Men's Basketball Bumped in SSC Tourney Opener

Men's Basketball Bumped in SSC Tourney Opener
Senior Magne Fivelstad had 21 points, 6 boards and two steals, sinking 9 of 11 free throws in the SSC Tournament loss to Eckerd. Photo by Jim Hogue

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Barry University men's basketball team lost in the first round of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament Wednesday, 83-73, to Eckerd at Silver Spurs Arena.

The Bucs (19-8) will await their NCAA Tournament hopes as the brackets are revealed after this weekend's play. Eckerd (16-13) moves on to Friday's quarterfinals.

Barry was ranked as high as No. 4 in the NCAA South Region poll. The top eight teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament, although the way the national tourney is set up, automatic bids are awarded to tournament winners.

Barry senior Magne Fivelstad had 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Sophomore Yunio Barrueta (Miami/Hialeah Gardens HS) had his 12th double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

The Bucs were in catchup mode the entire second half after trailing by 10 at the break. Barry trimmed the deficit to three on two occasions as the Bucs hit 10 straight free throws, the latter two by Juan Ferrales at the 8:25 mark.

But Barry was 3 of 18 from beyond the 3-point line in their lowest long-range shooting performance of the season. Eckerd was 6 of 19 from beyond the arc. The Tritons were 31 of 40 from the free throw line. Barry was 24 of 30.

The Tritons increased their lead back to 10 on Jerrick Stevenson's basket with 3:30 to play, and Barry couldn't recover.

Josh Snodgrass burned the Bucs for 27 points and seven rebounds. He was 10 of 11 from the stripe. E.J. Moody had 14 points, and Stevenson 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Ferrales had 16 points and five rebounds. Deric Hill had 15 points and four assists. Fivelstad was 9 of 11 from the free throw line.

Barry beat two nationally-ranked teams this year. The Bucs began the season with a 9-0 mark, becoming one of 15 unbeaten teams in the country at the Christmas break. Barry posted six more wins than they did a season ago.

The Bucs also broke a few school records and drew close to breaking a few others.