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Strong Finish Gets Rollins Past Talladega

Vernisha Andrews
Vernisha Andrews

WINTER PARK, Fla. (November 24, 2017) – Rollins used a strong fourth quarter to hold off pesky Talladega 80-66 Friday in the opening game of the Tars Thanksgiving Classic

Rollins (5-0) is ranked in the NCAA Division II WBCA Coaches Poll at No. 7 and No. 5 in the D2SIDA Media ranking. Talladega (7-4) is the 25th-ranked team in NAIA.

Denise Daniels led the Tars with 21 points and nine rebounds while Jasmine Stone and Jaylyn Harrison both scored 13. Carly McLendon tallied a second double-double of the season with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Vernisha Andrews filled the box score with 11 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Deshanna Cook led the Tornadoes with 18 points and Carla Clemmons scored 10. Tayana Cahoun handed out 10 assists in the game.

Rollins shot 47 percent (28-60) in the game and held TC to 40 percent (26-65) from the field. The Tars committed four-more turnovers than they forced (19-15), but dominated the glass in outrebounding Talladega 47-28.

Rollins raced out to a 14-5 lead midway through the first before the Tornadoes came back and cut the lead to just 14-12 with 2:27 left quarter. A Jo Bistrow three-pointer got the Tars going again as they would grab a 21-14 lead after one.

The Tars picked up the energy in the second and an Andrews steal and breakaway lay-up put the hosts on top 32-21 at the 4:40 mark of the second. The Tornadoes would not go away quietly and posted an 11-2 run to again made it a two-point game, 34-32 with 1:27 in the half. After a pair of Daniels free throws, TC ended the quarter on a three-point play giving Rollins a 36-35 advantage at intermission.

Rollins began to wear down Talladega by the end of the third. The Tars lead stood at just 55-54 at the 1:32 mark before a conventional three-point play from Daniels again got Rollins back on track. The Tars led 60-55 after three.

Shots were falling for Rollins in the fourth as they built a 72-62 lead on yet another Daniels three-point play with 4:46 left. Talladega would get no closer than eight the rest of the way as the Tars secured its fifth win in as many games this year.

Rollins will next meet 20th-ranked and unbeaten Caldwell in the finale of the Tars Thanksgiving Classic at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 25. The Cougars got past Florida Tech 74-68 on Friday. Fans can follow the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.

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