Men's Basketball Escapes Gritty JWU in Season Opener

Men's Basketball Escapes Gritty JWU in Season Opener
Damien Dwaine scored 14 points, going 6 for 6 from the line in the first half, in Barry's season-opening win. Photo by Jason Roberts

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Maybe they were overlooking them. Maybe they needed to get the rust out.

Either way, Barry University men's basketball team survived a pesky Johnson & Wales team for the second straight year in Saturday's 70-62 season-opening win at Health & Sports Center.

Barry (1-0) shot a paltry 25.9 percent from the floor in the first half, but overcame a four-point halftime deficit to win going away.

Bucs senior newcomer Filip Toric, a transfer from Southwest Oklahoma State, scored on consecutive driving lay-ins in the final two minutes to help Barry pull away from a three-point lead. His second layup with 59 seconds to play gave the Bucsa 64-59 lead.

Johnson & Wales' Myles Smith canned a triple 14 seconds later to pull the Wildcats (2-3) within two. Barry's Chad Renfro, who finished with 12 points, sank two free throws, and Vlad Raymonvil hit a pair of his own with 23 seconds left to pad the Buccaneers lead to six and put the game away.

Barry sophomore forward Damien Dwaine scored 14 points, hitting all six of his free throw attempts in the first half before he missed a pair in the second half to finish 6 of 8 from the stripe. He was 4 of 6 from the field, and had two blocks.

Toric had 10 points and eight rebounds. Bryan Van Cott scored 13 points, going 7 of 7 from the line.

The Bucs were 29 of 35 from the free throw line.

Johnson & Wales built an eight-point lead 3:30 into the second half, following a pair of Barry Ingram free throws. The Buccaneers whittled the deficit down to two on three-pointers by Van Cott and McCoy, the latter coming at the 15:01 mark. Van Cott hit three straight free throws 1:26 later to put the Bucs ahead by one.

After McCoy scored on a jumper, the Wildcats responded with 12:46 remaining when Smith scored on a lay-in and converted a three-point play to tie the game at 46-46. Dwaine answered for Barry with a layup to break the sixth tie of the game.

The Buccaneers were 19 of 56 from the field for 33.9 percent. The Wildcats, paced by Smith's 27, hit 37.3 percent of their shots -- eight of which came from beyond the three-point arc. Barry was outrebounded 40-35.

McCoy had nine points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals.

Barry will play at St. Thomas in Miami 7 p.m. Tuesday.