Rollins (7-3, 4-0 SSC) vs. Nova Southeastern (6-5, 2-2 SSC)
Wednesday, January 2, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.
Winter Park, Florida | Warden Arena
Set-up: As the calendar flips to 2019, Rollins takes its unblemished Sunshine State Conference record into a key home match-up with Nova Southeastern on Wednesday. The Tars and rival Florida Southern are the only remaining teams yet to fall in league play this season. Rollins is riding a five-game winning streak and coming off a road win at Saint Leo on Saturday. The Tars own the second-best scoring margin in the conference, beating teams by more than 13 points a game. NSU has played a challenging schedule thus far with four losses coming to nationally ranked teams, including top-ranked Union. Rollins is second in the SSC in defense, allowing just 52.9 points a game, while the Sharks are second in offense at 73.1 points per night. Nova Southeastern was picked fourth in the SSC preseason poll while Rollins was seventh.
Tracking the Tars: Since a 2-3 start to the season, Rollins has been on a tear, winning five-straight overall and sitting atop the SSC standings at 4-0. The Tars took a 10-day layoff for the holidays and got right back to work, beating Saint Leo on the road, 67-54 Saturday. Nine different players scored, led by Carly McLendon's 14 points. Yari Martinez-Toro added 11 points and Vernisha Andrews hauled in 12 rebounds. McLendon is the lone Tar scoring in double figures, netting 10.4 points a game. The senior is third in the SSC with 7.9 rebounds a night and leads the league with 33 blocks. Denise Daniels is getting nine points and 3.1 assists a game while Jaylyn Harrison averages seven points a game. Along with its second-ranked defense (52.9 ppg), the Tars are putting up 66.6 points of offense a night. Rollins is the best rebounding team in the league, beating teams on the glass by 12.2 a game
Tracking the Sharks: Nova Southeastern went 2-3 in December and is coming off a 79-72 loss to 17th-ranked Florida Southern to close the month. The Sharks shot 53 percent in the first half, but couldn't finish off the Mocs in the second. Alison Hughes poured in 22 points to lead the way while Maria Bardeeva scored 13 off the bench. Two players average double-digit scoring, led by Hughes' 13.6 a game. She leads the conference in three-point percentage, hitting 33-of-67 (.493) from deep Clarie McMahon is the top rebounder with six caroms a game to go along with 11 points a night. Hailey Conley is scoring 9.8 points a game. The Sharks are getting 73.1 points of offense a night while allowing 70.8.
- Rollins leads the all-time series with Nova Southeastern 25-16 with the first match-up coming in December, 1999. The teams split games last season with Rollins winning 72-66 in Winter Park and the Sharks holding serve 75-66 in Ft. Lauderdale.
- Rollins is 13-4 against the NSU all-time at home.
- Rollins was picked seventh in the SSC preseason poll; Nova Southeastern T-4th.
- Rollins is 11th in the nation in defense, allowing just 52.9 points a game.
- Rollins is seventh nationally in rebounding margin at +12.2.
- Rollins is 20th nationally in blocked shots per game with 4.7 a night.
- Carly McLendon (RC) is fifth in the country with 3.3 blocks per game and eighth nationally with 33 total blocks.
- Carly McLendon (RC) is Rollins all-time leading shot blocker with 211 for her career; she ranks fifth in Sunshine State Conference history. Tampa's Sheen Walton (396) and Jessie McDowell (298) lead the way. Nova Southeastern's Stephanie Sarosi (266) and UT's Crystal Allen (230) are ahead of McLendon.
- Nova Southeastern is sixth in the country in free throw shooting, hitting 79.8 percent from the line.
- Alison Hughes (NSU) is 17th in Division II in three-point shooting, hitting 46.7 percent from beyond the arc.
- Rollins Head Coach Glenn Wilkes Jr. is 704-252 in his 33-year career. He has the third-most wins among Division II coaches and fourth-most all-time; NSU's Leann Freeland-Curry is 156-69 in seven seasons leading the Sharks and 245-104 in 11 seasons as a head coach.
Next up: The Tars stay home from their next game, hosting Barry on Saturday, January 5 at 2 p.m. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.