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Tars Upset of No. 24 Tritons One Point Short in OT

Vernisha Andrews
Vernisha Andrews

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (December 30, 2017) – Rollins battled back to force overtime and led with eight seconds left in the extra period, but No. 24 Eckerd found the go-ahead bucket in the final seconds to hand the Tars a tough 75-74 loss in overtime Saturday.

Vernisha Andrews was spectacular for the Tars (8-4, 3-3 Sunshine State Conference), posting a career-high 18 points to go along with eight rebounds, three steals and three blocks. The junior scored six points in the final 10 seconds of regulation to send the game to overtime and converted a three-point play with eight seconds left in OT to put the Tars in front by one.

Carly McLendon added 16 points, six rebounds and a pair of blocks while Denise Daniels netted 13. Julia Ingler and Yari Martinez-Toro both scored 10 points.

Zoe Richards led Eckerd (11-2, 5-1 SSC) and all scorers with 26 points. Chelsea Johnson added 14 points and four assists while Kacie Juday tallied 11 points and 12 rebounds.

The Tars shot 39 percent from the field and hit 13-of-16 at the free throw line. Eckerd hit 43 percent from the field and were outrebounded by the Tars 41-37.

Rollins fell behind 11-6 after the first quarter, but came back to take the lead 26-24 after a Jasmine Stone three-pointer with 1:16 left in the second. After an EC bucket, Martinez-Toro hit from deep for a 29-26 Tars advantage, but Richards hit a three-quarter court heave at the buzzer to send the game into intermission tied 29-29.

Both teams scored 17 points in the third quarter and the game headed into the fourth tied at 46.

Rollins fell behind 62-56 with 2:22 left. Daniels scored the next four points of the game and closed the gap to 62-60 with 33 seconds to play. EC got a pair at the free throw line, but Andrews answered with a driving layup and foul to pull the Tars to within 64-63 with 10 seconds on the clock.

Juday split free throws on the other end and Andrews tied the score on the ensuing possession with another driving layup. The Tritons desperation three missed and the game went to overtime.

The extra frame was one-possession throughout. Andrews put the Tars on top 71-70 with 1:05 to play before Eckerd took the lead on a deep Johnson three-pointer. Rollins was off the mark on its next possession and quickly fouled Juday. She missed both at the line and again Andrews came up big with a second conventional three-point play, this time putting the Tars on top 74-73 with eight seconds left. Eckerd wound the clock down to two seconds and fumbled the ball in the middle of the lane, but it rolled directly to Richards for the easy winning score

Rollins will look to bounce back on Wednesday, January 3 with a trip to Palm Beach Atlantic. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m. at Rubin Arena. PBA stands at 1-11 on the year and 0-6 in Sunshine State Conference play. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.

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