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By ROD GIPSON

© St. Petersburg Times, published December 15, 2000


TAMPA -- After averaging 16 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals in three games, UT's Gecarri Freeman earned Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week honors.

Freeman, a 6-foot-4 junior forward, shot 67 percent from the floor in wins over Pace, Miles and Southwest Baptist to help UT improve to 9-0.

Freeman is the second Spartan to earn the award this season as Percy White was honored three weeks ago.

Led by White and Freeman, the Spartans have five players averaging double-figures in scoring. White is averaging 12 points a game while Freeman, Elijah Piazza, James Mereus and Jon Brown are averaging 10 points a game.

"We are a deeper team," UT coach Richard Schmidt said. "And this lineup gives us a chance to do a lot of things. We are playing well right now, but what you really want is to be consistent and get to a level later in the season where you are playing your best."

The Spartans, ranked No. 9 nationally and No. 1 in the South Region, are off until hosting No. 22 American International on Dec. 28.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: In beating Florida Memorial College 61-45 on Dec. 9, UT improved to 8-1 and head into the Christmas break winners of seven in a row.

Sophomore center Jessie McDowell and freshman forward Yushonda Morse combined for 23 points to lead the Spartans. Morse continues to lead UT in scoring at 16.9 points per game. McDowell has been solid as well with 11.9 points per game.

UT returns to action Dec. 28 against New Hampshire College at the Saint Leo tournament.

MEN'S SOCCER: A month into the off-season, the Spartans continue to earn post-season awards. Freshman forward Roy Fink was named to the National Soccer Coaches Athletic Association All-South Division II first team.

Meanwhile, Roy Swarts earned All-South Division II second-team honors. Fink scored 14 goals and had 31 points in 17 games.

Swarts, who finished with a 1.19 goals against average, had 60 saves in 17 games and posted four shutouts. Swarts also was named a third-team All-American.

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