TAMPA, Fla. — No. 22 Tampa improved to a perfect 12-0 record as it took down Paine 83-80 in double overtime on Sunday.
Paine fell to 2-4 on the season as the Tampa Classic drew to a close.
Tampa was led by senior Anthony Griffis, who tallied 22 points, including 12 free throws to edge Paine in double overtime. He also tied the team lead in rebounds, picking up eight alongside Eric Moraes. Moraes finished the contest with three blocks to go along with seven points for the Spartans.
Guard Da’Markco Foster shot 7-for-11 from the field, totaling 19 points while Terrell Pritchett contributed 11.
Paine finished the first half ahead of UT as the Lions owned a 31-22 lead heading into halftime. The Spartans fought back to score 12 consecutive points as Vincent Cornu connected for two layups and Griffis followed with seven points in a row. The back and forth play continued as the game saw four lead changes and three tied scores as the two teams finished regulation knotted at 56.
In the first overtime, Paine jumped ahead as Jerel Stephenson had back-to-back scores for the Lions. Tampa rebounded thanks to a crucial 3-pointer from Callum Townsend to give the Spartans a 63-61 edge. Guard Jon Riles padded the UT lead with a pair of free throws, increasing the margin to 69-63. Paine guard Kenny Fluellen sent the game into its second overtime, as he knocked down a game-saving 3-pointer at the buzzer tying the score at 69.
Griffis and Foster each contributed four points in the second overtime as Tampa ended the match with a 83-80 victory.