WINTER PARK, Fla. (November 28, 2018) – Rollins opened the Sunshine State Conference season in a big way Wednesday, upsetting 17th-ranked Embry-Riddle 71-63 and giving head coach Glenn Wilkes Jr. the 700th win of his career.
Wilkes becomes just the fourth head coach in Division II women's basketball history to reach the milestone and now has a record of 700-252 in his 33-year career. He is the winninest coach in SSC history, having led the Tars to 13 conference titles and 18 trips to the NCAA Tournament. Wilkes is a nine-time SSC Coach of the Year and in 2006 was named the WBCA National Coach of the Year.
Facing a second-straight nationally ranked team, the Tars (3-3, 1-0 SSC) dominated from the start, leading nearly wire-to-wire. Denise Daniels scored 14 points to lead four players in double-figures. Yari Martinez-Toro and Rachel Lia both netted 12 while Carly McLendon tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Sigrid Sandstrom led Embry-Riddle (5-1, 0-1 SSC) with 15 points while Lauren Ellenberger posted 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Tars raced out to an 18-9 lead after the first, spreading the scoring among six different players and holding ERAU to just 4-of-14 shooting.
After going up by 12 early in the second, the Eagles started to come back and got to within four twice in the latter stages of the half. Rollins would go on to take a 33-26 lead into the break.
The Tars led 46-36 with 3:53 left in the third until Rachel Jablonski caught fire, scoring eight-straight points in a matter of a minute to push the Tars ahead 54-36 with 2:12 left in the quarter. Embry-Riddled countered with a run of their own and closed the gap to 54-43 heading into the fourth.
Rollins had its advantage whittled down throughout the fourth, leading just 69-63 with 23 seconds left. Key free throws by Martinez-Toro and Daniels sandwiched around two big defensive stops however, kept the Tars on top and gave Wilkes his milestone win.
The Tars shot 45 percent to ERAU's 39 percent and were outrebounded 31-35. Rollins committed a season-low six turnovers whle forcing 13.
Rollins next hosts Lynn on December 1 at 2 p.m. in Warden Arena for another Sunshine State Conference match-up. The Fighting Knights are the lone unbeaten team left in the SSC. Fans can catch the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com and locally on 91.5 FM WPRK.