Head coach Tom Jessee refreshed the ink in University of Tampa history books when his women’s basketball team upset fourth ranked Drury 57-39 at the Thanksgiving Tournament.
The Spartans improved to 6-1 while this tally in the win column marked the highest ranked opponent the program had previously defeated.
‘I thought that [the win] was a spring board for us,’ Jessee said. ‘It was the first time the offense clicked into the system.’
The game leaned toward a defensive battle for much of the first half until UT took over, going on a 16-3 run in the final seven and a half minutes. The second half proved to be no different.
Tampa never gave up the double digit lead, at one point dominating by 18 points.
Veteran Kym Taylor fueled the scoring offensive with 18 points of her own while University of South Florida transfer Caitlyn Mitryk controlled the boards with a team-high eight rebounds.
With only one starter returning from last year, the squad is still searching for consistency.
‘We’re pretty pleased with the progress we’ve been making,’ said Jessee. ‘They just need to play. That takes time.’
Jessee has been coaching for 15 years, the last seven with UT, earning an overall record of 298-148. The numbers recall Jessee becoming the fastest coach in the program’s history to reach 100 wins and also women’s basketball’s highest winning percentage. As he approaches win 300, Jessee remains humble.
‘It’s not about me,’ he said, ‘it’s about the kids.’
Bobby Winsler can be contacted at email@example.com.