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Rollins Falls off the Pace at Nova Southeastern

Jeff Merton
Jeff Merton

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (February 14, 2018) – Jeff Merton and Jakobi Bonner both scored 19 points, but Rollins was unable to keep pace with Nova Southeastern on Wednesday, falling 90-71. 

The loss is a fifth-straight for the Tars (14-12, 10-8 Sunshine State Conference), who now slide into a fifth-place tie with Lynn in the SSC standings. NSU (17-6, 11-6) won its fifth-straight and moved into a tie for second, a game back of Barry for first place. 

Bonner shot an efficient 6-of-9 from the field and 7-of-8 from the stripe to go along with five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Merton knocked down 6-of-13, including 3-of-8 from deep, and was 4-of-5 at the line. 

Malik Hardy was the top scorer for the Sharks, netting 26 points to go along with eight rebounds. David Dennis tallied 21 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. 

Rollins scored the game's first five points before NSU reeled off a 20-3 run and put the Tars in a 20-8 hole midway through the first. Let by Bonner and Merton, the Tars closed the gap to six with eight minutes to play in the period. 

The rest of the half then turned into a free throw contest and NSU pulled away, grabbing a 40-31 lead at the break. 

The Sharks came out of the locker room on fire and Rollins fell off the pace early in the second, trailing by as much as 58-35 with 14:44 to play. Another Bonner/Merton charge got the Tars to within 60-47 at the 10:49 mark, but that would be as close as Rollins would get the rest of the night. 

Rebounding became a main storyline as NSU beat Rollins on the glass 41-27, including 18-7 on the offensive end. The Tars shot 47 percent (22-47) while the Sharks hit 46 percent (28-61) from the field. 

The Tars will look to get back on track Saturday, February 17 hosting Eckerd for Senior Day. Tip off is slated for 4 p.m. in Warden Arena. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network and SSC Digital Network at RollinsSports.com.