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PREVIEW: Tars Visit Lions in SSC Action Saturday

PREVIEW: Tars Visit Lions in SSC Action Saturday

Complete Game Notes (.pdf)

Match-up:
Rollins (7-4, 1-2 SSC) at Saint Leo (4-7, 1-2 SSC)

When:
Saturday, December 29, 2018 | 4 p.m.

Where:
Saint Leo, Florida | Bowman Activities Center

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

Set-up:
After consecutive losses in Las Vegas stopped Rollins' winning streak, the Tars will look to bounce back Saturday with a trip to Saint Leo. Home Sunshine State Conferences losses to Embry-Riddle and Lynn and a road win at Palm Beach Atlantic has been the Tars league results thus far. They then ran into two top teams from the Lone Star Conference before the holiday break to close the nonconference slate. Rollins heads to Saint Leo having dropped four of its last six. The visit to Saint Leo is just the second true road game for Rollins this season. The Lions have lost four of their last five, but are coming off a split at the Mocs Christmas Classic. Saint Leo beat Bloomfield to start the event and dropped a close one to Cedarville before a 10-day break. Rollins was picked seventh in the SSC preseason poll and Saint Leo tied for eighth.  

Tracking the Tars:
Rollins went blow for blow with the heavyweights from Texas while in Las Vegas, but fell in two games while in Las Vegas. The Tars were turned back 89-79 by Angelo State and lost to Tarleton State 72-53 in the finale. Rollins struggled to score, shooting a season-low 31 percent from the field. Parker Davis led the Tars against the Texans, posting 14 points. Hutton Yenor scored 12 and Jakobi Bonner 10. Bonner is the Tars top scorer on the season, averaging 16.1 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He is shooting 59 percent from the field and is already 47-of-75 from the free throw line. Connor Mckim is getting 14 points and 2.8 assists a game while racking up 24 steals. Yenor scores 9.8 points a game while Davis averages 8.5 points and 2.3 assists a game. Rollins is fifth in the league in both scoring offense (79.3 ppg) and scoring defense (72.8 ppg). The Tars are third in the conference in turnovers caused, forcing 19.6 opponent miscues a game.

Tracking the Lions:     
Saint Leo also has a league win over Palm Beach Atlantic to go along with losses to Eckerd and fifth-ranked Nova Southeastern. Saint Leo lost to NSU by just two points, the only team to be within 10 points of the Sharks on the year. Leo is coming off a 77-70 loss to Cedarville at the Mocs Christmas Classic. Kyran McClure led the way with 15 points and five rebounds. The Lions are at the bottom of the league in scoring at 72.2 points a game and rank seventh in defense, allowing 74.6 a night. McClure leads the season box score with 13.9 points a game, shooting 41 percent from the field and 37 percent from long range. Junior Searcy puts up 11.8 points a night while Yalen Reed is scoring 11.4 a game to go along with five assists a night. 

Notes:

  • With the rivalry dating back to 1967, Rollins leads the all-time series with Saint Leo 81-19. The Tars have won the last five in a row and are 27-7 all-time at the Bowman Actives Center.
  • Rollins ranks sixth in the nation in steals per game (10.9) and seventh in total steals (120).
  • Rollins is 10th nationally with 19.6 turnovers forced a game; NSU leads the nation with 24.2.
  • Rollins is 24th in Division II with a +4.3 turnover margin.
  • Jakobi Bonner (RC) is 39th nationally in shooting, hitting 59 percent from the field.
  • Connor Mckim (RC) is 38th in the nation in total steals with 24 on the season.
  • Saint Leo ranks 60th in the country with 41 total blocks.
  • Kyran McClure (SLU) is 35th in the nation in free throw shooting, hitting 89.9 percent.
  • Yalen Reed's (SLU) 1.7 blocks per game is 44th best in the country.
  • Rollins head coach Tom Klusman is 700-411 in his 38th year leading the program. He has the fourth most wins among active NCAA Division II coaches.

Next up:
Rollins returns home for the new year, hosting Nova Southeastern on Wednesday, January 2 at 7:30 p.m. The Sharks are one of just nine unbeaten teams left in Division II. They are 9-0 overall and 3-0 in the league and meet Florida Southern on Saturday, Dec. 29 before the date with Rollins. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.