MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Dominique Dixon and Amanda Frontino looked the part. As a result, the Buccaneers knocked off the top team in the Sunshine State Conference Saturday with a 61-57 win over Nova Southeastern.
It was the second straight year Barry (14-12, 5-11 SSC) has played inspired basketball to close the regular season.
Dixon and Frontino, who finished their careers at Health & Sports Center in grand fashion, provided the big lift to a team who will meet Florida Southern in Wednesday's 5 p.m. SSC Tournament opening-round game at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee.
Nova (19-7, 11-5) won the league regular season title, and will await the winner of Barry-Florida Southern at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the tournament quarterfinals.
A senior from Detroit, Dixon went 8 of 14 from the floor, finishing with 17 points, seven steals and four rebounds. Frontino, a Bunbury, Australia, transplant, buried four of five field goals, going 2-for-3 from beyond the arc to trigger a Buccaneer team through a game that experienced nine ties and 12 lead changes.
The Buccaneers shot 52.8 percent from the floor, and were an effective and selective 6 of 10 from three-point range. Five players scored in double figures for Barry, which outrebounded the Sharks, 34-29.
The Buccaneers trailed, 51-48, with 8:27 to play before Colette Eule hit a three-pointer to tie it. Nova's Tailor Jones canned a three of her own at the 6:42 mark as the Sharks regained control. Barry's Jackie Perez answered with a three-ball 1:04 later to tie it once again.
Nova and Barry see-sawed again when Meixandra Porter tripled before Dixon answered with her only triple to knot it at 57-57 with 5:16 remaining. Taylor Buie's three lifted the Sharks back in front, but layups by Dixon and Tyler Hardy gave Barry a 61-60 lead with 3:51 to go.
Eule's triple at the 2:56 mark made it a two-point game, following a bucket by Nova's Amanda Burakoski to put Sharks ahead, 62-61. Dixon canned a jumper with 1:10 to go as the Buccaneers created the slimmest of separation moves to go ahead, 66-62. Porter answered with a three-ball as the Sharks stormed back within one.
But Eule sank two free throws, and Hardy dropped in another pair as the Buccaneers held on to ensure a winning season.
Kaley Howard, whose low-post game had riptide effects what with the magnitude of some of her shots, finished with 12 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Hardy finished with 13 points and 10 boards for her fifth double-double of the season.
The Buccaneers trailed 41-38 with 14:19 to play after Alexis Murphy scored on a layup, but Frontino hit a jumper on an assist from Perez. After Porter scored for the Sharks, Frontino canned a big three to tie the game at 43-43 with 13:21 on the clock.
Perez scored 10 points, and had four rebounds.
The Buccaneers shot 59.1 percent from the field in the second half, going 13 of 22. Nova went 12 of 33 in the second half for 36.4 percent.
2013 SSC Women's Basketball Championship Schedule
Opening Round - Wednesday, March 6
Game 1 - 5:00 p.m. - No. 8 Barry vs. No. 9 Florida Southern
Women's Quarterfinals - Thursday, March 7
Game 3 - 12:00 p.m. - No. 4 Rollins vs. No. 5 Florida Tech
Game 4 - 2:30 p.m. - Opening-Round Winner vs. No. 1 Nova Southeastern
Game 5 - 5:00 p.m. - No. 2 Lynn vs. No. 7 Saint Leo
Game 6 - 7:30 p.m. - No. 3 Eckerd vs. No. 6 Tampa
Women's Semifinals - Saturday, March 9
Game 11 - 12:00 p.m. - Game 3 Winner v. Game 4 Winner
Game 12 - 2:30 p.m. - Game 5 Winner v. Game 6 Winner
Women's Final - Sunday, March 10
Women's Championship - 1:00 p.m. - Game 11 Winner v. Game 12 Winner