No. 3 Rollins (20-10) vs. No. 4 Palm Beach Atlantic (16-12)
Sunshine State Conference Tournament Final
ICI Center – Daytona Beach, Fla.
Sunday, March 5, 2017 – 4 p.m.
AUDIO: Geico Tars Sports Network/91.5 FM WPRK
Play-by-Play: Robert Segal; Color: Jim Ferro
In-Studio Pregame/Halftime – Austin David and Juan Bernal
LIVE STATS: ERAUAthletics.com
After entering the Sunshine State Conference Tournament squarely on the NCAA Tournament bubble, only Palm Beach Atlantic stands in the Tars way of a bid to postseason play. The Tars and Sailfish are set to meet for the SSC Championship on Sunday afternoon, live on ESPN3. The third-seed Tars scored a big win over second-seed Eckerd in the semifinal Saturday night, 81-70. Rollins was spectacular in the second half with 44 points and just two turnovers. Rollins is seeking a fifth SSC Tournament title in its long history. Palm Beach Atlantic advances to the tournament final in its first year of eligibility. The ‘Fish shook up the bracket with a 97-95 overtime win over top-seed Barry. PBA held Barry’s high powered offense to just 29 points in the second half and 16 in the extra frame. Rollins beat PBA twice in the regular season, by 12 at home and eight on the road.
TRACKING THE TARS:
Sam Philpott has scored at least 17 points in each of the last five games and is averaging 15.2 points an outing to lead the Tars. He is shooting 56 percent from the field and hauling in 4.2 rebounds a night. Jeff Merton is putting up 14.2 points a night and continues to be the Tars top rebounder with 5.6 a game. Connor Mckim and Joey Galvis are each scoring 10.6 points a game with Mckim adding 3.9 assists and Galvis 3.0. Galvis also leads the SSC and is 10th nationally with 71 steals on the season. His 11 blocks are also a team-best. Rollins is averaging 81.1 points a game and while allowing 79.3 a game. The Tars 42 percent-mark from behind the arc leads the league.
TRACKING THE SAILFISH
Bakari Warthen is putting up 13.8 points a game and grabbing 5.1 rebounds to lead PBA. Grant Gullett is putting up 13.0 a night and Dakota Zinser is getting 10.2 points a game. In all, 10 different players average five or more points a game. Lucas Morales is the top rebounder with 6.6 a game and Michael Stone has passed out a team-high 93 assists. The Sailfish are averaging 77.4 points of offense and allowing opponents 78.5.
Rollins leads the all-time series against Palm Beach Atlantic 25-5, including a season week this year. Rollins was a defensive battle 59-47 in Winter Park and took an 80-72 win in West Palm Beach.
Rollins is 34-32 all-time in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament; Rollins is meeting PBA in the conference tournament for the first time.
Rollins is 4-7 all-time in the SSC Tournament Finals.
Rollins is in the SSC final for the 12th time and is 4-7 all-time. The Tars last time was 2013, falling to Florida Southern 72-66. Rollins last won the SSC Tournament in 2011.
Rollins entered the NCAA Division II South Region Poll at No. 9 in the latest ranking.
Rollins men’s basketball is 1005-779 in its modern era (1950).
Sam Philpott has hit at least one field goal in each of the last 38 games.
Rollins seven game winning streak is a season-best; longest since winning nine to start the 2015-16 season.
Tom Klusman is 672-391 in his 37th year leading the Rollins men’s basketball team.
Rollins entered the conference tournament on the NCAA Tournament bubble. A win over PBA guarantees a spot in the NCAA South Region Tournament and loss will keep the bid in doubt. The selection show is set for 10:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.