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Men’s basketball continues win streak

Senior standout Jeff Merton charges the net, looking to score against Puerto Rico Bayamon and Florida Memorial in last Tuesday’s games. Photo courtesy of Rollins Sports.

Keeping their newly earned win streak, the Rollins Men’s Basketball team beat University of Puerto Rico Bayamon 99—88. It was a hard-earned, nail-biting victory for the Tars, who hope to keep their momentum throughout the season after suffering two straight losses at the beginning.

The Tars and the Cowboys shot back and forth when it came to quickly climbing the scoreboard. Puerto Rico had a five- point head-start, while Rollins struggled to keep possession of the ball long enough to dribble it down the court and into the net.

Once their offense came together, they showed they were a force to be reckoned with, raising their score with the Cowboys trailing behind.

The Tars managed to nearly tie it up by the end of the first half, but Rollins came through with a burst of energy and widened the score gap 51—37 in the final minutes.

Even after the break, the Tars did not give the Cowboys room to breathe. Puerto Rico was under heavy pressure to catch up, but they could not make it. The gap between their scores had grown to 80—58, but it was only the first half of the second quarter and the Cowboys tried desperately to clutch a victory.

With only a little over five minutes left, the Puerto Rican players had their own scoring burst, quickly reducing the point gap to single digits with a fast victory in reach.

However, it would not be enough. The Tars came through, pushing back to recreate the gap and securing their win in the last seconds of the game. Although Puerto Rico scored more points overall in the second half, 51 to Rollins’ 48, it was not enough to override their loss in the first half.

The game came with achievements for many of the Rollins players. Sam Philpott ‘18, the SSC Player of the Week, scored 31 out of 99 points for his team, beating his previous high of 27 points. Eric Castaneda ‘19, Jeff Merton ‘18, and Connor Mckim ‘20 all also scored high for the team, delivering points of 22, 14, and 12 points respectively.

In the past, Rollins has only lost to Puerto Rico Bayamon once out of nine games. They will not be versing them again this season.

The Tars continued on the next day to have another win against Florida Memorial University with a close score of 66—64 due to a last second clutch. Their win-loss record is now at 4—2, their win streak going strong. Their next home game will be against Southeastern University on Dec. 4 at 7 p.m.

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