Rollins let a late lead in regulation slip away and was forced into double overtime before finally getting past Florida Southern 117-111 on the road Saturday.
Winners of three straight and riding the momentum of a thriller over Tampa that’s making rounds on social media, Rollins next travels to Lakeland to battle arch rival Florida Southern on Saturday night. After upsetting Nova Southeastern a week ago, the Tars needed last-second heroics from senior Jeff Merton to get past Tampa by two on Wednesday. The win put Rollins into a tie with Eckerd for second place in the league standings. The Mocs have dropped their last two and are ninth at the midpoint of the SSC schedule. FSC is tough at home, going 7-2 in the Jenkins Field House while the Tars are 1-3 in true road games this season.
Down one with time winding down, Jakobi Bonner found Jeff Merton at the top of the key and the senior drilled the game winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, giving Rollins a 71-69 victory over Tampa on Wednesday night.
After getting back on track with its win over Nova Southeastern Saturday, Rollins next hosts Tampa in another big, mid-season Sunshine State Conference match-up. The Tars held the Sharks potent offense in check to break a four-game skid while also staying in the top half of the SSC standings. UT has the longest current winning streak in the league at three games and has scored more than 90 points each of those contests. The match-up features the two longest tenured and winningest coaches in the Sunshine State Conference. Tars leader Tom Klusman (38th season) is 686-400 in his career while Tampa head coach Richard Schmidt (37th season) is 692-371. They rank ninth and 10th as the winningest coaches in NCAA Division II history.
Rollins defense held the Sunshine State Conference’s highest scoring team to nearly 30 points under its average as the Tars snapped a four-game losing streak with an 81-71 win over Nova Southeastern.
Looking to snap its current four-game skid, Rollins hosts upstart Nova Southeastern on Saturday in Warden Arena. The Tars dropped a pair in Las Vegas prior to the holiday break and have since lost to Eckerd and Palm Beach Atlantic on the road. Rollins sits in a four-way tie for fourth place in the Sunshine State Conference standings. NSU was picked last in the SSC preseason poll and finds itself near the top of the standings heading the final two months of the season. The Sharks are the highest scoring team in the SSC, but rank last in points allowed. NSU is playing just its second road game of the year, having hosted its last 10 in a row.