PREVIEW: Tars at Spartans Wednesday

PREVIEW: Tars at Spartans Wednesday

Complete Game Notes (.PDF)Match-up:
Rollins (8-4, 5-1 SSC) at Tampa (9-4, 3-2 SSC)

When:
Wednesday, January 9, 2018 | 5:30 p.m.

Where:
Tampa, Florida | Bob Martinez Center

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

Set-up: Rollins and Tampa will start the 2019 edition of their storied rivalry Wednesday with the Tars visiting the Spartans at 5:30 p.m. Winners of six of the last seven, Rollins is alone in second in the Sunshine State Conference standings, a half game back of leader Florida Southern. The Tars are outscoring SSC teams by more than 14 points a game and are second in the conference in defense, right behind UT. The Spartans are fourth nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 51 points a game and have allowed more than 60 points just three times this season. Tampa has dropped two of its last three heading into the game and are part of a group of three schools sitting at 3-2 in the conference.   

Tracking the Tars: Rollins rebounded from a first SSC loss in a big way, beating Barry 74-60 at home Saturday. Vernisha Andrews led the way with 13 points and seven rebounds. Yari Martinez-Toro and Rachel Lia both scored 11 while Carly McLendon tallied 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Carly McLendon is the lone Tars scorer averaging in double figures, netting 10.6 points a game. The senior is second in the conference in rebounding with 8.5 a game, and leads in blocks with 38 on the year; the eighth most in the nation. Martinez-Toro is the Tars top outside threat, hitting 18 three-pointers en route to 9.8 points and 3.1 assists a game. Denise Daniels is getting 8.6 points a night while Jaylyn Harrison and Rachel Lia are both averaging 6.8 points a game. Rollins allows 55 points a game while scoring 12.2. The Tars lead the league in rebounding margin, beating opponents by 11.4 a game.  

Tracking the Spartans: Tampa boasts one of the nation's top defenses, but haven't been able to match on offense over the last two weeks, having lost two of three. The Spartans are coming off a 51-41 win against Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday. Dori Nagy led the way with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Staja Tyghter added 14 points and Julia Ingram netted 11. Tyghter is the top scorer on the team, averaging 14 points and 8.3 rebounds a game. Nagy puts up 12.9 points and an SSC-best 9.3 rebounds a game. Emily Eshoo averages 10.2 points and is shooting 87 percent at the free throw line. UT's scoring defense (51.4 ppg) is fourth-best in the country. On offense, Tampa is putting up 63 points a night.

Notes:

  • Rollins leads the all-time series with Tampa 55-43 dating back to the 1974-75 season; UT has a 6-4 edge over the last 10 meetings.
  • Rollins is 18-21 at Tampa.
  • Rollins was picked seventh in the SSC preseason poll; Tampa was picked third.   
  • Rollins is 17th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 55 points a game.
  • Rollins is eighth nationally in rebounding margin, beating teams on the glass by 11.4 a game.
  • Rollins is 21st in Division II with 4.7 blocks per game.
  • Carly McLendon (RC) is sixth in the country with 3.2 blocks a game and eighth with 38 total blocks.   
  • Carly McLendon (RC) is Rollins all-time leading shot blocker with 216 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.
  • Tampa is fourth nationally in scoring defense (51.4 ppg).
  • Tampa is eighth nationally in field goal percentage defense, shooing teams 34 percent from the field.
  • UT is sixth in the country in shooting, hitting 48 percent as a team.
  • UT fouls the second-least in the nation, just 10.5 times a game.
  • Emily Eshoo (UT) is 32nd nationally in free throw shooting (87 percent).
  • Dori Nagy (UT) leads the SSC in rebounding with 9.3 a game.
  • Rollins Head Coach Glenn Wilkes Jr. is 705-253 in his 33-year career. He has the third-most wins among Division II coaches and fourth-most all-time; Tom Jessee is 499-248 in 25 seasons as a head coach.

Next up: The Tars are back on Florida's west coach Saturday, visiting Eckerd at the McArthur Center. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. in St. Petersburg. Fans can listen to the action live on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com.