KISSIMMEE, Fla. (March 5, 2014) – Rollins erased a 10-point deficit in the final four minutes of regulation to force overtime, but came up short in the end, falling to Nova Southeastern 75-71 in the first round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament.
The loss ends the fifth-seed Tars campaign at 14-13 while six-seed NSU improves to 13-16.
Five Tars scored in double figures, led by Jeff Dirkin with 16 points and eight rebounds. The junior was 6-of-9 from the field and 4-of-9 at the charity stripe. Chris Uhle and Alex Blessig each scored 14 while Adam Allen and Mitch Woods both posted 10 points.
Nearly the entire game was played beyond the arc with Rollins shooting 9-of-32 (28 percent) from 3-point range and NSU hitting 15-of-39 (38 percent). Overall the Tars were 28-of-70 (40 percent) and the Sharks 23-of-56 (41 percent). Nova Southeastern also earned a 44-40 edge on the glass.
NSU got all of its scoring from five players. Justin Jeangerard put up 18 points and 14 rebounds while Chris Page netted 18 and hauled in eight rebounds. Stian Berg was 5-of-8 from 3-point rage and contributed 16 points.
Rollins trailed by seven early, but came back to tie the score at 15 midway through the first. The next 10 minutes saw five more lead changes and two ties until the Sharks took a 31-28 advantage into intermission.
In the second, the Tars couldn’t get over the hump and trailed 58-48 with 4:03 remaining.
Woods got Rollins going on the comeback trail with a 3-pointer as the Tars closed the gap to 62-58 after a Dirkin put back with 1:21 left. Blessig then stole a NSU pass on the ensuing possession and got the Tars to within 62-60 after a breakaway layup.
After a Tars foul, NSU could only get 1-of-2 at the line and Blessig drained a clutch triple to tie the score at 63. Rollins again got a steal, but couldn’t get a shot up before the buzzer and the game headed to overtime.
The Tars trailed by three halfway through the extra frame before a deep Uhle 3-pointer got them square, 70-70 with 2:38 left. That would be the Tars last field goal of the day however as the Sharks were able to seal the game at the line while Rollins couldn’t capitalize at the stripe.