Men's Basketball Remains Unbeaten Over Panthers

Men's Basketball Remains Unbeaten Over Panthers
Yunio Barrueta played above the rim in notching his second double-double of the season. Photo by Joel Auerbach

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- Barry University men's basketball team finished off an unblemished six-game homestand with an 81-65 win over Claflin Tuesday at Health & Sports Center.

The Buccaneers (7-0) will play in the Lynn Courtyard by Marriott Holiday Classic Friday and Saturday against Clayton State and No. 13 Livingstone, respectively. Both games tip off at 5:30 p.m. in Boca Raton.

"We're seeking our way to perfection," Barry's Yunio Barrueta said after recording his second double-double of the season. "We can never reach perfection, but we can always work toward perfection," 

"They hung around, give 'em credit," assistant coach Ryan Saunders said. "They made the game pretty ugly. We made enough plays down the stretch, and we were able to extend our lead. Claflin plays hard. They play a really tough schedule. But give our guys credit. Our guys just battled."

Barry's Juan Ferrales scored 21 points, bouncing back from a couple tough shooting performances.

"That's great for his confidence," Saunders said. "He's always in the gym. He's one that always puts in the time, and it was good to see him find his shot tonight."

The Bucs, who outrebounded the Panthers, 41-26, never trailed in the game. But after racing out to a 19-5 lead, allowed Claflin (3-6) to get back in it. The Panthers cut it to nine on a jumper by Anton Miller with 7:25 to go in the first half. At the 3:02 mark, they had whittled the gap down to four when Kendall Jackson threw down a dunk. Barry went on an 8-0 run over the final 2:46 to take a 12-point lead into halftime.

In a game where the Buccaneers shot 54.8 percent in the second half, they found themselves again searching for ways to put teams away after allowing their opponents to creep back in it.

"We postponed it, but we didn't cure it," Bucs first-year coach Butch Estes said. "Maybe it could be, what's coming to my mind, the substitution pattern."

Barrueta had 10 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, and Magne Fivelstad had 10 points, 11 boards, four assists and two steals. Adrian Gonzalez finished with 16 points for Barry, who was outscored by Claflin in bench production, 42-28. Deric Hill scored eight points and had six assists.

Marcellus Dunn scored 18 points, and Jackson 14 for Claflin, which hit 46.3 percent of its field goals. 

Dunn scored 2:53 into the second half to pull the Panthers within eight. Gonzalez scored on two straight assists from Arie Williams, the latter at the 11:40 mark to pad the Bucs lead back to 15. After Claflin's Brian Newsome's tip-in 26 seconds later, Barry went on an 8-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, 64-43, on a field goal by Gonzalez, who was 7 of 8 from the floor. Savad Garner grabbed eight rebounds.

Adolph Caldwell's basket with 4:36 left brought Claflin within 13, but Ferrales buried one of his four 3-pointers for the dagger, extending the Bucs' lead back to 16, following one of Fivelstad's five offensive rebounds.

Barry shot 13 of 16 from the line. Claflin was 9 of 14.

The Bucs had 22 assists and a season-low eight turnovers. 

"We just want to work hard," Barrueta said. "We're undefeated, so that's all that counts."