SAINT LEO, Fla. (February 1, 2014) – Rollins saw its late lead evaporate, but came up with a final defensive stop at the buzzer, beating Saint Leo 61-59 on the road Saturday.
The victory comes on the heels of the Tars overtime upset of second-ranked Florida Southern Wednesday night.
Rollins improves to 10-9 on the year and starts the second half of the Sunshine State Conference schedule 4-5.
Alex Blessig scored 16 points and added seven rebounds to lead the Tars. Chris Uhle netted 14 despite being slowed by an injury in the first half. Mitch Woods and Adam Allen played through foul trouble all night and each scored 10.
Jerrel Harris led Saint Leo (16-6, 4-5 SSC) with 15 points and six rebounds. Ron Foxx added 14 points and eight rebounds while Chim Kadima netted 10.
Rollins controlled the action early, opening up a 17-7 advantage eight minutes into the first. Saint Leo came back with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to knot the score at 17.
The Tars denied Leo the lead, but couldn’t pull away. Foxx finally gave the hosts an upper hand with a pair of free throws at the one-minute mark, and then Harris drilled a 3-pointer to put Rollins down 32-28 at halftime.
Saint Leo’s advantage however, would be short lived. Rollins scored the first six points of the second half, highlighted by a Woods steal and Blessig dunk that gave the Tars a 34-32 lead. Harris heated up from deep to keep the Lions close before three Woods free throws and a Uhle 3-pointer put Rollins up 42-38 with 13:12 left.
The Tars lead grew to as many as 10 and sat at 57-50 at the 3:05 mark. Harris again hit from deep and sparked a 7-0 Lions run that tied the score at 57 with just 1:09 left.
Blessig quickly put Rollins on top with a jumper in transition and Woods turned a steal into a layup, putting the Tars back on top 61-57 with 24 seconds left.
Devin Crisosto hit a leaning jumper for Leo with eight seconds left to cut Rollins lead to two, and the Lions quickly fouled Blessig on the inbound. The sophomore point guard missed the front end of the one-and-one with the rebound going to Foxx who quickly moved it up court. Harris’ desperation 15-footer was off the mark and the Tars again came up on top of a close game.
The Tars held Saint Leo to just 7-of-24 from the field in the second half and 36 percent shooting on the day. Rollins hit 24-of-56 (43 percent).
Rollins returns home on Wednesday, Feb. 5 hosting Tampa at 7:30 p.m. Fans can catch all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.