WINTER PARK, Fla. (March 1, 2017) – Fresh off being named Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year earlier in the day, Connor Mckim hit a driving layup in the final seconds that proved to be the game winner as Rollins beat Lynn 75-73 Wednesday in the SSC Tournament Quarterfinal.
Third-seed Rollins advances to meet second-seed Eckerd at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4 at Embry-Riddle.
Sam Philpott scored 18 points for the third-straight game to lead Rollins (19-10) to its sixth-straight win. Joey Galvis added 15 points while Eric Castaneda tallied 14 points and a pair of steals. Mckim ended the day with 11 points and a career-high 11 assists.
Marquan Botley score 18 points for Lynn (13-14) while also handing out six assists. Kevin O’Brien and Jamal Palmer each netted 11.
Rollins trailed late, but kept Lynn off the scoreboard the final 2:31 of the game to grab the victory.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HALF BY HALF ANALYSIS First Half | Rollins started out hot, taking a 5-0 lead in the first minute behind a Mike Bedulskis layup and a three-pointer by Joey Galvis. The Tars didn’t look back and continued to build on their lead as the half continued going on a 9-0 run until 9:21 left in the first, when the Fighting Knights finally saw a jump shot by Marquan Botley fall but they still trailed 15-22. Both teams struggled to find their touch around the rim at the midway point when both teams went 1-5 from the field, and the Knights had five turnovers during this stretch. The Tars regained their momentum late in the first half going on a 6-0 run with 2:12 to go in the half. The Tars were then able to take a 46-31 lead into halftime over the Fighting Knights.
Second Half | The Tars large lead slowly dwindled down with Lynn tying the score at 57 and then taking a three-point lead with 9:21 left in the first. Back-to-back scores by Merton and Philpott got Rollins back on top only to see Lynn take a 73-69 lead with 2:31 left. Galvis drained a huge three-pointer to pull Rollins to within one and that score was quickly followed with a defensive stop. Rollins has three looks at a go ahead bucket with a minute to play before Philpott was fouled and hit a free throw to tie the score. Castaneda stole the ball away for the Tars with 40 ticks remaining to set up the final play. Mckim ran the clock down to seven seconds and hit a driving layup with just three ticks left that put the Tars ahead 75-73. Lynn quickly got down the court but a Palmer three-point try missed at the buzzer.
GAME NOTES • Rollins leads the all-time series against Lynn 27-15 and swept all three meetings this year. • Rollins is 33-32 all-time in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament. • Rollins is 19-10 all-time in the Quarterfinals and 2-1 when playing Lynn. • Rollins entered the NCAA Division II South Region Poll at No. 9 in the latest ranking. • Sam Philpott has hit at least one field goal in the each of the past 37 games. • Connor Mckim set a new career high with 11 assists; his previous best was eight also against Lynn. • Jeff Merton moves up to 27th on Rollins all-time scoring list with 1,179 points. • Tom Klusman improves his overall record to 672-391.
NEXT UP FOR THE TARS Rollins will next meet Eckerd in the SSC semifinals on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 p.m. inside the ICI Center on the campus of Embry-Riddle. The Tritons won both meetings with the Tars this season. Fans can catch all the action live on the Geico Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.