Lee Women Prepare For NCAA Basketball Tournament Opener
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Fresh off the program's first Gulf South Conference Championship the Lee women's basketball team enters NCAA National Tournament play on Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Sunshine State Conference foe Tampa.
The Lady Flames enter as the No. 4 seed in the South Region after going 25-6 on the year. Tampa is the No. 5 seed with a record of 21-8.
The Lady Flames are making their third straight appearance in the NCAA National Tournament and are 1-2 overall. Lee defeated North Alabama last season before falling in overtime to Valdosta State in the second round.
The Lady Flames claimed their first GSC Championship with an 81-73 victory over Valdosta State on Sunday from the Pete Hanna Center in Birmingham, Ala.
Abby Bertram led the Lady Flames with 19 points and nine rebounds and was named the tournament's most outstanding player.
Freshman Haley Schubert scored 21 second half points in the GSC semifinals to lead Lee past West Georgia, 66-57 and was named to the all-tournament team.
The Spartans lost to Rollins 56-45 in the quarterfinals of the SSC Tournament last Wednesday (Mar.6). Staja Tyghter led Tampa with 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Julia Ingram added 14 points and hit four triples off the bench.
Lee holds a 3-2 advantage in the all-time series against Tampa but the two schools have not met since 1990.
Tyghter, a 5-foot-8 forward, leads the team with 14.3 ppg and 8.3 rpg. Sophomore forward Dori Nagy follows with 13.6 per contest.
Tampa had won seven straight games before dropping the season finale to Lynn, 53-45 and the SSC Quarterfinal game to Rollins (56-45).
"Tampa is a very talented, well coached team," Lee head coach Marty Rowe said. "Exactly the caliber of team you expect to be playing this time of year. They are good on both ends of the court and we know we'll need to play very well."
"We're excited about the opportunity to play in our 3rd straight NCAA tournament and we feel like we're playing our best basketball now. Should be a lot of fun this weekend."
Fans can follow of the action of the NCAA South Region Championship by visiting the tournament home page. on leeuflames.com.
George Starr will have the play by play on Mix 104.1 FM locally and streamed online at leeuflames.com and the Mix 104.1 app.
Sunshine State Champions and 17th ranked Florida Southern is the host and top seed. The Mocs went 28-3 on the year. GSC rivals No. 13 Union and West Florida follow. Eckerd is the sixth seed, Nova Southeastern is the seventh and SIAC Champion Lane is the eighth seed.
The Flames are 2-2 against the region field. Lee swept the series against Union this season. The Flames lost early in the season to Florida Southern and West Florida.
With a win the Lady Flames advance would advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year and take on the winner of No .1 seeded Florida Southern and No . 8 Lane on Saturday at 7 p.m.