LAKELAND, Fla. (January 25, 2017) – Freshman Connor Mckim scored a career-high 27 points to lead Rollins in a 94-88 road victory over Florida Southern.
The win is a fourth-straight for the Tars (12-8, 6-5 SSC) and gives them sole possession of fourth-place in the Sunshine State Conference standings with a little over a month left in the season.
Mckim shot 6-of-9 from the field, including five three-pointers, and hit 10-of-11 at the free throw line. Sam Philpott added 25 points and six rebounds while Jeff Merton tallied 16 points and eight rebounds. The trio combined to go 24-of-27 at the free throw line. Joey Galvis scored 10 point to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
Michael Volovic led FSC (7-12, 5-5 SSC) with 30 points on 10-of-16 shooting and seven three-pointers. He scored four three-pointers in the final three minutes to keep the Mocs within striking distance. LaBrian Shiflet added 17 points off the bench while Tyler Ross and Brett Hanson each scored 11.
The win gives Rollins four in a row over its rival and a second-straight season sweep. STANDOUT PERFORMERS • Michael Volovic (FSC) 30 pts, 10-16 FG, 7-11 3FG • Connor Mckim (RC) 27 pts, 6-9 FG, 5-8 3FG, 10-11 FT • Sam Philpott (RC) 25 pts, 6 rbs, 9-10 FT • LaBrian Shiflet (FSC) 17 pts, 5 steals • Jeff Merton (RC) 16 pts, 8 rbs.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HALF-BY-HALF ANALYSIS First Half l The Tars hit their first five shots from the field and raced out to a 14-7 lead after a Merton trey four minutes in. Consecutive Mckim three-pointers six minutes later pushed the Rollins advantage to 26-13 halfway through the period. Southern then used an 8-2 scoring spurt and closed to within seven, 30-23. Mckim answered with his fourth three-pointer of the game and Galvis matched it on the next possession as the Tars eventually went into the break leading 45-28.
Second Half l Rollins extended its lead to a game-high 22 three different times early in the second and led 57-35 with 16 minutes to play. The Mocs then charged back over the next 10 minutes closed the gap to 66-56 with seven minutes left. After a Jakobi Bonner layup, Southern rolled off a 10-0 run and cut the Tars lead to just two, 68-66, with five minutes to play. Mckim then got a pair at the line and Galvis scored a layup to give the Tars some breathing room. Volovic started to heat up from deep for FSC and again made it a two-point game with 2:46 on the clock. Philpott then closed the door on the FSC comeback with six straight points, followed by two more Mckim free throws that put Rollins ahead 82-73 with just a minute left.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE • Field Goal Shooting: Rollins 29-50 (58 percent); FSC 32-72 (44 percent) • 3-point Field Goal Shooting: Rollins 10-21 (48 percent); FSC 13-35 (37 percent) • Free-throws: Rollins 26-33 (79 percent); FSC 11-16 (69 percent) • Rebounding: Rollins 34, FSC 35 • Turnovers: Rollins 17; FSC 13 • Rollins never trailed in the game; led for all but the first 17 seconds. • Rollins bench was outscored 30-9. GAME NOTES • Rollins improves to 57-118 all-time against Florida Southern. • Connor Mckim’s previous career-high was 16 points against Florida Southern earlier in the season. • Rollins 26 free throws is the second highest in a game this season; 27 against Florida Southern earlier in the year. • Jeff Merton is alone in 34th on the Tars all-time scoring list (1,075), trailing Deon Troupe by five. • Sam Philpott moved into ninth in SSC scoring with 15.6 points a game. • Rollins four-game winning streak is the second this season; longest current streak in the Sunshine State Conference. • Rollins moved up a spot in the SSC standings to fourth, one game back of third place Tampa.
NEXT UP FOR THE TARS Rollins is again on the road to close the week, traveling to West Palm Beach to face Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday, January 28 at 4 p.m. Fans can follow the action live on the Geico Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.