Mocs' Huge Comeback Bid Falls Short
A huge comeback effort by the Moccasins fell short when Megan Dzikas' long three-point attempt at the buzzer missed, giving Rollins the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Championship, 71-68, Sunday at Jenkins Field House. The season will continue for both teams, however, as both are assured of NCAA Tournament bids, which will be announced at 10 p.m. tonight (Sun.) at www.ncaa.com.
Down by as many as 22 points in the second half, the Moccasins (23-6) kept chipping away at the Tars' lead and eventually got as close as one on a layup by Danielle Walsh with 11 seconds left to cut the margin to 68-67. With the Moccasins forced to foul, Tera McDaniel was fouled with 10 seconds left and made both free throws to get the lead back to 70-67.
On the Moccasins' next possession Taylor Maldonado was fouled with eight seconds left, but she missed both free throw attempts. She was fouled again on the rebound and went to the line again, this time making one of two. Again forced to foul, the Moccasins fouled Sarah Blackburn with four seconds left and she made one of two to give the Tars a three-point lead with four seconds left. The Moccasins got the ball in-bounds to Dzikas for one final shot, but her three-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer.
A slow start to the game put the Moccasins in a hole early, as they had five turnovers and two missed shots in the first 3:11 and Rollins took a 7-0 lead. They still had just four points with 8:50 left in the first half and were just seven of 26 from the field (26.8%) in the first half and trailed 33-20 at halftime.
Michaela Hawley led the Moccasins with her ninth double-double of the season, scoring 22 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, but no one else was in double figures for the Moccasins. Ashley Jones led Rollins (24-5) with 17 and was named the tournament's MVP. Joining her and Hawley on the all-tournament team were Tera McDaniel (Rollins), Morgan Lamberg (FSC), Paris Moore (Rollins) and Kayk Wilson (Florida Tech).