TAMPA, Fla. (February 18, 2017) – Rollins defense came up with a big stop on the final play as the Tars made it 11 wins in a row, beating Tampa 65-63 on the road Saturday.
Julia Inlger poured in 17 points to lead the Tars. The junior hit 6-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-6 three-pointers. Carly McLendon recorded 16 points, nine rebounds and three blocks while Marie Gilbert scored 11 points and handed out five assists. Vernisha Andrews hauled in a career-high 10 rebounds, five on the offensive end.
Karma Jeremie paced Tampa (15-9, 10-6) with 24 points and 10 rebounds. Elena de Alfredo chipped in 18 points and five rebounds while Jenny Horvatinovic netted 12.
Rollins improves to 19-6 overall, 13-4 in the Sunshine State Conference and remains in third place in the standings. The Tars trail Florida Southern by a half game and Eckerd by 1.5. Both teams have two remaining games while Rollins has one. The victory ensures Rollins a home game for the first round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament on March 1.
HIGHLIGHTS AND QUARTER-BY-QUARTER ANALYSIS First Quarter l The Tars took control early and led for most of the first quarter, pulling ahead 19-13 at the 1:55 mark. UT came back and tied the score at 19 after the first 10 minutes.
Second Quarter l The Spartans scored the first five points of the second before a three-point play by Gilbert and three-pointer from Ingler put the Tars back on top, 26-25. The lead was again six with 1:54 left in the half and after trading baskets, the Tars later went into the break with a 38-33 advantage.
Third Quarter l Points came at a premium in the third with UT outscoring Rollins 15-9 in the frame. The Tars hit just four field goals, but the defense kept it close and the game headed into the final 10 minutes with Rollins trailing 48-47.
Fourth Quarter l Rollins quickly pulled event as the teams traded the lead for the first five minutes. McLendon tied the score at 56 with 4:03 to play and Andrews later made it a 62-58 advantage with 1:18 to play. UT cut the lead to one with a de Alfredo three-pointer, but a McLendon layup off a Gilbert feed put the Tars back on top by three with 34 seconds left. Jeremie scored a bucket on the ensuing UT possession to again make it a one point game. After a timeout Jasmine Stone was fouled and hit 1-of-2 at the line to give the Tars a two-point cushion. Rollins defense forced UT to run the clock all the way down and a de Alfredo potential tying score was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE • Field Goal Shooting: Rollins 26-50 (43 percent) Tampa 24-54 (44 percent) • 3-point Field Goal Shooting: Rollins 3-7 (43 percent) Tampa 6-15 (40 percent) • Free-throws: Rollins 10-12 (83 percent) Tampa 9-11 (82 percent) • Rebounding: Rollins 34, Tampa 31 • Turnovers: Rollins 5, Tampa 9 • The game featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes.
GAME NOTES • Rollins is now 54-42 all-time against Tampa and snaps a two-game skid in the series. • Rollins is ranked No. 3 in the first NCAA Division II South Region rankings of the season. • Rollins five turnovers is a new season low; the Tars had nine turnovers twice this season. • Carly McLendon passed Randi Weiss for eighth on the Tars all-tome blocks list, now with 96. She has had at least two blocks in each of the last 12 games. • Marie Gilbert tied a career-high with five assists. (also vs. Florida Southern) • Vernisha Andrews 10 rebounds is a new career-high (nine vs. Flagler) • Rollins winning streak is its longest since winning 14 straight during the 2011-12 season. • Glenn Wilkes Jr. improves to 682-233 all-time.
NEXT UP FOR THE TARS Rollins closes the 2016-17 regular season at home on Saturday, February 25 against Saint Leo. Tip off is set for 2 p.m. Fans can follow the action live on the Geico Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.