WINTER PARK, Fla. (January 6, 2018) – 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.
Rollins improves to 9-7 overall and 5-3 in SSC play to sit alone in third place. NSU fell to 10-3 overall and 4-3 in the SSC.
Sam Philpott led the way with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the floor and 7-of-8 at the stripe. Jack Fleming was hot from long range and added 15 points while Connor Mckim scored 14. Eric Castaneda filled the box score with nine points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Nick Smith led NSU with 19 points and seven rebounds. David Dennis added 17 points, six rebounds and seven steals while Gerard Tarin scored 12.
The Sharks came into the game averaging 99 points a game, but the Tars zone held them to its lowest scoring output of the season and just 37 percent shooting. Rollins hit 50 percent from the field and connected on 23-of-27 at the free throw line. The Tars also outrebounded the visitors 36-33. Neither team took care of the ball with the Tars turning it over 21 times and the Sharks 20.
Rollins took control early and led 10-4 at the first media timeout. NSU came back to grab a 17-14 lead at the 12-minute mark. The game then saw six lead changes and five ties over the next nine minutes with a Fleming triple making it 34-34 with 3:08 left in the half.
The Tars then closed the first on a 10-2 spurt and led 43-36 at intermission.
The game was tied for an eighth time at 48 with 16 minutes to play before the Tars got hot again and went up 60-52 with 11:49 left. NSU had an answer and posted a 9-0 run with a Eddie Puisis three-pointer putting the Tars down 61-60 midway through the second.
The teams traded the lead for the next four minutes until Philpott got going and put the Tars up 71-64 with five minutes left. Rollins would then go 10-for-10 at the free throw line the rest of the way and continue to get stops on defense to pick up the big in-conference victory.
Rollins next hosts Tampa on Wednesday, January 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Winter Park. UT has won three in a row heading into Warden Arena. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.