SAN ANTONIO, Texas (March 20, 2012) - Rollins was down late in the second half, but held Lander scoreless the final five minutes to post a 66-62 victory Tuesday in the NCAA Division II Elite Eight.
The 15th-ranked Tars (28-5) advance to the national semifinals where they meet Shaw University at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, March 21. The Lady Bears advanced by way of a 61-58 victory over Pittsburg State.
Paris Moore hit four-straight free throws in the final seconds en route to a team-high 13 points. Sarah Blackburn chipped in 10 off the bench while Ashley Jones and Sarah Taylor each posted nine points and six rebounds.
Jasmine Judge hit 5-of-9 from 3-point range to lead the Bearcats (24-8) and all scorers with 15 points. Kaylyn Small and Ciara Lyons each netted 11.
Lander controlled most of the first half and led 22-16 with 5:36 to play in the first half. The Tars then closed the period on a small run and took a 28-26 advantage into intermission. The first half saw 10 ties and five lead changes.
Both teams struggled from the field in the opening stanza with Rollins shooting 37 percent (13-35) and Lander 31 percent (9-29).
Rollins came out of the locker room on fire and rolled off a 7-2 run to lead 35-28 with 16:42 to play. The advantage would be short lived, however, as Lander knotted things up with a 7-0 run over the next 90 seconds.
The Bearcats stayed hot from outside and went up 56-48 after Judge's fourth triple of the half.
Lyons drained a jumper at the 5:07 mark that put LU up 62-56 and would serve as the Bearcats last points of the night.
Jasmine Bradley got Rollins going with a bucket at the four-minute mark and Taylor pulled the Tars two points closer with a layup with 2:38 to play.
The Tars got a stop on defense with 96 seconds left and were given a game-tying opportunity, but Taylor's 3-pointer was off the mark with . Kourtnie Berry, however, battled for the offensive rebound and gave Rollins a fresh shot clock. Tera McDaniel drew a foul and calmly sank both to knot the score for the 14th time, 62-62.
Brittni Johnson missed a 3-pointer on Lander's ensuing possession and Moore ripped out the rebound while drawing a foul with 76 seconds to play. She hit both from the line to give Rollins a 64-62 lead.
Lander couldn't come up with a clean shot on its next trip down the floor and Taylor gathered up with a loose ball for the Tars. After a timeout, McDaniel missed a jumper up against the shot clock, but Moore was again the hero, snagging the offensive rebound and getting fouled in the process. The senior hit two more from the line and iced the game for Rollins.
Rollins ended the game shooting 40 percent (26-64) while holding Lander to 38 percent (22-57). The Tars also earned a 42-33 edge on the glass and committed 17 turnovers to 18 from the 'Cats.
Rollins and Shaw will be the second semifinal played Wednesday at Bill Greehey Arena with Ashland and Bentley opening up play. The Tars and Lady Bears are scheduled for a 9:30 p.m. Eastern tip off. The game will be broadcast live on CBS Sports, the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.