DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (January 31, 2018) – Deion Clark scored 20 points and three players netted 19, but Embry-Riddle put an end to Rollins six-game winning streak, beating the Tars 98-89 on Wednesday.
The Tars (14-8, 10-4 Sunshine State Conference) trailed by 15 with just six minutes to play, but came roaring back and closed the gap to just two at the four-minute mark. ERAU (10-11, 4-9 SSC) then shot 14-of-14 from the free throw line in crunch time to keep the Tars at bay.
Clark was 4-of-5 from the field and connected on all 12 free throw attempts. The senior also handed out five assists and had two steals. He was just two points off his career-high set two years ago against Tampa. Eric Castaneda, Jeff Merton and Jack Fleming each scored 19. Castaneda added five rebounds and five assists, Merton hauled in six rebounds with five assists and four steals and Fleming went 5-of-10 from three-point range.
Nashad Mackey led ERAU with 28 points and 16 rebounds. He was 5-of-11 from the field and 16-of-16 at the stripe. Rudy Bibb-Boyd added 21 points and eight assists while Joshua Hawkins scored 15. Luka Majstorovic tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Rollins shot 47 percent (30-64) from the field and 17-of-18 (94 percent) at the free throw line. Embry-Riddle was also 47 percent (27-57), but made a living at the free throw line, connecting on 29-of-31. The Eagles also owned a 43-24 rebounding edge on the Tars.
The Tars came out of the gate hot and went up 20-9 after the first six minutes. ERAU answered with a 20-6 scoring spurt and went up 29-26 with 8:44 left in the first.
Embry-Riddle later took a 40-34 lead into intermission.
The Eagles controlled the early parts of the second half and extended their lead to 61-48 at the 12:33 mark as Mackey hit four-straight free throws after a Rollins bench technical. The Tars started to claw back but ERAU stayed on top and put the Tars down 77-62 with 6:23 to play.
Merton hit from deep at the six-minute mark to get the Tars rolling and then Fleming caught fire, starting a run with a three and hitting back-to-back from distance to get Rollins to within 80-78 with 3:28 to play. Fleming had nine points during the run and Clark scored four. ERAU then scored on two-straight possessions before a Clark tip-in made it an 84-80 game with 2:30 left. That would be as close as the Tars would get with ERAU hitting all 14 free throws in the final minutes to upset the SSC leading Tars.
Rollins next heads to Tampa to face the UT Spartans on Saturday, February 3 at 4 p.m. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network and SSC Digital Network at RollinsSports.com and SunshineStateConfernece.tv.