No. 3 Rollins (19-10) vs. No. 2 Eckerd (21-7)
Sunshine State Conference Tournament Semifinal
ICI Center – Daytona Beach, Fla.
Saturday, March 4, 2017 – 7:30 p.m.
AUDIO: Geico Tars Sports Network/91.5 FM WPRK
Play-by-Play: Robert Segal; Color: Jim Ferro
On-location Pregame/Halftime – Austin David and Juan Bernal
LIVE STATS: ERAUAthletics.com
Looking to play its way into the NCAA postseason, Rollins heads into the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Semifinal to face Eckerd Saturday night in Daytona Beach. The third-seed Tars are coming off a thrilling, last second 75-73 win over Lynn in its quarterfinal. Connor Mckim scored the game winner with three seconds left and a Lynn desperation three-pointer was off the mark. Rollins is the hottest team in the SSC at the moment, winners of six in a row. Second-seed Eckerd, who swept Rollins in the regular season, beat Florida Southern 88-72 to earn a spot in the semifinals. The Tritons have won eight of their last nine and lead the league in defense, allowing just 73.1 points a game. The winner will meet either top-seed Barry or fourth-seed Palm Beach Atlantic in the championship game on Sunday evening.
TRACKING THE TARS:
Junior Sam Philpott has scored 18 points in three straight games and leads the Tars with 15.1 points per game. The Noblesville, Indiana native is also grabbing 4.2 rebounds a night and leads the team shooting 56 percent from the field, the third best mark in the league. Jeff Merton is putting up 13.9 points a night and tops the team with 5.6 rebounds a game. SSC Freshman of the Year Connor Mckim is getting 10.6 points a game. He handed out a career-best 11 assists against Lynn and is averaging 4.1 a game on the year. Senior Joey Galvis is scoring 10.5 points a game while also leading the SSC and ranking ninth in the nation with 68 steals. As a team, the Tars are ninth in Division II in three-point shooting, knocking down 41.4 percent from distance. Rollins averages 81.1 points a game and is allowing 79.6.
TRACKING THE TRITONS
Eckerd has the top defense in the league, surrendering just 73.1 points a game, while scoring 81.7. Drushaun McLaurn leads the team with 16.3 points and 7.2 rebounds a game. Kevin Walsh leads the conference in three-point shooting, hitting 46-percent (90-197), and averages 13.6 points. Trevon Young is averaging 12.1 points and 6.6 rebounds a game while Obi Kyei is getting 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds a night. Eckerd tops the league and is 11th in the country in rebounding margin, beating teams by nearly eight a game on the glass.
Rollins leads the all-time series against Eckerd 68-52, including a Eckerd sweep in the regular season series; 82-73 in Winter Park and 93-71 in St. Pete
Rollins is 33-32 all-time in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament.
Rollins is 11-15 all-time in the SSC Semifinals and 4-4 all-time in the SSC Tournament against Eckerd.
Rollins is making its first trip to the semifinals since 2013 where the fifth-seed Tars upset top-seed Saint Leo 62-53.
Rollins entered the NCAA Division II South Region Poll at No. 9 in the latest ranking.
Rollins men’s basketball is 1004-779 in its modern era (1950).
Sam Philpott has hit at least one field goal in each of the last 37 games; he has scored 18 points in the last three games.
Since recording one assist in the season opening game, Connor Mckim has had at least two dimes in each of the last 26 games.
Tom Klusman is 672-391 in his 37th year leading the Rollins men’s basketball team.
The winner moves on to play in the Sunshine State Conference Championship, Sunday March 5 at 4 p.m. Top-seed Barry and fifth-seed Palm Beach Atlantic are on the other side of the bracket and will play its semifinal at 5 p.m. Embry-Riddle is hosting the event at the ICI Center in Daytona Beach. Fans can catch all the action live on the Geico Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK. The SSC Championship game will also be carried live on WatchESPN.