Bucs Men's Hoops Tamed by No. 17 Tars

Bucs Men's Hoops Tamed by No. 17 Tars
Justin McCoy scored 21 points, reaching double figures for the 14th straight game. Photo by Joel Auerbach

MIAMI SHORES, Fla. -- It was another one of those games where Barry did what it needed to in the first half, and then watched it slip away in the second half.

Barry lost to No. 17 Rollins, 72-55, Wednesday at Health &  Sports Center. The 55 points were the fewest the Bucs have scored since being held to 51 against St. Thomas on Nov. 13.

The Buccaneers (7-8, 1-5 SSC) built a five-point halftime lead after shooting 45 percent from the field, but Rollins (14-2, 6-0) went on a 17-0 run to open the second half to take a 12-point lead. The Tars widened the gap to 20 with 10:06 to play.

The Bucs didn't score for the first 7:33 of the second half until Aaron Martin sank two free throws. Barry's first field goal in the second half didn't come until the 8:46 mark when Justin McCoy hit a layup.

"It was the tale of two halves," Buccaneers assistant coach Ryan Saunders said. "That's the theme for us right now."

Barry cut the deficit to 11 with 3:21 to go when McCoy, who finished with 21 points, sank two free throws. But Rollins extended the lead back to 18, and the Bucs couldn't recover.

It was the 14th straight game McCoy scored in double figures. Martin added 16 for Barry. Adam Allen finished with 14, and Mitch Woods had 12 points and six boards for Rollins. Jeff Dirkin added 12 points.

Rollins shot 53.1 percent from the floor, hitting 66.7 percent of its field goals in the second half. Barry shot 34.1 percent, going 5-for-21 in the second half.

"Their defense was great," Saunders said. "They do what they do, and they don't get out of it. They make you take tough shots. The second half, I thought our guys held onto the ball too much, and didn't make quick decisions. Give them credit. Their zone ... they're long, they're tall and they disrupt any offense, so you really can't run anything. You just got to rely on guys making plays."

Barry had eight assists and nine turnovers in the first half, but managed just three assists and committed 10 turnovers in the second half.

Rollins' bench outscored Barry, 27-4, in a game that had seven lead changes. The Tars outscored the Bucs, 24-14, in the paint. Both teams scored 20 points off turnovers.

Barry will host Tampa at 2 p.m. Saturday.

"I don't know what can be said, what can be done," Saunders said. "I thought we were ready to play this game. Coming off four straight conference losses, we needed tonight's game. We came out hungry. In the first half, we all accepted the gameplan. All of our guys kind of bought into that, and we kind of fed into that energy. You could tell from the first half, our guys were into the game. They wanted to win, but again the second half was completely different.

"There's no time to really sulk about it. We've got Tampa coming in here Saturday, and they're probably going to be hungry, too."