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PREVIEW: Tars Welcome Rival Mocs

PREVIEW: Tars Welcome Rival Mocs

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

Match-up:
Rollins (8-8, 2-6 SSC) vs. No. 22 Florida Southern (13-3, 6-2 SSC)

When:
Saturday, January 19, 2018 | 4 p.m.

Where:
Winter Park, Fla. | Warden Arena 

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

Set-up: After taking advantage of its Sunshine State Conference bye on Wednesday, Rollins returns to action Saturday afternoon, hosting arch rival Florida Southern. The Tars are stuck in a four-game game losing streak; all games against the top teams in the SSC. The Tars twice made trips to Florida's west coast last week, falling at Tampa by 13 and getting nipped in the final seconds at Eckerd, 66-62. Prolific in the early season, the Tars offense is looking to get hot again, scoring 62 points a game since the calendar flipped. With two games left in the first half of the SSC schedule Rollins needs to stockpile wins to ensure a spot in the postseason. Florida Southern has won its last four and sits second in the SSC standings, 1.5 games back of Nova Southeastern. Rollins is 4-4 Warden Arena this season while FSC is 3-2 in true road games.  

Tracking the Tars: Leading Eckerd late on the road last Saturday, Rollins was unable to stop the Tritons comeback and suffered a 66-62 loss. Connor Mckim and Jakobi Bonner both scored 13 to lead the Tars offense while Eric Castaneda scored 12. The Tars shot 47 percent from the field, but were just 8-of-22 from long range. Bonner is the top scorer for Rollins on the season, putting gup 15.2 points a game. The junior also grabs 4.1 rebounds a game and is shooting 53 percent from the field. Mckim is getting 13.3 points a game and hitting 87 percent from the free throw line. Hutton Yenor continues to be the spark off the bench, netting 10.7 points a night in 16.6 minutes of action. Rollins averages 75.1 points a game and allows 73.2 a night, both in the middle of the conference rankings. The Tars stout offense turns teams over an SSC second-best 18.3 times a game.  

Tracking the Moccasins: Florida Southern was picked to win the conference and is tied for second in the standings nearing the midpoint of the SSC schedule. The Mocs have won their last four and are coming off an 82-69 win over Eckerd on Wednesday. Ben Marello led the way with 27 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Brett Hanson scored 17 with seven rebounds while Slinky Jones scored 13. FSC's starters scored all but six points. Jonathan Lawton is scoring 21.3 points a game to lead the Mocs offense. He is shooting 44 percent from the field and is 91-of-104 at the free throw line. Hanson is netting 16.8 a game and leads with 7.7 rebounds a night. Jones adds 10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. FSC is putting up 80 a game and allowing opponents 76.2 points a night.

Notes:

  • Florida Southern leads the all-time series with Rollins 94-44 in the Tars modern era (since 1953). Rollins has played the Mocs more than any other opponent.
  • FSC leads the series in Winter Park, 50-19.
  • Rollins has won six of the last seven in the series. They split games a year ago with Rollins winning 117-111 in double overtime in Lakeland and the Mocs winning 90-88 in Winter Park.
  • Rollins is 4-4 at home, 2-2 on the road and 2-2 in neutral site games; FSC is 3-2 in true road games this season.
  • Rollins ranks seventh in the country in steals per game, nabbing 10.4 a night.
  • Rollins is fifth nationally with 167 total steals.
  • Rollins is 13th in Division II with 18.3 turnovers forced a game.
  • Connor Mckim (RC) is 44th in the nation with 32 steals.
  • Florida Southern is sixth nationally in free throws attempted (425) and seventh in made (425).
  • Florida Southern is 33rd in Division II in steals with 137.
  • Jonathan Lawton (FSC) is 15th in the nation with 52 made three-pointers.
  • Jonathan Lawton (FSC) is 13th in the nation with 91 free throws made.
  • Brett Hanson (FSC) is 16th in the nation with 38 steals.   
  • Rollins head coach Tom Klusman is 701-415 in his 38th year leading the program. He has the fourth most wins among active NCAA Division II coaches; Mike Donnelly is 250-203 in 16 years as a head coach, 55-51 in four years at Florida Southern.

Next up:
Rollins is back at home on Wednesday, January 23 hosting Florida Tech at 7:30 p.m. Fans can listen to the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.

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