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PREVIEW: Tars Face Tritons in SSC Tourney Semifinals

PREVIEW: Tars Face Tritons in SSC Tourney Semifinals

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)  |  SSC Tournament Central

Match-up:
No. 7 Rollins (12-15) vs. No. 3 Eckerd (21-8)
Sunshine State Conference Tournament Semifinal 

When:
Saturday, March 9, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.

Where:
Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. | Rick Case Arena

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

Set-up: Seventh-seed Rollins is crashing the Sunshine State Conference Tournament party in Ft. Lauderdale and will meet third seed Eckerd in the semifinals Saturday. Nova Southeastern is serving as host of the event at Rick Case Arena inside the Don Taft University Center. The Tars upset second-seed Tampa on the road Wednesday to earn a spot in the semis and will look to play the part of a Cinderella with a deep tournament run. Rollins traveled to UT on Wednesday and took down the Spartans 56-45. Eckerd advanced to the semifinals by way of a 76-55 over Lynn in the quarters. EC has won three of its last four heading into the postseason and is ranked sixth in the latest NCAA South Region rankings. EC bested Rollins twice this season, 75-52 in St. Pete and 47-44 on the Tars senior day in Winter Park.

Tracking the Tars: Having lost three times in a row coming down the stretch of the season, Rollins beat Florida Tech 65-50 to earn a spot in the tournament before a 72-60 setback by Florida Southern in the season finale. The Tars then dug in and handled Tampa 56-45 in the quarterfinal. Jaylyn Harrison scored 13 points off the bench to lead the offense. Carly McLendon tallied 12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. The Tars outscored UT 20-6 in the fourth quarter to grab the win. McLendon leads season box score with 9.7 points, an SSC fourth-best 8.4 rebounds and conference leading 63 blocks. Over the last four games she is averaging 12 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a game. Yari Martinez-Toro scored 8.6 a game with Denise Daniels averaging 7.3 points a game. Sharpshooters Jaylyn Harrison (36 three-pointers) and Rachel Jablonski (41 three-pointers) are netting seven and 6.8 points a game, respectively. Rollins scores 63 points a game and is fourth in the league in defense, allowing 59.4 a game. The Tars lead the SSC in rebounding margin, beating teams on the glass by 8.3 boards a night.

Tracking the Tritons: The Tritons finished third in the SSC standings and head into the semifinal match-up with Rollins after a 76-55 win over Lynn on Wednesday. Chelsea Johnson led the way with 20 points while Zoe Richards tallied 13. Mikayla Kuehne and Abby Whiteye both scored 11. Johnson scores 14.1 a game to lead the Tritons attack. Richards averages 10.5 points and four rebounds with Yarden Danan putting up 10.4 points a night. Eckerd is third in the league in scoring with 69 points a game and is second in defense, allowing just 54.8 a night.

Notes:

  • Rollins is 48-29 all-time in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament; 7-1 against Eckerd.
  • Rollins is 18-13 in the SSC semifinals.
  • Rollins is 1-0 all-time as a No. 7 seed.
  • Eckerd won both match-ups in the regular season; 75-52 in St. Pete and 47-44 in Winter Park.
  • Rollins is 18th in the nation in rebounding margin (+8.3).
  • Rollins ranks 17th in Division II with 16 offensive rebounds a game.
  • Carly McLendon (RC) is 25th in the nation with 2.3 blocks a game and 28th with 63 total blocks.  
  • Carly McLendon (RC) is fourth in Sunshine State Conference history with 240 blocks. UT's Sheena Walton (396) and Jessie McDowell (298) lead the way. Nova Southeastern's Stephanie Sarosi (266) is third.
  • Eckerd is 12th nationally in defense, allowing 54.8 a game.
  • Eckerd is 11th nationally in free throw percentage, hitting 76 percent from the line.  
  • Rollins Head Coach Glenn Wilkes Jr. is 710-264 in his 33-year career. He is the winningest coach in Sunshine State Conference history, has the fourth most in Division II history and the third most among active Division II coaches.

Next up: The winner of Rollins and Eckerd will play the winner of Florida Southern and Nova Southeastern in the SSC Championship game, Sunday, March 10 at 1:05 p.m. Nova Southeastern is hosting the semifinals and finals at The Rick Case Arena in Ft. Lauderdale.

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