PREVIEW: Saint Leo Comes to Town on Saturday

PREVIEW: Saint Leo Comes to Town on Saturday

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)
Match-up:
Rollins (9-11, 3-9 SSC) vs. Saint Leo (9-11, 6-6 SSC)

When:
Saturday, February 2 | 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: Now in the final full month of the season, Rollins is back in Winter Park hosting Saint Leo Saturday in Warden Arena. The Tars have dropped three straight, including their last two away from home. Games at 14th-ranked Lynn and Embry-Riddle both came down the wire, but Rollins was unable to pick up either road Sunshine State Conference win. The Tars are in a three-way tie with Tampa and Embry-Riddle for eighth in the SSC standings with the top eight teams at the end of the season getting bids to the postseason tournament. Saint Leo has also played its opponents close with the Lions last four games decided by five points or less. Leo is 4-8 away from home this season and 3-3 in true road games. The Lions are tied with Barry for fifth place in the standings at 6-6 in league play.

Tracking the Tars: Rollins is 5-5 in the friendly confines of Warden Arena and happy to be back from a two-game road swing. The Tars were most recently at Embry-Riddle and fought right until the end, but came up on the short end of a 79-73 score. Hutton Yenor poured in a career-high 22 points to lead the Tars. The redshirt freshman from Orlando also had three rebounds, three steals and two assists. Connor Mckim added 15 points and Jakobi Bonner netted nine. Bonner continues to top the season box score with 14.7 points a game. He is shooting 54 percent from the field and is also getting four rebounds a game. Mckim contributes 13.4 points and three assists a night while Yenor is scoring 12.4 a game. Daniel Loh is the Tars top rebounder at 4.6 a game. Rollins is seventh in the SSC in scoring with 75 points a game while along a league fifth-best 74.4 a night. The Tars are third in the league in turnover margin, forcing 2.7 more miscues than they commit.  

Tracking the Lions:  Saint Leo heads to Winter Park as part of a crowded middle of the SSC standings. The Lions are .500 in league play and coming off a 79-74 home loss to Eckerd on Wednesday. Five players scored in double-figures, led by Isaiah Hill's 15 on 6-of-10 shooting. Kyran McClure added 14 points and eight assists while Gintaras Bartaskas scored 13 and Junior Searcy 11. McClure leads the Lions offense on the season, scoring 16.9 points a night. He is an 89 percent free throw shooter, going 116-of-131 thus far. Searcy is netting 11.9 a game and Hill scores 10.2. Yalen Reed is the top rebounder with 5.3 a night while also scoring 8.5 points. Leo is 10th in the league in offense at 73.9 points a game while holding teams to a SSC seventh-best 75 points a game. 

Notes:

  • One of the Tars oldest rivals, Rollins leads the all-time series with Saint Leo 82-19.  
  • The Tars are 43-11 all-time in Winter Park against Leo.  
  • Rollins has won six in a row in the series.  
  • The Tars cruised in this season's earlier match-up, winning 80-67 at Saint Leo. Yenor led the Tars with 17 points; Hill paced Leo with 14 points.
  • Rollins is ranked 15th nationally in steals per game with 9.6.
  • The Tars 192 total steals is 13th most in Division II.
  • Saint Leo is 36th in the nation in total bocks with 81.
  • Kyran McClure (SL) is 10th in the country in free throws made (116) and 24th in FT attempted (131).
  • Rollins was picked seventh in the SSC preseason poll; Saint Leo came in tied for eighth.   
  • Rollins head coach Tom Klusman is 702-418in his 39th year leading the program. He has the fourth most wins among active NCAA Division II coaches; Vince Alexander is 337-245 in 20 seasons as a head coach; in four years at Saint Leo he is 52-54.

Next up: The Tars head back out on the road Wednesday, February 6 to face SSC leader Nova Southeastern. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Ft. Lauderdale. Fans can listen to the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.