Tampa Presents Tough Test As Women's Basketball Opens SSC Slate

Tyler Hardy and the Bucs open up Sunshine State Conference play against the Spartans. Photo by Joel Auerbach.

MIAMI SHORES, Fla.—The women’s basketball team gets going in Sunshine State Conference play this weekend as they host the Tampa Spartans on Saturday, Dec. 7 in the Health & Sports Center at 2:00 pm.

The Bucs (3-2) are on a little roll, having won their last three games, and enter the game in high spirits.

“We’re really excited to get started in conference,” Barry head coach Bill Sullivan said. “If you want to play competitive basketball at the Division II level, this is the place to be, because this conference is so tough. Every conference game is a real battle.”

The Bucs have swung the gamut in the conference over the last few years. In 2010, they reached the finals of the conference tournament and advanced to the NCAA Regional. In 2011, they finished eighth in the league. In 2012, they went 12-4 and captured a share of the regular season title, their first since 1990-91. Last season, they finished eighth again.

The Bucs are led by the senior duo of Tyler Hardy and Colette Eule. Hardy leads the team in both scoring (17.2) and rebounding (6.8). A member of the 2013 SSC All-Newcomer team, she has stepped up her game this season, shooting 57.1 percent from the field and 84.4 percent from the line. Eule, who led the team at 13.4 point per game, is scoring 13.8 per game this year and is among the team leaders in steals and blocked shots as well.

A quartet of newcomers has all played big roles as well for the Bucs. Point guard Ines Kerin has stepped in and become one of the top floor generals in the league. She ranked sixth in assists (4.2) and leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio with 21 assists against just five turnovers. She is third on the team at 8.4 points per game and is shooting 35.7 percent from three-point range. Lynae Richardson is the best shooter in the conference, hitting at an incredible 53.8 percent rate from long range to lead the league and averaging 1.4 made treys per game. Kaylia Richardson is averaging 4.8 points per game, despite seeing just under seven minutes per contest. She is shooting 69.2 percent from the floor. Nyjah Porcher and Sharnese Neal both chip in 4.6 points per game.

“Obviously, we’ve been getting pretty consistent production from Tyler (Hardy) and Coletee (Eule),” Sullivan said. “But moving forward, we’re going to have to start getting more from some of the other players on a consistent basis. They’ve all showed that they are capable in spurts, but we need to see more consistent production”

Tampa has been one of the toughest matchups for the Bucs under Sullivan, and this year should be no exception. The Spartans have won 11 of 15 matchups between the team since 2007, though the Bucs have taken three of the last four.

“Tampa is so tough, because they have such great balance,” Sullivan said. “They have a 6-3 post player (Taylor McVey) and they do a great job of feeding the post. And she knows what to do with it when she gets it. She’s averaging double figures. Then they surround her with shooters. So you kind of have to pick your poison: do you want to give up two at a time or three? If you double down on the post, then they’ll kick back out to those three-point shooters.”

McVey leads the Spartans (5-1) with 13.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 57.1 percent from the field. Ellen Nurmi (12.2 points), Illyssa Vivo (11.0) and Keke Jones (10.0) also average double figures, but Tampa gets very little production from the bench, only 17.0 points per game.

GAME NOTES

LAST TIME OUT: Barry outlasted Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras 59-51. The Bucs led by 18 before the Gallitas scored the last 10 points of the game. Tyler Hardy had 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. The Spartans posted a 69-46 win over Palm Beach Atlantic their last time out. McVey had 15 points and 12 rebounds, Vivo added 15 points and six assists and Nurmi led the team with 19 points.

SERIES RECORD: The Spartans hold a 38-21 lead in the series, though Barry is up 14-11 at home. The Bucs have won three of the last four.

EYES ON OPPONENT: The Spartans are 4-2 overall, including a 2-0 mark away from the Martinez Center. Taylor McVey leads Tampa in both scoring and rebounding.

DYNAMIC DUO: Tyler Hardy and Colette Eule have both scored in double figures in each of the three games during the Bucs’ current winning streak. The only other player to hit double figures was Kaylia Richardson who had 11 points against Florida Memorial.

EULE DOES IT ALL: Colette Eule is the only player on the team who has led the team in all categories (points, rebounds assists, steals and blocks) in at least one game this season.

EVERYBODY PITCHES IN: The Bucs are averaging 73.6 points per game, with 25.0 points per game coming from the bench. Behind Hardy (17.2), Eule (13.8) and Kerin (8.4), the Bucs have six players averaging between 4.2 and 5.8 points per game.

DEFENSE KEYS THE OFFENSE: The Bucs have twice in five games scored more than 30 points off the opponents’ turnovers (35 vs. Florida Memorial and 33 vs. UPR-Mayaguez).

BUCS RECORD WHEN

Overtime Games: 0-0
Home Games: 2-0
Road Games: 1-0
Neutral Games: 0-2
Night Games: 3-0
Day Games: 0-2
Leading at Halftime: 3-0
Trailing at Halftime: 0-2
Tied at Halftime 0-0
After a Loss: 1-1
Scoring 80+ points: 2-0
Scoring 70-79 points: 0-0
Scoring 60-69 points: 0-2
Scoring 50-59 points: 1-0
Games Decided by 2 points or Less: 0-0
Games Decided by 5 points or Less: 0-0
Games Decided by 10 points or Less: 1-0
Games Decided by 11-20 Points: 0-1
Games Decided by over 20 Points: 2-1
Outrebounding Opponents: 3-0
Opponents Outrebound Bucs: 0-2
Matching Opponents in Rebounds 0-0
Committing 10 or Fewer Turnovers 0-1
Committing 11 or More Turnovers: 3-1

Shooting 50% or Better FG: 2-0
Shooting 40-49% FG: 0-2
Shooting Under 40% FG: 1-0
Opponents Shoot 50% or Better FG: 0-1
Opponents Shoot 40-49%: 0-1
Opponents Shoot Under 40%: 3-0
Shooting 80% or Better FT: 1-1
Shooting 70-79% FT: 1-0
Shooting 60-69% FT: 0-1
Shooting Under 60% FT: 1-0
Opponents Shoot 80% or Better FT: 0-2
Opponents Shoot 70-79% FT: 2-0
Opponents Shoot 60-69% FT: 0-0
Opponents Shoot Under 60% FT: 1-0

 

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