MELBOURNE, Fla.-The Florida Tech Women’s Basketball (16-10, 10-5) team suffers homecoming heartbreaker losing to Sunshine State Conference opponent The
University of Tampa Spartans (20-6, 12-3) 60-61 in the final ten seconds of the game tonight at the Clemente Center. The Spartans junior Lindsey Taylor
(Tampa, Fla.) made the key shot in the final seconds to push Tampa ahead by one point to win the game for the Scarlet and Black.
In the forty minutes of regulation time the score flip flopped seven times and the teams knotted it up four times in the game. Tech’s majority of scoring
came off of bench points with 31 to Tampa’s three with the Spartans relying heavily on their starting line-up.
Starting sophomore guard Tenisha Chase (Temple Hills, Md.) led all scores notching her career high 19 points and leading her team under the boards with
seven rebounds. Coming off the bench, junior Danielle Vaughn (Tallahassee, Fla.) added 16 points, five rebounds and four assists while junior Danise
Fequiere (Miami, Fla.) added thirteen points. Junior Kristi Harrell finished with six points.
Four of the five Tampa starters scored in the double figures for the evening. Leading the way were senior Courtney Wilder (Tampa, Fla.) and junior Tay
Mathis (Miami, Fla.) each tallying 14 points. Mathis added her team high eight rebounds. Sophomore Erica Woodard (Valrico, Fla.) garnered 12 points while
sophomore Shaneisha Walton (largo, Fla.) finished with ten points.
At the half, Tech was down 31-29, but outscored Tampa in the second half 31-30 only two points shy of the win. At 4:00 minutes left of the half the
Panthers took control of the game after the score see-sawing back and forth during the second period. Vaughn made two from the line to grab the edge 60-58
at 3:26 on the board, but the Panthers were unable to score after that and Tampa’s Taylor who put up the game winner also made one from the charity stripe
to put the Spartans close by one at 1:24.
The Panthers junior Milana Velasquez (New York, N.Y.) who played a great defensive game made one major turnover during an inbound play and left the door
wide open for the Spartans to take the lead with 22 seconds left.
With the loss, Tampa will be guaranteed the #2 seed heading into the tournament, the Panthers must win their final match on Saturday to hold onto the #3
spot. Tech faces Florida Southern in their final regular season game on the road Saturday, 25th with a 5:30 p.m. tip-off in Lakeland.
Before the game, The Panthers honored their three graduating seniors in a pre-game ceremony recognizing Lulu Diaz (Miami, Fla.) who will play her final
home game along with injured senior Christal Carrasco (Miami, Fla.) who finished out her career earlier in the season. Senior Danielle Quinn who finished
up her career last season was also honored tonight with Quinn graduating in the spring with her two teammates.