MIAMI SHORES, Fla. – A shot of confidence indeed. Barry University infused some much-needed life into itself when the men’s basketball team upset Sunshine State Conference rival Lynn University, 81-77, Wednesday to open the second half of the season.
Lynn, which entered the game with an 8-5 overall, 2-0 league record, had been playing high-energy up-tempo basketball. Yet Barry, nearing the .500 mark following a victory that moved the Buccaneers to 6-7 overall, 1-1 in the SSC, has been equally impressive of late. The Bucs won their third game in the last four tip-offs, despite knowing the roster will be shorthanded the rest of the season.
Barry built a 14-point lead 6:10 into the game, and never trailed. Lynn closed to within three at halftime, and drew within a point, 36-35, when Michel Vidal hit a jumper in the paint 14 seconds into the second half. But Evan White answered with a triple for the Bucs 30 seconds later.
The Fighting Knights closed to within one three more times over the next 2:09, but each time Barry responded. Vladimir Raymonvil’s triple at the 15:33 mark kept the Bucs ahead by four. The Buccaneers extended their lead to eight on Emory Bennett’s hoop at the 11:54 mark, and Raymonvil scored 31 seconds later to push Barry up, 56-46.
Lynn’s Josh Garcia buried a triple with 8:35 to go to pull the Knights within six, but Barry pushed it back out to 10 on Bryan Van Cott’s jumper in the paint a little over a minute later. Lynn cut it to five on two occasions over the next 2:07, but that’s as close as the Knights would get until Garcia scored on a layup with 27 seconds left.
Following a pair of Barry’s missed free throws and a missed triple try on Lynn’s end of the floor, the Knights cut it to three on Slobodan Miljanic’s bucket. But Justin McCoy sank the back end of a pair of shots from the stripe with two seconds left to help the Bucs hold on.
Bucs guard Chad Renfro, playing in his first game since Dec. 16, finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 5 of 11 from the floor in 28 minutes off the bench. McCoy scored 11 points and had four assists. White was 4 of 9 from the field, finishing with 10 points.
Garcia and Brandon Smith each had 14 for Lynn, which had five players in double figures. Vidal had 12 points and 13 boards.
Barry’s Damien Dwaine had seven points and seven rebounds, and Jermaine Edwards had eight points, six boards, five blocks, three assists and a steal.
The Bucs sank 22 of 31 free throws, including an 8 for 9 performance in the first half. Lynn hit 17 of 21 free throws, knocking down 7 of 8 in the first half. The Knights struggled from beyond the arc, going 4 of 19. Barry canned 41.2 percent of its three-pointers.
The Bucs will host Tampa at 4 p.m. Saturday, following the women’s game.