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PREVIEW: Rollins Travels to Lynn Saturday

Nils Lehmann
Nils Lehmann


Rollins (1-2, 1-0 SSC) vs. Lynn (0-1, 0-1 SSC) 

de Hoernle Sports & Cultural Center – Boca Raton, Fla. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017 – 4 p.m. 

VIDEO: SSC Digital Network –
AUDIO: Tars Sports Network –
Play-by-Play: Robert Segal; Color: Jim Ferro

After dropping its first two, Rollins picked up a much-needed win Wednesday, beating Florida Tech in the Sunshine State Conference opener and will next head to Lynn for its first road game of the season. The Tars lost two closes ones to Clark Atlanta and Morehouse before a convincing victory over Tech last week. Lynn has seen limited action this year, falling to Florida Atlantic 68-53 in exhibition play and having its #SoFlo Showdown with Houston canceled. The Fighting Knights lost its SSC lid lifter to Nova Southeastern at home on Wednesday to sit 0-1 on the season. Rollins has won five of its last six trips to Boca Raton. 

The Tars posted a big bounce-back victory over SSC rival Florida Tech on Wednesday, 83-72. Playing without standout senior Jeff Merton for a second-straight game, the Tars depth shined with eight different players scoring. Sam Philpott led the way with 27 points, 23 of which came in the second half. The senior shot 10-of-15 from the field, including four 3-pointers. Deion Clark scored 15 points and handed out eight assists while Jack Fleming add four 3-pointers off the bench for 12 points. Parker Davis chipped in nine points, the first of his college career. Philpott leads the team and is fourth in the SSC in scoring, netting 24.3 points a game. Merton scored 20 in his only action of the year while Mckim is averaging 15 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists a game. Rollins is ranked fourth in the high scoring SSC, posting 89.3 points a game. Rollins is 11th in scoring defense, surrendering 87.7 a night.    

In its opener with NSU, Lynn trailed big early and came all the way back to make it a four-point game late before falling to the Sharks 87-81. Ryan Peterson scored 22 off the bench to lead the Fighting Knights offense. Rasheed Worrell added 18 points and seven rebounds while Jamal Palmer scored 15. In their only other live action of the season, Allen Baez led the way against FAU, scoring 13 in the close exhibition loss. Lynn is sixth in the league in scoring offense and is one spot ahead of the Tars in scoring defense, allowing 87 points a game. The Fighting Knights were picked seventh in the SSC preseason poll.    

Tom Klusman is 678-395 in 38 years as the Tars head coach; he is one of just 16 NCAA Division II coaches with 600 or more wins. 

Rollins leads the all-time series with Lynn 31-18, including a 12-8 mark in Boca Raton. They last played on March 1, 2017 in the opening round of the SSC Tournament. Connor Mckim hit a driving layup in the final seconds to lift the Tars to a 75-73 win, sparking the Tars run to the NCAA Elite Eight.   

Against Clark Atlanta, Sam Philpott became the 40th player in Rollins men's basketball history to eclipse 1,000 career points. He and teammate Jeff Merton are both members of the club. Phillpot is six behind Jeremy Sharpe (1,040) for 36th place on the Tars list. Merton is 22nd (1,311) and needs 10 points to past Scott Martin. 

Rollins is ranked 11th in Division II with 13.3 three-pointers a game. 

The Tars are ranked 13th nationally in assits per game (21.0) and 15th in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8). Individually, Eric Castaneda is third in the nation with a +12 assist-to-turnover ratio.   

Rollins hosts a pair of nonconference games before Thanksgiving. The Tars welcome Puerto Rico Bayamon to Warden Arena on Tuesday, November 21 at 7 p.m. followed by a 2 p.m. date with Florida Memorial the next day. Fans can follow the action live on the Tars Sports Network and new SSC Digital Network at