Rollins breezes past West Alabama
Tars advance to second round for first time since 2004
WINTER PARK, Fla. -- Rollins saw 11 different players score on Friday as the top-seed Tars posted a 71-44 win against West Alabama in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Tournament host Rollins (25-5) advances to meet either fourth-seed Alabama-Huntsville or fifth-seed Delta State on Saturday.
Gulf South Tournament champion West Alabama had its season end at 15-14.
Rollins' bench scored 39 points and was led by 14 points and six rebounds from Sarah Blackburn. Jasmine Bradley chipped in 11 points while Paris Moore tallied nine points, six rebounds and two assists.
Jamie Gunter paced UWA with 11 points. Danielle Cole netted nine.
"I think we did a great job of setting the tone in the first 10 minutes," Rollins head coach Glenn Willkes Jr. said. "We rebounded and played defense very well at the beginning. After seeing UWA win the GSC Tournament, we knew they were very dangerous, so it was great to get off to the start we did."
Playing on its home court, Rollins had its best shooting night of the season, hitting 52 percent (29-55) from the field. The Tigers shot 29 percent (15-51) and were outrebounded by Rollins 38-29.
Tera McDaniel hit a 3-pointer on Rollins' first possession and later drained a jumper to give the Tars an early 5-0 lead.
The Rollins advantage ballooned to 22-10 at the 7:46 mark and then hit 22, 37-15, with 2:54 to play in the stanza. UWA closed the period on a 5-0 run as Rollins took a 37-30 lead into halftime.
The Tars would go on to lead by as much as 30 late in the second half and earned a spot in the second round. Rollins last advanced this far in the 2004 NCAA tournament, also hosted in Winter Park.