WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – This year has extra-time tension written all over it.
Barry men’s basketball team survived another overtime game, holding off host Palm Beach Atlantic, 73-68, Wednesday night at Rubin Arena. It marked the fifth overtime contest of the season for the Buccaneers, who are 3-2 in those games.
“We make it too close often,” Barry sophomore forward Magne Fivelstad said. “On the positive side, we learn from playing all these close games so later in the year we can cash in.”
Justin McCoy and Fivelstad each sank a pair of free throws to put the Bucs in front by four in overtime. Aaron Martin grabbed a critical rebound after a missed field goal, and then sank a pair of free throws to extend the Bucs lead to six.
McCoy hit a baseline step-back jumper with 1:44 on the clock to give Barry a 64-63 lead.
The two teams combined to go 0-for-14 from the field in overtime. Barry was 0-for-4. PBA was 0-for-10.
Palm Beach Atlantic’s Matt Roy hit a triple to put the Sailfish in front by two, but McCoy buried a jumper with 51 seconds left to tie it. Neither team converted down the stretch, sending the game to overtime.
Damien Dwaine scored on a dish from Bryan Van Cott to pull Barry within two at the 11:26 mark. Vladimir Raymonvil buried a three-pointer with the shot clock wearing down to give the Buccaneers the lead, 51-50.
“A lot of guys stepping up at the right time,” said Fivelstad, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. “Guys coming off the bench, even if they play two or four minutes, they do a great job.”
Barry led by as many as nine with 10:51 remaining in the first half when Raymonvil knocked down one of his two first-half triples. Fivelstad scored to keep the lead at nine at the 9:32 mark.
Dwaine’s layup with 6:49 left on the first-half clock padded the Buccaneers lead back to eight after Christian Martinez hit a triple to pull the Sailfish within five. Filip Toric sank three free throws at the 3:41 mark to match Barry’s biggest lead at 31-22, and Fivelstad split a pair from the free throw line to keep it nine.
But the Sailfish went on a 6-0 run to close the first half and draw within two at the break.
The Buccaneers shot 40 percent from the floor, hitting 22 of 55 field goals. The Bucs were seven of 15 from behind the arc. Palm Beach Atlantic was 24 of 59 from the field, including seven of 25 from long range.
Barry outrebounded PBA, 39-32. The Bucs hit 22 of 31 free throws. The Sailfish was 13 for 18 from the line. Barry's bench outscored Palm Beach Atlantic, 37-26.
McCoy finished with 13 points and seven rebounds. Martin scored 14 points. Raymonvil and Toric each scored nine points. Toric was 5 for 5 from the line. Dante Valentine scored 16, and Martinez had 14 for PBA.
“We go into every game looking for the win, but after losing three straight it puts extra pressure on us,” Fivelstad said. “Luckily we capitalized. We look to build a little streak.”