NCAA Division II Tournament

Tampa falls to Benedict in Division II basketball

LAKELAND — After a first half where his team shot only 35 percent from the field, Jeremy Black didn't participate in warm-up drills with the University of Tampa.

Once the game resumed, he didn't shoot much more.

Benedict (S.C.) focused its defensive effort on the Sunshine State Conference player of the year and South Region co-player of the year and shut him down during a 73-59 win in the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.

"We spent a lot of time trying to figure out a way to stop him. (Black) is an excellent player, probably a pro,'' Tigers coach Fred Watson said. "We just wanted to get two bodies on him, we forced him into some turnovers and he got frustrated.''

The senior scored 11 in the first 12 minutes on 5-of-10 shooting, but in the second half shot 0-for-3 as the defense swarmed him.

"Actually he was more open the second half than he was in the first half,'' Tampa coach Richard Schmidt said. "But we just didn't get it in there.''

With Black's offensive production (18.5 points per game) taken away, the Spartans (21-9) turned to forward Chris Evans, who made a key 3 in the opening round, trimmed a 10-point deficit to one with long-range shooting.

Benedict (28-4), winner of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and a No. 2 seed in the tournament, wouldn't let Tampa get any closer as forward Bennie Lewis and backup point guard Charles Gibbs started hitting from the outside.

With the shot clock winding down, Lewis got the ball at the wing, turned and made a shot with guard Rashad Callaway tightly defending to give Benedict a 12-point lead.

Gibbs led the Tigers' second unit with 16 points as Tampa's bench was outscored 34-0.

"Having to play 40 minutes from most of my guys, I think they ran out of gas,'' Schmidt said. "For the last two weeks, I'd hate to say how many minutes (Black) has played. I can't give him a rest, same with Rashad, he's a freshman and he plays 40 minutes a game.''

Benedict 73

Tampa 59

Tampa falls to Benedict in Division II basketball 03/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:41am]

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