game against St. Leo in the SSC tournament this Saturday looking to move one step closer to that NCAA tournament.

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