MELBOURNE, Fla. (January 21, 2012) - Seventh-ranked Rollins had its 14-game winning streak snapped and suffered its first loss in conference, falling to Florida Tech 64-62 on Saturday.
A frantic final half-minute saw Rollins drain a go-ahead 3-pointer to lead by one, only to have Tech go back on top with a quick layup. The Tars' final offensive possession came up empty and FIT added a free throw with less than a second to play, sealing the win.
The loss is Rollins' first since a setback to defending national champion Clayton State in the first game of the season. The Tars fall to 14-2 overall and still lead the Sunshine State Conference at 6-1. Florida Tech improves to 11-6 overall and 2-5 in conference play.
Ashley Jones netted 12 points to lead Rollins. Paris Moore chipped in nine points while Jasmine Cohen and Sarah Blackburn each tallied eight points and seven rebounds.
Ashton McClairen paced Florida Tech with 11 points and five rebounds. Sharnae Ivery added 11 points and Briauna Hagins notched another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Tars shot just 25 percent in the first half and ended the game 19-of-63 (30 percent) from the floor. Tech hit 38 percent (25-66) from the field and outrebounded Rollins 50-48.
The teams played back and forth at the start until a 9-0 Rollins run midway through the first gave the Tars a 20-16 lead. Rollins was up 26-21 with 3:46 to play in the half before Tech rattled off an 11-0 spurt and swung the lead their way, 32-26.
A Jones layup and pair of Blackburn free throws closed the gap as Rollins headed into the locker room down 32-30.
Cohen tied the score on the first possession of the second half before both teams weathered through a four-minute scoring drought. Once the offenses got going, the Panthers built a pair of eight point leads, the last one coming with 9:11 to play.
Five-straight points from Moore and two from Jones closed the gap to two at the 6:42 mark. After some back and forth play, Blackburn hit a jumper to make the count 61-59 Tech with 3:59 to play. Neither team would score for the next 3:29 until Jones' 3-pointer set up the wild finish.
The Tars will look to rebound Wednesday at home against Nova Southeastern in the final game of the first half of the SSC schedule. Tipoff is slated for 5:30 p.m. Fans can follow all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM, WPRK.