WINTER PARK, Fla. (January 21, 2017) – Rollins used a 20-2 run early in the second half to take control and eventually run away with a 91-82 win over Florida Tech in Sunshine State Conference play Saturday.
Jeff Merton matched his career-high with 28 points behind a 6-of-13 night from three-point range. The junior also hauled in six rebounds and nabbed a pair of steals. Sam Philpott added 20 points and six rebounds while Joey Galvis recorded 11 points, eight rebounds, six assists, four steals and a block. Connor Mckim and Jack Fleming each netted 10 to give the Tars five scorers in double-figures.
Sam Daniel pumped in 27 points to pace Florida Tech. Jordan Majors played all 40 minutes, racking up 18 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and three steals. Patrick Anderson scored 11.
Rollins had just eight turnovers for the second consecutive game and out-rebounded its opponent (38-36) for the fifth time this season.
The win gives Rollins three-in-a-row for the second time this season and improves its record to 11-8 overall and 5-5 in SSC play. Florida Tech drops to 11-8, 4-6 SSC.
STANDOUT PERFORMERS • Jeff Merton (RC) 28 pts, 6 rbs. • Sam Daniel (FIT) 27 pts, 4-9 3FG • Jordan Majors (FIT) 18 pts, 6 rbs, 11 assists • Joey Galvis (RC) 11 pts, 8 rbs, 6 asst, 4 steals • Patrick Anderson (FIT) 11 pts. • Connor Mckim (RC) 10 pts, 6 asst. • Jack Fleming (RC) 10 pts, 5 rbs.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HALF-BY-HALF ANALYSIS First Half l The Tars jumped out to the hotter start and led 13-6 after the first six minutes of play. Tech then swung momentum back its way on a barrage of three-pointers and took a seven point lead of its own, 27-20, at the 7:25 mark. A Jakobi Bonner three-point play later cut the deficit to 29-28 with 4:22 on the clock. Merton kept it a one-point game with a late three-pointer before Tech finished the half on a 5-0 spurt, putting Rollins down 38-32 at the break.
Second Half l Daniel hit from deep to quickly extend Tech’s lead to nine early in the second. The Panther’s advantage stood at 45-37 with 17:53 to play. Merton hit two free throws on the Tars next possession that served as the start of a 20-2 run over the next six minutes that gave Rollins a 57-47 advantage. Merton scored seven and Galvis six during the span as Rollins hit seven-straight shots, including four three-pointers, while holding FIT to 1-of-8 shooting and two turnovers in the same timeframe. The Tars led by as many as 13 midway through the half only to see Tech cut the lead to 70-65 with 6:10 to play. Fleming stopped the run with a tip-in and later provided the dagger with a corner three, putting Rollins ahead 85-72 with 1:08 left.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE • Field Goal Shooting: Rollins 30-64 (47 percent); FIT 28-64 (44 percent) • 3-point Field Goal Shooting: Rollins 13-31 (42 percent); FIT 13-33 (39 percent) • Free-throws: Rollins 18-19 (95 percent); FIT 13-16 (81 percent) • Rebounding: Rollins 38, FIT 36 • Turnovers: Rollins 8, FIT 11 • Rollins scored 16 points off turnovers to FIT’s seven • The game featured five lead changes and two ties.
GAME NOTES • Rollins snapped a two-game skid against Florida Tech and now leads the all-time series 62-30. • Jeff Merton matched a career-high 28 points, set against FIT last season. • Rollins tied its season-low eight turnovers for the second-straight game. • Joey Galvis had six assists for the second-straight game, tying a career-high, • Joey Galvis set a new career-high with eight rebounds. • Joey Galvis tied a career-high with one block, for the eighth-time. • Rollins had two 20-point scorers for the third time this season (Thomas, Angelo St.) • Rollins is now 996-777 in the modern era of men’s basketball (1950) • Tom Klusman is now 664-390 all-time.
NEXT UP FOR THE TARS Rollins next travels to Lakeland to face rival Florida Southern on Wednesday, January 25 at 7:30 p.m. Fans can follow the action live on the Geico Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.