WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (December 7, 2018) – Rollins head coach Tom Klusman recorded the 700th win of his career Friday as the Tars held off Palm Beach Atlantic 80-79 on the road.
The victory also puts Klusman past Tampa head coach Richard Schmidt as the winningest coach in Sunshine State Conference history. The 39-year veteran is the 43rd coach in men's college basketball to reach the milestone and just the 16th to do it all and one school. He ranks fifth among active Division II coaches in total wins and is ninth all-time.
Connor Mckim scored 13 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to lead the Tars (7-2, 1-2 Sunshine State Conference). The junior point guard was 8-of-8 from the free throw line and also handed out five assists. Trevor Recio netted 14 off the bench and Jakobi Bonner scored 11. Chu Enechionyia tallied 10 points and five rebounds.
Casey Carpinello topped PBA (1-7, 0-3 SSC) with a game-high 20 points. Jules Jasmin tallied 15 points and six rebounds while Michael Stones tallied seven assists.
Both teams struggled from the floor at the start with a Recio three-pointer tying the score at 10 after eight minutes of play. Parker Davis and Mckim put together an 8-0 Tars run and pushed Rollins ahead 30-19 with 3:55 left in the half.
PBA responded and outscored Rollins 10-2 the rest of the half as the Tars grabbed a 32-29 lead at the break.
Rollins seized control early in the second and went up 51-40 on an Eric Castaneda three-pointer with 11:15 left. The Sailfish wouldn't go away however and came back to tie the score at 60 with 5:07 to play.
Eight-straight free throws and an Enechionyia three-pointer got Rollins back on top, 71-62 with just 1:43 on the clock. Mckim hit two free throws put the Tars up by eight with 30 seconds to go, seemingly putting the game out of reach for PBA. A Carpinello three-pointer, Tars turnover and Jasmine three-point play in a span of 12 seconds pulled the Sailfish to within 78-76 with 18 seconds left.
Bonner hit a driving layup and PBA missed a three to give the Tars an 80-76 advantage with three seconds to go. Davis missed two at the line, the second intentionally, with one second left and Bakari Warthen hit a long three at the buzzer to make it an 80-79 final.
Rollins shot 54 percent in the game and hit 10-of-19 from long range. The Tars were also 20-of-26 at the line. PBA hit 45 percent overall and 11-of-32 from deep. The Sailfish won the battle on the boards 33-28.
The Tars are off for final exams and next take the court December 18-19 in Las Vegas at the Sports Tours Holiday Hoops Classic. Rollins meets Angelo State at 3 pm Eastern on Dec. 18, followed by a date with Tarleton State at 3 pm Eastern on Dec. 19. Fans can listen to the games live on the Tars Sports Network and WPRK 91.5 FM in Winter Park.