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PREVIEW: Tars Host Gyrenes in Home Opener Monday

PREVIEW: Tars Host Gyrenes in Home Opener Monday

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

Match-up:
Rollins (2-0) vs. Ave Maria (4-0)

When:
Monday, November 12 | 7 p.m.

Where:
Winter Park, Fla. | Warden Arena

Coverage:
WATCH: Tars Sports Network at RollinsSportsLive.com
LISTEN: RollinsSportsLive.com | 91.5 FM WPRK – TuneIn App (mobile)
LIVESTATS: TarsStats.com

Set-up:
After a perfect start to the season with a sweep at the South Region Tip-off last weekend, Rollins heads home to welcome Ave Maria for the 2018-19 home opener Monday night. The game will be the Tars third in four days before a full week off from game competition.  Rollins beat Benedict and Auburn Montgomery in convincing fashion in Melbourne, both key region wins that could become big factors in postseason selections come March. AMU was picked ninth in The Sun Conference preseason poll, but has started its year with four-straight wins. The Gyrenes are putting up 84 points a game on the year and will face a Tars defense allowing just 68 a night. Rollins head coach Tom Klusman continues his quest for career win No. 700, currently sitting with 695 victories.

Tracking the Tars:
Nine different players scored in the Tars opening weekend, led by swingman Jakobi Bonner. The junior averaged 22.5 points in the two games, including a career-high 27 against Auburn-Montgomery. He shot 61 percent from the field and averaged 7.5 rebounds a game. Connor Mckim averaged 14.5 points and five assists over the weekend while Daniel Loh put up 12 points and 7.5 rebounds at the tournament. The Tars posted a 72-60 win in the opener over Benedict and 86-76 triumph over Auburn-Montgomery. Rollins was the only team to go 2-0 at the classic.   

Tracking the Gyrenes:
Winners of four-straight to start the year, three on the road, Ave Maria comes into Winter Park as the hottest team in The Sun Conference. The Gyrenes are coming off an 81-54 thrashing of Trinity Baptist on Friday. Greenan Sullivan led the way with 21 points as the team set a school record with 15 three-pointers. Leo Behrend leads the team with 28 points a game, hitting 13-of-30 from deep this season, while also grabbing 12 rebounds a night. Gianpaolo Riccio scores 16.5 points a night and Romello Bates is netting 13 points a game.  

Notes:

  • Rollins and Ave Maria have only met one other time, a 100-51 Rollins victory in 2015. Jeff Merton led the way with 19 points for the Tars while Martez Harris had 28 for the Gyrenes. Eric Castaneda and Daniel Loh both played in that game for the Tars.  
  • In its modern era, Rollin is 34-25 in home openers…over the last 10 years, the Tars are 8-2 in home openers. Last season, Rollins lost to Clark-Atlanta 106-103 in the first home game.
  • Head coach Tom Klusman is the 10th-winningest coach in Division II history and begins his 39th year leading his alma mater, looking to continue an era of success nearly unmatched in collegiate basketball. He comes into the season with a career record of 695-407 and is the fifth-winningest active coach in Division II. He trails Tampa's Richard Schmidt by one victory for the most in Sunshine State Conference history. Among all divisions, all-time, Klusman ranks 43rd in wins.
  • Jakobi Bonner scored a career-high 27 points against Auburn Montgomery…his previous career-best was 23 set last season against Eckerd.
  • Chu Enechionyia put up 10-points against Auburn Montgomery, a career best in his NCAA career.
  • Daniel Loh's 15 points against AUM was a new career-high as was his 12 rebounds against Benedict.

Next up:
Rollins welcomes has a week off before hosting The Sun Conference favorite Southeastern University on Monday, November 19. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. inside Warden Arena. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.com.

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