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Rollins Beats Saint Leo; No. 4 Seed in SSC Tourney

Eric Castaneda
Eric Castaneda

SAINT LEO, Fla. (February 24, 2018) – Rollins snapped a six-game losing streak Saturday, beating Saint Leo 81-66 in the regular season finale. 

The result puts the Tars (15-13, 11-9 SSC) as the No. 4 seed in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament. Rollins will host No. 5 Nova Southeastern on Wednesday, February 28 at 7 p.m. 

Eric Castaneda pumped in 18 points and hauled in eight rebounds to lead Rollins attack. Connor Mckim and Jakobi Bonner both added 17 points. 

Junior Searcy scored 19 for Saint Leo (12-19, 8-12 SSC). DeAndre King added 17 points and five rebounds while Jesse Huff scored nine. 

Rollins shot just 44 percent in the first half, but hit 17-of-28 in the second frame to end the game 52 percent (29-55) from the field. The Tars were also 10-of-20 beyond the arc and 13-of-17 free throws. Saint Leo hit 41 percent (23-56) from the field, including just 9-of-31 from long range. Rollins also grabbed an edge on the glass, 35-30. 

The Lions took advantage of Rollins sputtering offense at the start as the Tars trailed 21-10 after the first eight minutes. A mini 6-0 run got the Tars to within five, but they couldn't get over the top and trailed 25-20 with 7:06 left in the half. 

Castaneda gave Rollins its first lead of the game and later gave the Tars their biggest lead of the night, 34-32 at the 1:03 mark. Searcy added a free throw with five seconds left in the half; making the score 35-34 at intermission. 

The second half was played tight for the first six minutes with Saint Leo grabbing a 48-47 lead. Mckim hit from deep and Bonner hit a driving layup to get the Tars rolling. King knocked down a three-pointer at the 12:56 mark to make it a 52-51, Rollins game. The Tars then rolled off a 15-0 run that produced a 67-51 lead with 8:17 left. 

Saint Leo would get no closer than 12 the rest of the way with Rollins lead ballooning to as many as 19 late. 

Rollins hosts an SSC Tournament first round game, tipping off at 7 p.m. in Warden Arena on Wednesday, February 28. The Tars and Sharks split in the regular season. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network and SSC Digital Network at SunshineStateConference.com.