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CHAMPIONS! Tars Come All the Way Back to Beat Sharks
Courtesy: Rollins Athletics  
Release: 02/25/2012
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FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (February 25, 2012) - Down by 17 late in the first half, 14th-ranked Rollins mounted a historic comeback to beat Nova Southeastern 62-60 and win its 13th Sunshine State Conference championship.

Ashley Jones racked up 10 points and six rebounds off the bench to lead 12 Tars that scored on the day. Tera McDaniel added nine points with Sarah Taylor chipping in eight points and seven rebounds.

Rollins finishes the regular season 21-5 overall and 12-4 conference play.

The Tars scored on their first possession, but saw the Sharks open the game hot and take an 18-6 lead halfway through the first.

NSU's advantage ballooned to 29-12 at the 5:29 mark of the first half and was 16, 34-18, with 2:44 to play in the first. Led by the play of freshman Emmalee Schill, Rollins closed the period on a 7-0 run and were down 34-25 at the half.

After the Sharks went back up 11 early in the second, the Tars comeback continued and was culminated by a Jones 3-pointer that tied the score at 42 with 13:10 to play. Nova answered with a 7-0 spurt, but Rollins was relentless and again knotted the score, 50-50 on a pair of Schill free throws.

The score was deadlocked at 57 with 2:17 to play until Rollins forced a turnover and took the lead for good on a McDaniel leaner in the lane. The Tars defense got a stop on the ensuing Sharks possession and McDaniel made it a four-point game after a pair from the stripe.

Meixandra Porter quickly hit a triple for the Sharks and cut the Tars lead to 61-60 with 17 ticks left. McDaniel then ran off four seconds and was fouled, making 1-of-2 and putting Rollins up 62-60. The defense dug in on the final play as NSU didn't even get a shot off and the Tars bench erupted with the sound of the final horn.

Porter netted 24 to lead Nova (16-10, 8-8 SSC) while Danielle Robinson added 13. Rollins shot 31 percent to the Sharks 39 percent, but scored a huge rebounding advantage, 51-35.

The conference title is Rollins 13th, the most of any other school in the SSC. Co-champions Florida Southern picked up its 11th title while Barry notching its second. The Tars were last SSC regular season champions in the 2008-09 season.

Seeds, sites, times and parings for the 2012 Sunshine State Conference Tournament will be released later Saturday.



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