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PREVIEW: Tars and Spartans Renew Rivalry Wednesday

PREVIEW: Tars and Spartans Renew Rivalry Wednesday

Complete Game Note (.pdf)

Match-up:
Rollins (9-14, 3-12 SSC) vs. Tampa (11-12, 5-10 SSC)

When:
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 | 7:30 p.m. 

Where:
Winter Park | Warden Arena

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

Set-up: Rollins welcomes Tampa to Warden Arena for the Tars penultimate home game, tipping off at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Blue and Gold has lost its last six and own one win over the last 11. Rollins is looking to start a winning streak heading into the final three weeks of the season and also grab a spot in the SSC Tournament. Three of the Tars final four games are against teams in the top half of the SSC standings. The top eight at the end of the regular season earn bids into the tourney. Tampa currently holds the eighth spot in the standings with both Rollins and Embry-Riddle not far behind. The Spartans were on a seven-game skid, but has won consecutive games to move up the grid. UT is 3-4 on the road wile Rollins is 5-7 in Warden Arena this season. The game features the two winningest coaches in Sunshine State Conference history in the Tars Tom Klusman (39th year/702-421) and UT's Richard Schmidt (36th year/706-393).

Tracking the Tars: Rollins is looking to snap out of a six-game losing streak on Wednesday, coming off a 91-80 loss to Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday. The Tars were down big early in the second half and got close late before PBA got hot from outside. Jakobi Bonner netted 22 to lead Rollins. The junior went 9-of-12 from the field and hit both three-point attempts. Hutton Yenor scored an efficient 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including four, 3-pointers. Bonner is the top scorer on the season, putting gup 14.7 points a game. Connor Mckim scores 13.2 a game and leads the team with 72 assists. Yenor has averaged 17.2 points over the last seven games and is putting up 12.9 points on the season. He is shooting 55 percent from the field and has started the last two games. Eric Castaneda (4.7) and Trevor Recio (4.8) are the Tars top rebounders this season. Rollins is sixth in the league in offense with 75.3 points a game and is allowing a seventh-best 76.7 a night.  

Tracking the Spartans: Like Rollins, Tampa is fighting for a spot in the SSC Tournament as the regular season winds down. UT had lost seven in a row, but beat both Palm Beach Atlantic (66-63) and Florida Tech (81-63) last week. Five Spartans scored in double figures against Tech, led by 13 each from Devon Colley and Anthony Gamble. Cedric Belemene added 12 point and nine rebounds. Gamble leads the team on the season, putting up 16.6 points and 4.1 rebounds a game. His 56 three-pointers is the fourth-most in the SSC. Alberto Moreno is getting 11.8 points a game and Colley averages 10.4 a game. Belemene averages 9.8 points and a team-best 8.7 rebounds a game. UT is last in the SSC in offense at 73 points a game, but ranks third in defense, allowing just 71.2 a night.

Notes:

  • Tampa leads the all-time series against Rollins 71-47
  • The Tars are 28-35 against UT in Winter Park.
  • Tampa won the first match-up at UT earlier in the year, 75-62.
  • Rollins is 24th in the nation in steals per game (9.1) and 22nd in total steals (209)
  • The Tars are 34th nationally in turnovers forced as a game (16.7 per).  
  • Tampa is 14th in the nation in blocks per game (4.7) and 13th in total blocks (107)
  • Marco Downer (UT) is fifth in Division II with 2.7 blocks a game.
  • Rollins was picked seventh in the SSC preseason poll;  Tampa was picked 10th  
  • Rollins head coach Tom Klusman is 702-421 in his 39th year leading the program. He has the fourth most wins among active NCAA Division II coaches…Richard Schmidt is in his 38th year as a head coach and is 706-393 all-time.

Next up:
Rollins is on the road Saturday, February 18, traveling to Barry. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m. Fans can listen to the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.

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