WINTER PARK, Fla. (February 18, 2012) - A 12-point outburst in the final minute couldn't erase a pair of slow starts as ninth-ranked Rollins fell to Florida Tech 78-72 on Senior Day Saturday.
The Tars (20-4, 10-3 Sunshine State Conference) were down 17 with 95 seconds to play before going on a tear to nearly come all the way back. Sarah Blackburn hit a pair of 3-pointers with Ashley Jones and Jasmine Bradley also rattling in triples during the span. Bradley's 3-pointer pulled the Tars to within 76-72 with seven ticks left, but Kayk Wilson hit a pair from the line to seal it for Tech (17-8, 8-7 SSC).
Ashton McClairen netted 16 to lead FIT while Briauna Hagins posted 14 points and 10 rebounds. Jasmire Brown and Katie Kingfield each scored 10.
One of the top teams in the nation at taking care of the ball, Rollins turned it over early and often Saturday, racking up 22 miscues, but still forced 24 Tech turnovers.
Rollins shot 39 percent (25-64) while FIT hit 43 percent (25-58) from the field. The Panthers are one of the nation's top rebounding teams, but the Tars kept it close as FIT earned a 42-37 edge on the glass.
Rollins found itself down 12-2 after the first five minutes, but was able to get things rolling and later came back to tie the count 20-20 on a Kourtnie Berry layup with 5:48 to play in the half.
The Panthers, however went on a 13-4 run to end the half and led 33-24 at intermission.
The Tars stumbled out of the gate again in the second half and fell into a 46-30 hole with 13:33 to play. They got to within 59-50 with 7:12 to play, but Tech was able to stave off the Tars comeback in the waning seconds.
Still in first place in the conference standings, Rollins will be on the road for a pair to close out the regular season. They first travel to Barry for a 5:30 game on Wednesday, Feb. 22, followed by a trip to Nova Southeastern on Saturday, Feb. 28. A pair of wins would clinch the outright SSC crown for the Tars. Fans can follow all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM, WPRK.