SAINT LEO, Fla. – Barry followed the pattern that has unfolded most of the year.
For a half, the Buccaneers have proven they are one of the league’s best teams. But in what has become routine, the Bucs let it get away in the second half in a 65-52 loss at No. 29 Saint Leo Saturday at the Bowman Center.
The Bucs fell two games under .500 after getting outscored, 37-24, in the second half.
Barry (9-11, 3-8 Sunshine State Conference) trailed 42-31 after Saint Leo’s Trent Thomas hit a three from the corner with 10:12 to play. Bryan Van Cott buried a triple to pull the Buccaneers within 10 with just over nine minutes left. But the Lions pushed the lead to 12.
Magne Fivelstad’s hit a jumper on a kick-out from Filip Toric, and then a triple by the Croatian senior cut Saint Leo’s lead to nine with 5:22.
Saint Leo bumped its lead to 55-39, but Van Cott hit a three, and Toric buried a turnaround baseline jumper to bring the Buccaneers within 55-44 with 2:10 to go.
The Buccaneers shot 36.2 percent from the floor, going 17 of 47. The Lions (17-4, 9-2) were 21 of 52 for 40.4 percent. Barry outrebounded Saint Leo, 35-32.A
Toric finished with his third straight double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Fivelstad scored a career-high 18 points, had seven boards, a block and a steal. Thomas had 19 points, and Tom Neary 13 for Saint Leo.
Barry’s 52 points were the second lowest all season.
Van Cott buried a three-pointer from the wing as the Buccaneers built a 17-7 lead in the first half. Saint Leo raced back, using a 14-4 run to tie the game at 21-21 with 6:02 to play in the first half. Damien Dwaine’s two free throws tied the game at 28-28 with 2:15 to play before the first half buzzer.
Fivelstad scored 11 points in the first half on 3-for-3 shooting from the field, including a triple. Dwaine finished with six points, seven boards.
The Buccaneers were 8 of 21 in the first half. The Lions shot 11-for-25 from the field.
TIP-INS: Saint Leo donated the proceeds from the game and raffle to the Cesar Odio Leukemia Foundation. Barry 18-year head coach Cesar Odio is battling leukemia for the second time.