The men’s basketball team had an eventful winter break, playing seven games and winning four. Though they started their break off with a loss against Florida Tech, the Sharks redeemed themselves when they set a program record in their win against the New York Institute of Technology on Dec. 11, with seven of their players scoring in double figures throughout the game. The Sharks won their next game against Benedict with a shot from junior David Dennis with 1.5 seconds left on the clock during overtime on Dec. 13. Dennis and Sharks basketball coach Jim Crutchfield were then featured on NCAA.com, and Dennis was awarded Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week. The team reached a 9-1 record after their victory against Elizabeth City on Dec. 19 before suffering a disappointing loss to Barry on Dec. 30. The Sharks recovered, however, in their game against Eckerd in their first game of the new year, achieving their first win against the team since November of 2016. Unfortunately, the team lost their match against Rollins on Jan. 6.
The Sharks won nearly every game over break, with their only losses being to Florida Tech on Dec. 9 and their Jan. 6 game against Rollins. Their next game against Benedict, however, found the Sharks victorious, with five team members scoring in double digits. Their next victory was against Shaw, with four Sharks scoring in double digits, junior Alison Hughes scoring the most points for a final tally of 28. Hughes was then awarded Sunshine State Conference Player of the Week for the first time. The team’s next victory against Barry was led by senior Kayla Wright, who had a career game with 33 points and 14 rebounds. Wright was then awarded Player of the Week as well, for the fifth time in her career. In their first game of the year, the Sharks had a blowout win against Eckerd, with senior Christen Prasse shooting a perfect 30-for-30.
The men’s and women’s swimming teams competed in the Spartan Invitational from Dec. 15-18. On day one, the women’s team broke two records and hit three ‘A’ standards while the men’s team just missed the qualifying time in the 200-freestyle relay. Combined, the Sharks swam six NCAA-standard times. On day two, freshman Emma Sundstedt had a second-place finish in the 500 freestyle and broke her second school record for the race. Senior Franco Lupoli won first in the men’s 500 freestyle and senior Sydney Panzarino also earned a first-place finish in the 50-freestyle. On day three, both teams continued their strong performances and hit seven NCAA standard times. On the final day of the invitational, both teams claimed second-place overall and Sundstedt finished the weekend with another school and Sunshine State Conference record in the 1650-freestyle. In their first competition of 2018, both teams topped their competitors Grand Valley State and William Jewel.