LAKELAND, Fla. (January 28, 2012) - For the first time since 2007, Rollins beat its rival Florida Southern in their own house, picking up an intense 76-71 victory Saturday.
The win puts Rollins (14-5) alone atop the Sunshine State Conference standings at 7-2 while the Mocs fall to 12-6 overall and 5-4 in the SSC.
Kevin Capers shot 11-of-19 and poured in a game-high 30 points to pace FSC. Brett Bailey added 10 points and five rebounds.
Rollins ran out to an 11-4 lead over the first three minutes and hushed the nearly 1,700 fans in attendance.
The Tars led 16-15 at the 11:01 mark before both teams went ice cold and suffered through a three-minute scoreless streak. Sharpe hit a triple to extend Rollins' lead but the Mocs rolled off a quick 7-0 run to lead 23-18 with 5:42 to play in the half.
Southern's lead would be short lived, however, as Diakite went on a solo 5-0 run to swing the momentum back in the Tars' favor.
Cameron Vines cut Rollins' advantage to two with 35 seconds in the half, but Rollins took all energy into intermission as Sharpe banked in a long 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Tars a 34-29 halftime advantage.
Rollins pushed the lead to a game-high 12 points with 12:48 to play only to see the Mocs chip away and pull ahead 57-56 six minutes later.
Schuette answered with a 3-pointer on the next trip down the floor and sparked a mini-Tars spurt that gave the visitors a 60-56 lead with less than five minutes to play.
A Vines old-fashioned 3-point play closed the gap to 66-64 at the 1:21 mark, but Brown hit a layup and the Tars caused a turnover to make it a four-point game with 90 seconds to play. Rollins then connected on 8-of-10 from the line down the stretch to preserve the win.
Rollins shot just 36 percent in the first half, but hit 57 percent in the second to finish the game 46 percent (21-46) from the floor. FSC shot 42 percent from the field and were just 6-of-25 (23 percent) from the 3-point line. Rollins also earned a 38-31 rebounding edge.
Rollins returns to Winter Park on Wednesday, Feb. 1 hosting Tampa in another big SSC game. Tipoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. Fans can follow all the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM, WPRK.