FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Rollins used its stout defense and a timely run Friday to beat Saint Leo 56-48 in the first round of the Division II South Region Tournament.
Sarah Taylor led Rollins with 13 points and five rebounds. Sarah Blackburn earned her ninth double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Ashley Losch added six points and a career-high 15 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.
Rollins outrebounded the Sunshine State Conference’s top rebounding team 59-46.
Chachi Guzman paced Saint Leo (20-10) with 17 points off the bench. Chelsea Connelly put up eight points and 10 rebounds while Keishara Green hauled in 12 boards.
The Tars jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first six minutes as both teams shook off the opening jitters of NCAA play. Rollins led by eight four different times until the Lions went on a run and tied the score at 19 with 2:36 left in the half.
Leo later took a 26-25 lead into halftime.
Rollins trailed 33-32 two minutes into the second before back-to-back jumpers from Emmalee Schill gave the Tars the lead, which they would not relinquish the rest of the way.
The Tars were unable to pull away until two Jen Farrell scores gave Rollins a 49-41 advantage with 6:36 left.
Saint Leo got to within 49-46 at the 3:03 mark, but Taylor got momentum back Rollins way with a score. The Tars then hit 5-of-8 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win.
Rollins shot 22-of-72 (30 percent) from the field and were just 2-of-18 from long range. Leo hit 17-of-63 from the floor.