Men's Basketball Hosts Tampa 2 p.m. Saturday

Men's Basketball Hosts Tampa 2 p.m. Saturday
The Bucs coaching staff is trying to squeeze some life into Barry in the second half. Photo by Joel Auerbach

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- This game has a lot of similarities coming in.

Barry hosts Tampa in a men's basketball game 2 p.m. Saturday at Health & Sports Center. The Buccaneers and Spartans are tied for seventh in the Sunshine State Conference with 1-5 league records.

The Bucs (7-8, 1-5) and Spartants (13-5, 1-5) have each lost five of their past six games. Both teams have had overtime games against Saint Leo, one of NCAA Division II's Top 25-ranked teams, during that six-game stretch.

More than anything, both are desperate for a win.

"They started off the year hot," Barry assistant coach Ryan Saunders said. "I know they've struggled in conference recently, but they're a tough team."

Barry is coming off a 17-point loss to No. 17 Rollins at home Wednesday in which the Bucs scored the second-fewest points they've put up all season. Tampa is coming off a 26-point loss at No. 14 Florida Southern. The Buccaneers allowed Rollins to shoot 46.2 percent from three-point range, which is the highest an opponent has shot all year against Barry.

"We've got to flip the switch quick," Saunders said. "We've got to kind of find something to rally around. Going into (the Rollins) game, we found that zone to kind of rally around. This could be our identity. It could be something new just to give the guys a boost, and it did for a half at least."

Barry held Rollins to 27 points on 10 of 25 field goals in the first half Wednesday. But breakdowns and offensive deficiencies contributed to Rollins' 66.7 percent shooting in the second half, which included a 7-for-12 showing from three-point range.

Tampa's Da'Marcko is averaging 17.7 points per game for the Spartans. He ranks second in the SSC in scoring. Anthony Griffis, who missed last season, is averaging 14.9 ppg and 5.1 rebounds.

The Buccaneers still have four players scoring in double figures, but lately they have faltered in the second half after building a lead.

"We've got to work on playing a complete game all-around," Saunders said.

Barry's women's team will host Tampa in the second game Saturday at 4 p.m. The Spartans women's team is 12-3 overall, 3-3 in the SSC. The Spartans are ranked No. 25 in the women's poll. Barry is 9-6 overall, 1-5 in the league.

Tune in to both of Saturday's games on the Bucs Broadcast Network. Will Sanchez will handle the call. Follow the men's game via LIVE STATS. Follow the women's game via LIVE STATS.



SERIES RECORD: Barry is 18-39 all-time against the Spartans ... Barry split the season series with Tampa last year, winning, 80-73, at home Jan. 7, 2012 and losing, 56-55, on the road Feb. 4, 2012.

EYES ON OPPONENT: Tampa started the year winning its first 12 games to earn a spot in the Top 25 rankings ... Once the New Year started, the Spartans have been a different team ... Tampa has lost five of their past six games, all in conference play ... Da’Marcko Foster is the second leading scorer in the SSC (17.7 ppg) ... Anthony Griffis is averaging 14.9 ppg and 5.1 reb ... Vincent Cornu is the Spartans leading rebounder at 6.8 per game ... Jon Riles is averaging 4.7 assists per game.

TRENDING TWIN TAILSPINS: Both Tampa and Barry have lost five of their past six games ... The Bucs have been involved in three games during that stretch decided by five points, winning one in overtime ... Tampa’s lone win during that stretch was a 69-65 OT win over Saint Leo ... One of Barry’s OT games during that stretch was also vs. Saint Leo.

McCOY SHOOTING UP SSC: Barry Sr. G Justin McCoy has scored in double figures in 14 straight games ... He ranks sixth in the SSC in scoring at 15.3 ppg.

A-MART’s ASSAULT: Barry Sr. F Aaron Martin continues to shoot well from the perimeter ... Over his past four games, A-Mart is shooting 50 percent (12 of 24) from behind the three-point line ... He ranks 15th in the league in scoring (11.7) and 17th in 3-pt shooting (.381).

RENFRO IN RECORD BOOK: Barry Sr. G Chad Renfro ranks 18th all-time in Bucs history in scoring average (11.4) ... He’s tied for 18th in three-point field goals made (71) ... He ranks 19th in free throw percentage (.722) ... Renfro is 20th all-time in defensive rebound average (3.4).

BOARD WAR: Tampa leads the SSC in rebounding margin at +5.9 per game ... The Spartans are averaging 37.3 reb ... Barry is averaging 37.2.

FREE THROW FUNK: Tampa is shooting a league-low .621 from the free throw line this year ... The Bucs are shooting .733, which ranks fourth.